Spring Showers Halves Atlanta Dragway Season Opener

Walt Mesik scored the win in the 6.50 Index class in his 1974 Vega Saturday in the rain shortned season opener at Atlanta Dragway. Photo by Tim Glover

Racers came out of hibernation for the first weekend of spring and the first race of the 2012 Summit ET series at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia this past Saturday.

What started as a perfect day made for a great turnout, but the event was cut short with spring showers in the early evening. Of the nine competing categories, only four beat the weather, while the Full-Bodied category agreed to split the winnings among the remaining three racers.

Walt Mesik, of Madison, GA, took his ’74 Vega head-to-head with Lilburn, GA’s Stan Sinack in a ’69 Dart for the 6.50 Index finals, with both automatically dialed in for a 6.50 seconds run. Mesik’s .019 reaction time won the day, giving his 6.52 elapsed time at 101.30 mph a head start beyond Sinack’s .039 green light and 6.52 run at 104.91 mph. Michael Goodwin of Jefferson, GA and Travis Bryant of Bowman, GA finished early in the semi-finals.

Suwanee, Georgia's David Simmons came away with the win in the 7.00 Index finals. Photo by Tim Glover

David Simmons, hailing from Suwanee, GA, drove his Sonoma truck to the 7.00 Index finals against Gerry Williams of Snellville, GA in a ’73 Dodge. Both men were geared up to overtake the tree, but Williams hit the pedal too early for a -.013 red light, automatically throwing out his 6.99 seconds run at 96.49 mph. Simmons cut a .022 green light, and sailed to the finish line in 6.73 seconds at 101.43 mph for his victory lap.

“Everything went good,” Simmons said after the win. John Norris (’80 Malibu—Royston, GA) and Tanner Dutton (’67 Camaro—Gainesville, GA) ended their night in the semi-final round.

In the 8-12 Junior Dragster category, 11-year-old Colton Reville of Martinez, GA was thrilled to enter his first final in his third year of junior dragster racing, against Jessie Daniel, age 11, of Loganville, GA. Dialed in at 9.12 seconds, Reville began his slight head-start with an excellent .004 reaction time, preceding Daniel’s delayed .244 green light. Dialed in at 9.10, Daniel pursued Reville’s dragster with a 9.19 seconds run at 70.85 mph, but not before Reville sealed his first win with a 9.14 elapsed time at 71.97 mph. Trey Butler (age 10—Jackson, GA) placed third.

14-year-old Maddie Lee topped the field to score the 13-17 Junior Dragster victory. Photo by Tim Glover

Maddie Lee, age 14 of Campobello, SC, and 17-year-old Zach Hebert of Evans, GA turned the 13-17 Junior Dragster final into a heads-up competition, both expecting a 7.90 elapsed time. Lee launched first with a .058 reaction, followed closely by Hebert, who cut a .062 green light. Lee held her own to the win stripe, claiming first place with a 7.93 seconds run at 83.11 mph, beating out Hebert’s 7.95 elapsed time at 79.16 mph by just .02 seconds. Blayke Phillips (age15—Jonesboro, GA) and Cole Sheriff (age 16—Lula, GA) finished as semi-finalists.

Despite the race being called off for the Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman and Motorcycle categories, the Full-Bodied category had just three competitors left before the rain fell. Chad Brewer (’68 Camaro—Canton, GA), Danny Towe (’70 Mustang—Lawrenceville, GA), and Jesse Young (’01 Undercover—Danielsville, GA) agreed to resolve the night by splitting the winnings.

For more info on upcoming events at the Atlanta Dragway, visit them online at  atlantadragway.com.

Atlanta Dragway – Commerce, GA
Race Results – March 24, 2012

6.50 INDEX                             CAR                            HOMETOWN              ET       MPH    DIAL-IN

Win:     Walt Mesik                  ’74 Vega                      Madison, GA                6.52     101.30 (6.50)

R/U:     Stan Sinack                 ’69 Dart                       Lilburn, GA                  6.52     104.91 (6.50)

Semi:   Michael Goodwin         ’70 Dart                       Jefferson, GA

Semi:   Travis Bryant               ’68 Camaro                 Bowman, GA

7.00 INDEX                             CAR                            HOMETOWN              ET       MPH    DIAL-IN

Win:     David Simmons          ’00 Sonoma                 Suwanee, GA              6.73     101.43 (7.00)

R/U:     Gerry Williams           ’73 Dodge                    Snellville, GA   (foul)    6.99     96.49   (7.00)

Semi:   John Norris                  ’80 Malibu                    Royston, GA

Semi:   Tanner Dutton             ’67 Camaro                 Gainesville, GA

FULL-BODIED                        CAR                            HOMETOWN              ET       MPH    DIAL-IN

Semi:   Chad Brewer               ’68 Camaro                 Canton, GA                 n/a

Semi:   Danny Towe                ’70 Mustang                 Lawrenceville, GA       n/a

Semi:   Jesse Young               ’01 Undercover            Danielsville, GA           n/a

8-12 JR DRAGSTER              AGE                             HOMETOWN              ET       MPH    DIAL-IN

Win:     Colton Reville              11                                Martinez, GA               9.14     71.97   (9.12)

R/U:     Jessie Daniel              11                                Loganville, GA             9.19     70.85   (9.10)

Semi:   Trey Butler                  10                                Jackson, GA

13-17 JR DRAGSTER            AGE                             HOMETOWN              ET       MPH    DIAL-IN

Win:     Maddie Lee                  14                                Campobello, SC         7.93     83.11   (7.90)

R/U:     Zach Hebert                17                                Evans, GA                   7.95     79.16   (7.90)

Semi:   Blayke Phillips             15                                Jonesboro, GA

Semi:   Cole Sheriff                 16                                Lula, GA


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