It was a hot night and a fast show at the Night of Fire at the Atlanta Dragway Saturday night.
In the Super Pro final, Tommy Motes of Loganville faced Mark Hancock of Commerce. Hancock got the handicap tree with a 5.11 dial-in against Motes’s 4.96 dial. Hancock’s .034 reaction time wasn’t good enough for Motes’s .025 launch, however. Hancock lost the double breakout with a 5.09 elapsed time at 134.60, while Motes made the better run in 4.95 seconds at 138.16 mph for the win.
Canton’s Larry Chance and Jeff Voyles, of Hoschton, were locked in a Camaro battle in the Pro finals. Chance’s ’68 model was dialed in a 6.55, while Voyles made a 6.61 prediction for his ’69 edition. Both men left the line a little late, as Voyles’s .128 green light was outmatched by Chance’s .100 reaction. Chance crossed the win stripe first, with a 6.57 elapsed time at 104.61 mph. Voyles lagged behind with some car trouble, ending his run in 13.96 seconds at 42.65 mph.
Mike Puckett of Norcross and Nick Wagner of Jefferson geared up for the Sportsman final, with Puckett dialed in at 13.17, a little quicker than Wagner’s 13.26 dial-in. Wagner jumped too quickly at the start, cutting a -.015 red light. That handed Puckett the win, but the two competitors still ran it out. Wagner finished in 13.14 seconds at 101.35 mph, while Puckett rode his victory lap in 13.26 seconds at 103.64 mph.
In the Motorcycle final, Jay Rhyne, Athens, competed on an ’83 Kawasaki against Jimmy Heisler, Woodstock, on a ’00 Kawasaki. Rhyne had 9.45 dial-in, while Heisler was at 10.61. Heisler left on the handicap tree with a .090 green. Rhyne tore after with a .043 reaction, and flew by Heisler for the win in 9.49 seconds at 125.71 mph.
Loganville racers Matt Bates and Robby Brown met in the 6.50 Index final round. Bates’ performance set off the win light, with a 6.62 second run at 92.01 mph. Brown crossed the line soon after in 6.69 seconds at 101.61 mph.
Brannon Sheridan of Flowery Branch faced Canton’s Randall Roop in the 7.50 Index final. Roop reacted too early with a -.012 red light, while Sheridan gained the win light just before his .064 green light. Both charged forward for a double breakout, Roop finishing in 7.47 seconds at 86.23 mph, while Sheridan celebrated his 7.44-second run at 91.96 mph.
Homer’s Brett Bowman, piloting a 1981 Firebird, lined up against ’09 Pro champion the 1967 Camaro of Chad Brewer, Canton, in the Open Comp/Full Body class. Brewer had a 7.31 dial-in, and Bowman a 7.96. Bowman left the line with a .045 reaction time, Brewer keeping close at .050. The pair finished dead on the dial, with Bowman at 85.31 mph and Brewer at 94.01 mph, making Bowman’s reaction the determiner of his success. Keith Baker of Dothan, AL, faced off Stockbridge’s Christ Patrick in the Pro Mod finals. Patrick left the line with a .059 reaction, and Baker followed at .076. Baker caught up and took over, clinching the win in 4.06 seconds at 177.70 mph. Patrick finished in 4.12 seconds at 179.44 mph.
Shelby Nelson, 11, Ft. Payne, AL, and 11-year-old Austin Carden, McDonough, were dialed in closely for the 8-12 Junior Dragster finals. Nelson, predicting an 8.98 run, left the line first with an excellent .003 reaction time. Carden, dialed in at 8.90, clambered after Nelson with a .080 reaction. Nelson took the win in 9.01 seconds at 71.30 mph.
Jackie Lastinger, 17, Lilburn and Cole Sheriff, 14, Lula, raced into the 13-17 Junior Dragster finals. Sheriff had the tree handicap with his 7.93 dial-in, and left with a .086 green light. Lastinger, dialed in at 7.90, followed with a .017 reaction. Sheriff broke out at the top end with a 7.92-second run at 81.12 mph, and Lastinger claimed her win with a 7.97-second run at 80.94 mph.