The fastest two wheels to ever challenge the pit lane drag strip showed their muscle on Friday Night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kirby Apathy and Preston Bartlett battled twice for track supremacy over the eighth-mile pit lane drag strip at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.
“This is the fastest pro fuel bike in the world,” said Apathy. “It’s the only one to ever go in the sixes. It’s gone 4.30 at 167 miles an hour over an eighth mile track.”
Despite owning the quarter-mile world record with an 6.85 second run, Apathy couldn’t get the bike tuned in to beat Bartlett in either pass down the strip. Both drivers backed down the power as they got a feel for the track on the first pass of the night.
“I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to get in trouble because these things can get you in trouble a lot quicker than you can get yourself out of trouble,” explained Apathy.
Bartlett had Apathy’s number again and ripped down the track on the second pass to set a new track record for two wheeled vehicles.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” explained Bartlett on whizzing down the strip at breakneck speed. “Everyone asks me and I say ‘I get on, take a deep breath, close my eyes, count to seven, open them up and see where I’m at’.”
While the nitro bikes battled for track records, drivers in 18 different divisions looked to secure important points in a battle for a division championship.
Tied at the top of the points standings entering Friday’s action in the Super Pro Division, Robert Cheney of Jonesboro and his 2014 American Dragster inched ahead of the 2007 Chevy Camaro of Mike Chambers of Griffin for the division lead.
Cheney advanced to the final round before falling to Arnie Cobb of Locust Grove and his 1974 Chevrolet Nova in the final race of the night.
“I cut a pretty good light and luckily we hooked up an extra little boost button on it,” said Cobb following his win. “Robert [Cheney] had me out of the hole. He was going to beat me, but I grabbed ahold of the button and everything in the electronics worked and she went on a ride.”
Cobb stays within striking distance of a division championship with the final round win as he picked up a point on the leader Cheney and is now five points back of the top spot in the division.
Other notable winners included Mike Moore of Newnan and his 2017 COPO Camaro in the Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division. Moore stays in the Championship hunt with the final round victory over Wayne Harris of Griffin. Harris holds a two point lead over Moore and Daniel Harris of Griffin for the top spot.
In the Diamond Resorts Factory Street division, Michael Hartley of McDonough, behind the wheel of his 1987 Ford Mustang, earned the final round win as he defeated the 2014 Ford Mustang of Nick Nicholson to keep pace in the battle for a division championship.
Below is a list of the Aug. 10 race winners:
Super Pro: Arnie Cobb (Locust Grove); 1974 Chevrolet Nova
QuikTrip Pro: Kevin Mayo (McDonough; 1969 Chevy Nova
Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw: Mike Moore (Peachtree City); 2017 COPO Camaro
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman: Kyle Shiflett (Newnan); 1983 Ford Mustang
New Edge: Chase Ponder (Senoia); 2015 Ford Mustang
Street Performer: Brandon Sampler (Griffin); 1995 Chevrolet S10
Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic: Andrew Morgan (McDonough); 1987 Ford Mustang
Diamond Resorts Factory Street: Michael Hartley (McDonough); 2013 Ford Mustang
Street Modified: Kelly Morgan (Jonesboro); 1968 Ford Mustang
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 Ford F100
Tuner: Steven Mallet (Marietta); 2004 Subaru WRX
Sport Compact: Tyler Hatchett (Griffin); 1991 Honda CRX
Super Bike: Robin Malcolm (Lithonia); 2003 Busa
Sport Bike: Jyree Givens (Stockbridge); 2006 Suzuki GSXR 1000
US Marines Motorcycle: Keith Stamps (Tyrone); 2002 Honda
Cruiser: Robert Thomas (Griffin); Harley Davidson
ATV: Wayne Cline (Griffin); Yamaha Banshee
Peach Pass Burnout Zone: Preston Bartlett (St. Augustine FL); Nitro Harley Davidson Dragster Bike
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 Custom (Through 1972)
First Place: Roan Berry (Locust Grove), Volkswagen Karmann Ghia
Showroom Modern (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville), 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Modern Custom (1973 through 1999)
First Place: Wesley Aikens ((Hampton), 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Luxury Sport
Second Place: Zachary Miller (Jackson), 1997 VE GTI VR6
Third Place: Troy Hortman (Hampton), 1999 Ford Mustang GT
Current (2000 through current)
First Place: Doug Coffey (Hampton), 2004 Salween Mustang
Second Place: Scott Ferland (Fayetteville), 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Third Place: Tommy Robertson (Griffin), 2005 1200 Custom Harley Davidson
First Place: Jay Connelly (McDonough), 1970 Chevrolet Truck
Second Place: Andy Sarrat (Social Circle), 1965 Chevrolet C10
Third Place: April Williamson (Monticello), 2016 Jeep Wrangler
First Place: Scott Talmadge (Jonesboro), Kawasaki Ninja ZX12R
Second Place: Brandon Shaddix (Riverdale), Honda CRB 929DB2
Third Place: Raymond Veiazouez (Paulding), 2018 Dodge Charger Hellcat
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip next Friday, Aug. 17 for the penultimate race of the season as drivers in 18 different divisions take on the Pit Lane Drag Strip. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start just after 9:00 p.m.
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.