The pit lane drag strip roared to life as competitors knocked off the rust on opening night of the 13th season of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags at Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday night.
Drag eliminations started with the Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic division with 11 competitors before being whittled down to the final round pairing of Dontavisous McKibben of Atlanta in his 1986 Buick Regal and David Smith of Jackson behind the wheel of his 1990 Izuzu.
“I got a quick start,” said McKibben after his final round victory. “Sixty feet wins the race, and I had to get out on ’em.”
As a regular of Friday Night Drags, it’s the crowd, the excitement and variety of cars that brings out McKibben each week as he chases a division championship.
“We gonna try to take it all the way,” said McKibben looking forward to the start of the points season in three weeks.
Another pair of drivers who used opening night as a tune up as they prepare to chase a division championship faced off in the QuikTrip Pro division final. Phil Wallace of McDonough in his 1967 Chevy II edged out Kevin Mayo in the last race of the night.
“I don’t know, I never seen him,” said Wallace when asked about his final round victory. “He was back there somewhere, I looked over and I didn’t see him, but I’m sure he was there somewhere.”
It was a good showing for Wallace on opening night in a car that hasn’t seen a lot of action recently the pit lane drag strip.
“The car hasn’t’ been out in over a year,” said Wallace as he looks ahead to the points season.
Other notable winners include Benley Bidot of McDonough in his 2015 Chevrolet SS edge out the 2019 z06 Corvette of Steve Shafer of Newnan in the South River Agency New Edge final. Vincent Varda of Jonesboro in his 1979 Mazda Rx7 claimed victory in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division with a final round win over the 1988 Ford Mustang of McDonough’s Tim Hall.
Drivers will get one more opportunity to tune up their machines on the pit lane drag strip in preparation for the points season next Friday, May 17th before every run counts with the start of the points season on May 31st as drivers chase division championships.
Below is a list of May 10th race winners:
Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division; Dontavious McKibben (Atlanta); 1986 Buick Regal
South River Agency New Edge Division; Benley Bidot (McDonough); 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS
Super Pro Division; Bobby Daniel (Jackson); 2011 Chevrolet Camaro
QuikTrip Pro Division; Phil Wallace (McDonough); 1967 Chevy II
Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division; Daniel Harris (Griffin); 1995 S10 Chevrolet
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division; Vincent Varda (Jonesboro); 1979 Mazda RX-7
Truck Advance; Chevis Morgan (Stockbridge); 1985 Chevrolet C10
Street Performer Division; Tory Hornsby (Senoia); 1973 Datson 240z
Super Bike Division; Robin Malcolm (Lithonia); 2003 Hayabusa
Sport Bike; Diontay Cochran (Griffin); 2018 Ducanti
US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division; Jamar Copes (Stockbridge); 2007 750 GSXR
Cruiser Division; Robert Thomas (Stockbridge); 2006 Harley Davidson
Quad/Tri/ATV Division; Andre Martin (College Park); Banshee
Street Modified Division; David Lawrence (Barnesville); 2003 Ford Mustang GT
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck Division; Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 Ford F100
Diesel Truck Division; Logan Lynch (Griffin); 2015 Chevy Silverado
Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division; Luis Romaz (Jonesboro); 1985 Mazda Rx7
Sport Compact Division; Chris Mauldin (Yatesville); 2009 Nissan Infinity G37
Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division; Chris Moon (Douglasville); 2014 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.
Complete Show-N-Shine resuts for May 10th:
Hot Rides (classic, custom, cool paint job, etc)
First Place: Summer Marlyne (Milner), 2016 GT 350
Second Place: Doug Coffee (Hampton), 1967 VW Beetle
Showroom Polished (redone or polished up)
First place: Ken Thaxton (Fayetteville), 1967 Corvette Coup
Second Place: Earl Reed (McDonough), 2014 Stingray
First Place: Matt Hill (Thomaston), 2011 Ford F-150
Second Place: Joseph Parles (Hampton), 2012 Chevy Silverado
First Place: Elijah Waits (Senoia), 1990 M923A2 5 Ton
Second Place: Mark Schlichting (Sharpsburg), 1991 Nissan Figaro
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip next Friday, May 17th. 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.