A summer of racing all comes down to one final night for the 2019 season of O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.
The finale night racing on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pit lane dragstrip will conclude with season champions crowned, including in the tightly contested South River Agency New Edge Division.
“My car has done quite well this year and fortunately I haven’t had anything break,” said Jacob Turner of Griffin. Two victories and consistent speed throughout the season have been enough to give Turner a single point lead over 2018 champion James Walker.
“I’m going to do my best and see if I can keep that championship,” said Walker, of Fayetteville. “To stay competitive in New Edge you have to up your game every year. There are some really fast cars out there so I did a few things to make the car go faster.”
Walker has been reaping the rewards of those adjustments; he has four race victories this year, including in three of the last four weeks. In response, Turner has been working on his 1993 Ford Mustang over the last few weeks to get off the line faster and match Walker’s speed.
“I’ve been tweaking the suspension to get it to launch better,” Turner said. “I think it’s getting there.”
While Turner is hoping the changes will elevate his Mustang to one more victory and in turn the championship this Friday, Walker says he and his 2016 Dodge Challenger Hellcat are ready for Turner’s best shot.
“Everyone’s bringing their A-game; that’s what makes this fun,” Walker said, adding, “I have some things in my back pocket for the finale.”
With just one point separating the top two, the South River Agency New Edge Division is the closest of the championship battles that will be settled Friday night. While the pressure is on Turner and Walker for that title, some drivers enjoying phenomenal seasons enter championship night with the title already wrapped up.
Notable such drivers include Kevin Mayo, of Griffin, who has secured the QuikTrip Pro Division title. Jackson’s David Smith sits atop the Harding Plumbing Heating & Cooling Domestic division, and Keith Shockey of Peachtree City leads the Diamond Resorts Factory Street standings.
The 2019 season of O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags concludes this week with championship night on Friday, Aug. 23.
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.