HAMPTON, Ga. - Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pit lane drag strip roared to life Friday night as drivers converged on Hampton, Georgia to open the 12th season the O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags.
Eighteen racing divisions went head-to-head in one of the largest organized street-style drag racing series in the nation, with single-elimination competition determining each winner. Vehicles ranging from souped-up muscle cars all the way down to factory cars and daily drivers participated in the first of two non-points night leading up to the June 1 regular points opener.
“It is good clean fun,” exclaimed Ed Blanford of McDonough, Georgia and that keeps him coming out to Friday Night Drags each year. “I’m from just down the road and have a lot of family and friends that come out each week.”
Blanford and his best buddy, James Ragsdale, have competed regularly over the years in the Starfire Automotive Gates Truck division and were finally able to pit their Fords against one another in the final.
“We’ve been waiting for the Ford on Ford – it’s always been a Chevy in the finals,” said Blanford as his 1968 Ford F-100 exploded off the line and outpaced Ragsdale’s 1978 Ford F100 for the final round win.
“I just hooked up really good and left pretty clean,” replied Blanford when asked about the key to his final round win.
In the Harding Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Domestic Division, Donnie Henderson and his 1980 Chevrolet Malibu outpaced the 1989 Ford Mustang of Raymond Puryer to earn a trip to victory lane.
David Waksman took home the hardware in the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman division with a final round victory over Chase Ponder. The first race of the year in the Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw division went to Ross Cole behind the wheel of a 1972 Chevrolet Camaro.
Friday Night Drags continues with week 2 action on the pit lane drag on Friday, May 18. For more information, visit AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.
Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, GA
Friday Night Drags – May 11, 2018
Week One Results
Truck: Ed Blanford – 1968 Ford F100
Pro: Kevin Mayo – 1969 Chevrolet II Nova
Street Outlaw: Cole Ross – 1972 Chevrolet Camaro
Sportsman: David Waksman – 1994 Chevrolet Camaro
New Edge: Steve Shaffer – 2018 Chevrolet Corvette
Street Performer: Brandon Sampler – 1995 Chevrolet S10
Domestic: Donnie Henderson – 1980 Chevrolet Malibu
Street Modified: Kelly Morgan – 1968 Ford Mustang
Factory Street: DeAndre McMullen – 2008 Pontiac G8
Diesel Truck: Taylor Wilder – 1994 Dodge Ram 1500
Tuner: Steven Mallet – 2004 Subaru WRX
Sport Compact: Courtney Perry – 1995 Honda Del Sol
Super Bike: Robin Malcolm – 2003 Busa
Sport Bike: Josh Jones – 2012 Kawasaki
Motorcycle: Dylan Nisoff – 2017 Suzuki 750
Cruiser/Dirt Motorcycle: Tyler Ford – 2016 Kawasaki
ATV: Gracie Haralson – Junior Dragster