by Tim Glover – photos by Wanda Glover
By far the largest and loudest event of the year for Commerce, GA will be coming to Atlanta Dragway on May 4-6, 2012, featuring the giants of the sport, Top Fuel Dragsters, Top Fuel Funny Cars and Pro Stockers, along with eight other top racing classes.
In addition to the Top Fuel and Pro Stock thunder, tens of thousands of race fans will enjoy eight other classes featuring the top drivers in each class. Every ticket into the event is also a pit pass, where anyone can get up close to all the racers, and watch as they reconstruct their race cars between each round of racing or simply get an autograph from their favorite racer. John Force’s daughter, Courtney Force, will be making her Top Fuel Funny Car debut at Atlanta Dragway. Each member of the Force Funny Car racing team except Courtney has already earned at least one Funny car win in 2012.
Last week’s winners from Houston; Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are gunning for their second win in a row. However, the 2011 Southern Nationals winners, Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Summit racer Jason Line (Pro Stock) and L. E. Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are going to do their best to stop them.
On the local side, Bob Vandergriff Jr, who lives in nearby Cumming, GA, has already pre-entered his C&J Energy Top Fuel Dragster. Six-time NHRA Pro Stock Champion Warren Johnson from Sugar Hill, GA has already entered his 2010 Pontiac GXP along with his son Kurt, who is also campaigning a 2010 Pro Stock Pontiac.
Atlanta Dragway regular David Simmons out of Suwanee, GA has his ’98 Chevy S-10 entered in Super Stock. There are plenty of former Atlanta Dragway regulars pre-entered, including “Smoky Joe” Smith in Top Sportsman, Ronnie Wilkerson and Arnold Reed in Super Gas, Jerry Sosebee in Super Comp and several more.
- 500 E. Ridgeway Road
- Commerce, GA 30529
- Elevation: 1,100 feet
- Tickets: NHRATix.com; 800-884-NHRA (6472); 404-249-6400
- Radio Frequency: 96.7 FM
How to Get There: The track is about 65 miles north of Atlanta on Interstate 85 at U.S. Highway 441. From Atlanta, take I-85 north to Exit 149 (Highway 441). Travel north on Highway 441 to Steven Tanger Boulevard. Go left on Tanger Boulevard, then right on E. Ridgeway Road, and follow the signs to the track (approximately a half-mile on the right).