HAMPTON, Ga. - On a night where fireworks were expected, the action Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pit lane drag strip did not disappoint on a special July 4 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 David Smith 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 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. “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 refocused on the drag strip for the final rounds of the night. In the New Edge Division, Walker and his 2016 Dodge Hellcat couldn’t not out duel Jon Stovan and his 2009 Nissan GTR in an early round before Stovan lost to Bentley Bidot, who picked up 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 included Ed Blanford and his 1968 Ford F100 as he took down the 1978 Ford F100 of James Ragsdale in the Starfire Automatic Gate Truck division. Kevin Mayo and his 2007 Cavalier remained perfect on the points season in the QuikTrip Pro division with his fifth consecutive win as he defeated Mark Boerschig and his 1970 Chevrolet Nova in the final.
Atlanta Motor Speedway’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags gets back on track on Friday, July 12. Visit AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com for more information.
Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, GA
Friday Night Drags – July 4, 2019
Domestic: David Smith – 1990 Isuzu
Division: Benley Bidot – 2015 Chevrolet SS
Pro: Kevin Mayo – 2007 Chevrolet Cavalier
Super Pro: Mike Chambers – 1992 Pontiac Firebird
Street Outlaw: Ross Cole – 1972 Chevrolet Camaro
Sportsman: Nicolas Feliciano – 2004 Mustang Cobra
Truck Advance: Taylor Wilder – 1994 Dodge 1500
Street Performer: Tory Hornsby – 1973 Datson 240z
Super Bike: Toney Freeman – 2008 Suzuki Hayabasa
Sport Bike: Ricky Harrelson – 2009 Kaw ZX-14
Motorcycle: Keith Stamps – 2002 Honda CB900
Cruiser: Bobby Cole – 2014 Harley Davidson Low Rider
Quad/Tri: Andre Martin – Banshee
Street Modified: Kelly Morgan – 1968 Ford Mustang
Truck: Ed Blanford – 1968 F100
Tuner: Lamar Chambers – 1966 V61
Sport Compact: Amanda Brown – 2012 Ford Mustang V6
Factory Street: Nick Nicholson – 2014 Ford Mustang GT/CS