Despite predictions of thunderstorm, the first day of summer and the second points race of the season met with sunshine at the Atlanta Dragway.
Each class was full, and many final rounds were decided by break outs and fouls in the face of some great runs and race vehicles that seemed to run better broken down.
Super Pro Winner Stacey Blanton, Jefferson, pulled a near perfect package in his ’05 Undercover Dragster, running dead on with a zero at 5.04. Clay Fancher of Loganville would have faced a tough run with or without his breaking out (5.336 on a 5.34), which gave Blanton the win light.
“I was very excited, I was shaking. “ Blanton exclaimed, reaching enthusiastically for his winner sticker. Blanton’s wife Debbie, five-year-old son Ryan and his one-year-old daughter Shannon were in attendance. It was the children’s first time seeing their father’s success in the fast lane.
Jim McKelvey of Snellville and Robby Brown of Winder placed in the semi-final rounds.
The Pro class winner was instantly determined when Canton’s Larry Chance cut a red-light, handing the win to Howard Warren of Douglasville.
“I just thought my car was broke the last two runs,” he said. Warren dialed his car up with an educated guess at 7.96, ultimately running a 7.90. His Maverick normally runs around 7.15.
“This is my first win in five years,” Howard said. “Hopefully this is the start of getting back on track.”
Chad Brewer, from Canton, placed third.
D.A. Streber, of Greenville, SC, took top honors in the Sportsman class, with a .0123 margin of victory against the “Bounty Hunter” J.D. Burford, also of Greenville, who defeated last weekend’s champion Mel Abney earlier in the competition. Burford broke out with a 12.97 run against his 13.00 dial-in. Streber ran dead on at 19.82 with a .006 light, securing his fifth Atlanta Dragway win.
Terry Turpin of Maysville finished in the semi-finals.
The Motorcycle class faced an interesting circumstance, when Jay “Bird” Rhyne from Athens met with Tim Sutton of Clermont in a repeat of the last race’s final. Sutton running a 9.34 on a 9.27 dial, against Rhyne’s 12.55 on a 12.53 dial, giving Rhyne the win, despite experiencing clutch trouble.
“My clutch was slipping like last time,” he said “I put a whole new clutch in it, and it was worse, it just kept on revving’ up.
“Tim was gunning for me. He broke his glasses during his bye-run into the finals.”
The 13-17 Junior Dragster category was dominated by 16-year old Chase Mullinax of Buford, who defeated 14-year old Kelsey Lynn of Marietta with the better light (.024 vs. .086) and better ET (7.91 vs. .7.93), as both raced on a 7.90 dial.
“I blew three motors before this,” Chase said. “Tim Stevens helped put the motor together, and Bill Gillen loaned the clutch. That’s why I cut good lights all day. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Chase thanked his mom and dad, also. 13-year old Dylan Hutchins, from Monroe, placed in the semi-finals.
Eleven-year old Becky Granneman of Kennesaw ran dead on at 9.92, overcoming her late light (.141) against 12-year old Chris Bowden of Homer, who ran 9.35 on his 9.28 dial-in to take the 8-12 Junior Dragster win. Granneman’s solid run at the top end guaranteed her first-time victory. She is the daughter of track veteran Mark Granneman, multi-time champion and race-winner.
Nine-year-old Charlie Smith of McDonough was the semi-finalist.