Truck Advanced Division puts on a show at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags
With the O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags championship finale on the horizon, drivers descended on the pit lane drag strip at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday evening for adrenaline fueled, side-by-side action in one of the largest street-style drag racing series in the nation.
There was no room for error among the drivers in the 18 divisions vying for drag-strip glory and the highly sought-after hardware that's awarded to the season-title winners in each division.
The battle for supremacy in the Truck Advanced division is one of the closest point battles among all competitors as three points separated the top two drivers entering Friday's action.
"I think the competition has gotten a little better this year," said Glenn Evans of Hampton, "I'm running a naturally aspirated truck against a twin turbo diesel and a big block Chevy with nitrous so the rules have let everybody run competitively and has helped it tremendously."
With the rules and trucks producing close competition, the difference comes down to the driver's reflexes off the tree to determine the winner each night.
"That’s probably where most of the races are won and lost," said Evans. "The light, the first 60-feet, that’s where it is won and lost. That’s definitely where you gotta make your money."
Evans made his money and then some as he extended his lead in the Truck Advanced division in his 1977 Ford F150 with a final round takedown of the 1985 Chevrolet C10 of Chevis Morgan of Stockbridge.
"Staying on the tree, the first 60 feet was the difference," said Glenn following the victory with just three races remaining in the points season this year.
In the South River Agency New Edge Division, two points separated the top two drivers entering Friday's action. But it was a final round loss by James Walker of Fayetteville that pulled the points battle even closer. Walker was taken down by newcomer Gary Kelly of McDonough in the final but his three points on the night pulled him within one of second place Steve Shaffer of Newnan and four points off the lead held by Jacob Turner of Griffin.
Other notable winners include Ed Blanford of McDonough with his seventh victory of the season in the StarFire Automatic Gate Truck division as he took out James Ragsdale of Hampton in the final round. A jubilant Kevin Mayo got back into the win column after a two week hiatus in the Quiktrip Pro division with his sixth trip to victory lane this season. Mayo flew off the line and left Dale Rogers of Oxford in his rearview mirror for the win.
Below is the complete list of August 2nd race winners:
Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division: Justin Smith (McDonough); 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
South River Agency New Edge Division: Gary Kelly (McDonough); 2018 Ford F150
QuikTrip Pro Division: Kevin Mayo (Griffin); 2007 Chevrolet Cavalier
Super Pro: David Clevenger (Hampton); 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Harbin's Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division: Wayne Harris (Griffin); Chevrolet Camaro
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division: David Moore (Stockbridge); 1990 Ford Mustang
Truck Advance: Glenn Evans (McDonough); 1977 Ford F-150
Ultimate Tailgating Street Performer Division: Tory Hornsby (Senoia); 1973 Datson 240z
Super Bike Division: Toney Freeman (Stockbridge); 2008 Suzuki Hayabasa
Sport Bike: John Hoyer (Senoia); Yamaha VMax
US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division: Eric Denham (Williamson); 2008 Yamaha R6
Cruiser Division: Robert Thomas (Griffin); 2004 Harley
Quad/Tri Division: Andre Martin (College); Banshee
Street Modified Division: John Reyes (Locust Grove); 2003 Ford Mustang GT
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck Division: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 F100
Diesel Truck Division: Brian Sparrow (Floville); 2013 Chevrolet Duramax 2500
Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division: Shane Kirkland (Marietta); 1983 Datson 280ZX
AT&T Mobility Sport Compact Division: Amanda Brown (Senoia); 2012 Ford Mustang V6
Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division: Eric Samples (Hampton); 2018 Ford Mustang
The Show-N-Shine competition featured everything from new imports to classic muscle cars and automobiles ranging as far back as the 1930s. Those vehicles then took part in the Speedway Cruise following judging.
Classic (1980 or older classic; restored; modified cars or trucks)
Winner: Caleb Vincent Accardo (Fayetteville);
Runner Up: Dan Aiken ((Fayetteville); 1973 Mustang Convertible
Generation X (1981 - 2008 cars)
Winner: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville); 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Runner Up: Terry Ison (Zebulon); Chevy Corvette 32t
Current (2009 - current cars)
Winner: Summer Marlyne (Milner); 2016 GT350
Runner Up: Dylan Herron (McDonough); 2017 Ford Focus SEL
Trucks (1981 - Does it really need any more explaination?)
Winner: Jacob Cox (Griffin); 2015 Ford F-250
Runner Up: Cameron Correll (Troy, OH); 2010 Ford F100
Winner: Chino (Hampton); Lexus GS 300
Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip next Friday, August 9th. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start just after 9:00 p.m. Drifting demonstrations return to Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 9th.
Entry to drag race or for the Show-N-Shine is just $20 or competitors can purchase a combo ticket for $30. Spectator tickets are just $10, and children 5 and under are free.
More information can be found at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/drags or by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211.