Drifters Slide into Atlanta Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags

Atlanta Motor Speedway Photo

Competitors descended on Atlanta Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night drags with more than straight line speed on the mind on Friday night.

Drifters took over the Marcy Scott Media Center parking lot for the second time this season with the hopes of sliding seamlessly across the asphalt.  

“I came out here, tried it out last time and I loved it,” said Ethan Parnell of Thomaston. “It is so close to home, it makes it a great opportunity to come out and have some fun.”

Fun is the name of the game for the participants in the drifting arena with no competition or judging taking place.

“I came out here for Friday Night Drags a few years ago when I had a street car and it was always real fun,” said Emmett Ashe of Douglasville.  “The last drifting event looked like a real good time.”

Both participants slid across the asphalt on their runs throughout the night; the track time gave both participants an opportunity to tune up and work on their cars.  

“There’s a big drifting event that I’m going to in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to shake the car down and test it,” said Ashe. 

“There are a couple of keys to a good run,” said Parnell, “but not anything big, just tiny stuff – like the right air pressure – makes a big difference.”

While the drifters hoped to slide seamlessly all over the asphalt, competitors drag racing on the pit lane were intent on sticking to the straight line strip.

And with time running short on the season, drivers scrambled to make a move in the points standings with the penultimate race on the horizon.

The championship battle in the South River Agency New Edge Division tightened up with a final round win by James Walker of Fayetteville in his 2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat.  

“I’m working hard to keep my championship trophy from last year,” said Walker following his win over Gary Kelly of McDonough in the final.  “There is a lot of good competition out here and it’s a lot of fun.”

A blown transmission has taken contender Steve Schaffer out hunt for a division title.

“They said it would be a month before I’d get it back,” said Schaffer from the sidelines.  

With only two more weeks remaining and no car to compete, Schaffer has had to watch any hopes of a championship evaporate while watching the the South River Agency New Edge Division compete.

“Steve is a great competitor,” said Walker, “but there are a bunch of other fast cars out here.”

Walker now trails division leader Jacob Turner of Griffin by two points in the championship hunt while an idle Shaffer is now five points back of the leader.

Below is the complete list of August 2nd race winners:
Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division: David Smith (McDonough); 1990 Isuzu
South River Agency New Edge Division: James Walker (Fayetteville); 2016 Dodge Charger Hellcat
QuikTrip Pro Division: Kevin Mayo (Griffin); 2007 Chevrolet Cavalier
Super Pro: David Clevenger (Hampton); 1963 Chevrolet Corvette
Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division: Richard Corcoran (Locust Grove); 1986 Ford Mustang
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division: Vincent Varda (Jonesboro); 1979 Mazda RX-7
Truck Advance: Keith White (Lutherville); 1982 Chevy Pick Up
Ultimate Tailgating Street Performer Division: Jody Scott (Griffin); 1995 Chevrolet S10
Super Bike Division: Graham Mayo (Griffin); 2007 Hayabusa
Sport Bike: Kevin Connolly (Hampton); 2009 Yamaha Vmax
US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division: Eric Denham (Williamson); 2008 Yamaha R6
Cruiser Division: Robert Thomas (Griffin); 2004 Harley
Quad/Tri Division: Wayne Clinz (Griffin); Banshee
Street Modified Division: John Reyes (Locust Grove); 2003 Ford Mustang GT
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck Division: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 F100
Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division: Jim Dean (Senoia); 1991 V61
AT&T Mobility Sport Compact Division: Amanda Brown (Senoia); 2012 Ford Mustang V6
Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division: Keith Shockey (Peachtree City); 2015 SRT 392 Challenger

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: Kerbi Mueller (Locust Grove); 1930 Ford Model A
Runner Up: Scott Conaway (Griffin); 1967 Ford Torino
 
Generation X (1981 – 2008 cars)
Winner: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville); 1998 Pontiac Trans Am
Runner Up: John Crespo (Palmetto); 2005 BMW M3
 
Current (2009 – current cars)
Winner: Robert Lewis (Glen Burnie, MD); 2019 BMW I8 Roadster
Runner Up: Morgan Taylor (McDonough); 2018 Jeep Wrangler
 
Trucks (1981 – Does it really need any more explanation?)
Winner: Andy Holsclaw (Milner); 2000 Ford F-350 
Runner Up: Blake Williams (McDonough); 1996 Chevy Silverado 
 
Open
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 16th. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start  just after 9:00 p.m.  Next Friday is Kids Power Wheel Races.  Kids are encouraged to bring their power wheels and other kid’s powered vehicles to race prior to drag eliminations next Friday.

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.

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