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Friday Night Drags' points opener kicked off the season Friday night with 19 racers earning early points.

HAMPTON, Ga. (June 1, 2018) – Season 13 of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night drags won't be unlucky to 19 drivers when the points season concludes in late August. Friday night was the first opportunity at making the year lucky as the points season kicked into high gear at the pit lane drag strip at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"Luck, it's always just luck," said Kelly Morgan of Jonesboro following his final round win in the Street Modified division on Friday night when asked what helped him to victory lane.

Morgan and his 1968 Ford Mustang defeated the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette of Gay's Jackie Bruce in the Street Modified Final round.

The Jonesboro native has had lots of luck on the pit lane drag strip collecting the points championship in 2016 and again last year in the Street Modified Division. With the victory, Morgan takes an early lead in the point battle on his quest to repeat as division champion.

Keith Shockey of Peachtree City is hoping luck is on his side this season in the Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division.

"I think it was really Just catching good lights tonight," said Shockey after he maneuvered through five rounds before taking down newcomer Eric Price of McDonough and his 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT in the sixth and final round.

The 2016 Factory Street division champion is gunning for another season points title.

"It's time again," he said, "but everybody is getting faster every year but I think there's about six cars out here that are all gunning for it all."

In the final race of the night it was hard work - that stretched back to last season - for Kevin Mayo of Griffin that paid off with a victory and an early points lead in the QuikTrip Pro Division.

"We got this car last year," explained Mayo about his ride, a 2007 Cavalier, that found victory lane on opening night, "and have been working on it since last season while we were still racing the other one."

In his quest for another division championship, Mayo has more up his sleeve than just luck as he prepares to defend his season championship.

"We still got a little something else. We always still have a little something else."

Other notable winners from the season points opener include Ed Blanford of Hampton and his 1968 Ford F100 as he took down the 2017 GMC Sierra of Michael Vandermark of McDonough in the Starfire Automatic Gate Truck division. Robert Thomas of Griffin was victorious in the Cruiser Division on his 2004 Harley.

Below is a list of May 31th race winners:

Harding Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Domestic Division; David Smith (Jackson); 1990 Isuzu

South River Agency New Edge Division; Gabe Finger (Conyers); 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

QuikTrip Pro Division; Kevin Mayo (Griffin); 2007 Cavalier

Harbin’s Mechanical Services Street Outlaw Division; David Wells (McDonough); 1980 Chevy Monza

Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division; Tim Hall (McDonough); 1988 Ford Mustang

Truck Advance; Chevis Morgan (Stockbridge); 1985 Chevrolet C10

Street Performer Division; Tory Hornsby (Senoia); 1973 Datson 240z

Super Bike Division; Toney Freeman (Stockbridge); 2008 Suz Hayabasa

Sport Bike; Robin Malcolm (Lithonia); 2006 Suzuki 1000

US Marine Corps Motorcycle Division; Keith Stamps (Tyrone); 2002 Honda CB900

Cruiser Division; Robert Thomas (Griffin); 2004 Harley

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

Diesel Truck Division; Dakota Worley (Jackson); 2015 Ford F250

Metro by T-Mobile Tuner Division; Luis Romaz (Jonesboro); 1985 Mazda Rx7

Sport Compact Division; Chris Mauldin (Yatesville); 2009 Nissan Infiniti G37

Diamond Resorts Factory Street Division; Keith Shockey (Peachtree City); 2015 SRT 392 Challenger

Jr. Dragster; Gracie Haralson (Hampton); 2012 Mike Boss Jr. Dragster

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: Denise Norris (Stockbridge), 1968 Chevelle

Runner Up: Jeff Powell (Social Circle), 1968 RS Camaro

Generation X (1981 - 2008 cars)

Winner: Stephen Pippin (McDonough), 1993, Mustang Convertible

Runner Up: Chandler Hatchett (Griffin), 1997 SUT Cobra

Current (2009 - current cars)

Winner: Chris Gallagher (Fayetteville), 1998 Pontiac Trans Am

Runner Up: Michael McCormick (Tyrone), Ford Mustang

Trucks (1981 – Does it really need any more explaination?)

Winner: Brandon Criswell (Bowden), 2000 GMC Sierra

Runner Up: Jeremy Golden (LaGrange), 2018 Toyota Tundra

Open

Winner: Peyton Allen (McDonough), Chevrolet Colorado

Runner Up: Nathan Phanthough (McDonough), 2000 Lexus GS300

Atlanta Motor Speedway's O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine returns to the pit lane drag strip with a Jet Semi-Truck Demo next Friday, June 7th. 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.

Sports Editor

Graduated from South Carolina State University in 2015. Been with the Henry Herald and Clayton News in two capacities as a sports journalist and interim sports editor.

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