Motorsports

Drags and Fireworks at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Fireworks at Atlanta Motor Speedway

HAMPTON, Ga. (July 5, 2019) – On a night where fireworks were expected, the show did not disappoint with the Click It or Ticket Fireworks Salute to America along with the action on the pit lane drag strip for a special July 4th Independence Day Thursday night edition of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.

As the crowd swelled in the grandstands in anticipation of the largest fireworks display on the south side of Atlanta, Drag competitors lit up the pit lane drag strip to get the show started.  

“The Corvette that I had to beat tonight to get into the finals knocked me out two weeks ago, so the Domestic class is very competitive,” said Donnie Smith of Jackson behind the wheel of his 1990 Isuzu.  “It’s gotten to be one of the most competitive classes running out here.”

With a large field in the Domestic class, it took five rounds, including a final round victory over Donnie Henderson of Hampton for Smith to come out on top.  

“Donnie is a good competitor. He has a good setup and he can launch off the line really well,” said Smith.  “And that’s how he beat me last week. This week I did a better job getting going and that made the difference.”

The action of the early rounds on the pit lane drag strip was just the appetizer as the Click It or Ticket Fireworks Salute to America lit up the night sky.

“I love the fireworks,” said Malik Walker of McDonough.  “Every time I come out the fireworks are different. They’re a lot bigger, they’re a lot better – I love it.”

Smith expressed a similar sentiment about the fireworks show as he said, “Man I love it and if it wasn’t for the people in uniforms fighting for us, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy nights like this.”

After the fireworks, attention refocuded on the drag strip for the final rounds of the night.  In the New Edge Division, Walker and his 2016 Dodge Hellcat out dueled Jon Stovan and his 2009 Nissan GTR for the final round win.

“I came out tonight and didn’t expect to win because my car’s blower isn’t working right,” said Walker. “But it did pretty good anyway so I was pretty pleased.”
 
Other notable winners on July 4th included Ed Blanford of McDonough and his 1968 Ford F100 as he took down the 1978 Ford F100 of James Ragsdale of Hampton in the Starfire Automatic Gate Truck division. Kevin Mayo and his 2007 Cavalier remained perfect on the points seaosn in the QuikTrip Pro division with his fifth consecutive win as he defeated Hampton’s Mark Boerschig and his 1970 Chevrolet Nova in the final.

Below is the complete list of June 28th race winners:

Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division: David Smith (Jackson); 1990 Isuzu
South River Agency New Edge Division: Benley Bidot (McDonough); 2015 Chevrolet SS
QuikTrip Pro Division: Kevin Mayo (Griffin); 2007 Chevrolet Cavalier
Super Pro: Mike Chambers (Griffin); 1992 Pontiac Firebird
Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division: Ross Cole (Sharpsburg); 1972 Chevrolet Camaro
Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division: Nicolas Feliciano (Griffin); 2004 Mustang Cobra
Truck Advance: Taylor Wilder (Locust Grove); 1994 Dodge 1500
Ultimate Tailgating Street Performer Division: Tory Hornsby (Senoia); 1973 Datson 240z
Super Bike Division: Toney Freeman (Stockbridge); 2008 Suzuki Hayabasa
Sport Bike: Ricky Harrelson (Hampton); 2009 Kaw ZX-14
US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division: Keith Stamps (Tyrone); 2002 Honda CB900
Cruiser Division: Bobby Cole (Williamson); 2014 Harley Davidson Low Rider
Quad/Tri Division: Andre Martin (College Park); Banshee
Street Modified Division: Kelly Morgan (Jonesboro); 1968 Ford Mustang
Starfire Automatic Gates Truck Division: Ed Blanford (McDonough); 1968 F100
Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division: Lamar Chambers (Griffin); 1966 V61
AT&T Mobility Sport Compact Division: Amanda Brown (Senoia); 2012 Ford Mustang V6
Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division: Nick Nicholson (Senoia); 2014 Ford Mustang GT/CS

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: Coby Cromer (Jones County); 1965 El Camino 
Runner Up: Charlie Warford (Zebulon); 1966 Mustang

Generation X (1981 – 2008 cars)
Winner: Chuck Heath (Byron); 2008 Bullitt-Retro 68
Runner Up: Vince Corry (Lawrenceville); 1972 Datsun 240Z

Current (2009 – current cars)
Winner: Chris Gallagher; 1998 Trans Am
Runner Up: Sara Kammeyer (Warner Robins); 2015 Mustang GT Anniversary

Trucks
Winner: Isabella Hemmings (Jackson); 1995 Ford F150
Runner Up: Terry Sark (Conyers); 2019 Ram 1500

Open
Winner: Ken Moore (Griffin); 1936 Plymouth
Runner Up: Mason Harris (Fayetteville); 2019 Polaris RZR 1000XP Highlifter

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine takes Friday, July 5th off before getting back on track on Friday, July 12th. Grandstand gates open at 6:30 p.m., and nightly drag race eliminations start just after 9:00 p.m.

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