FORT Worth, Texas (June 14, 2013) – Texas high schools are used to competing with one another, but most of the time it’s on the football field, the basketball court, or the baseball diamond. On Friday evening, eight local high school administrators took to the track for a different kind of competition at Texas Motor Speedway. The administrators competed with one another in a drag racing tournament to kick off the fifth season of Friday Night Drags presented by SCION.
Northwest High School Principal Jason Childress, Denton High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Kevin Atkinson, Steele Accelerated High School Principal Robin Ellis, Carroll Senior High School Principal Shawn Duhon, Byron Nelson High School Principal Linda Parker, Ponder High School Principal Shawn Simmons, Central High School Assistant Principal Eric Persyn and Central High School Principal David Hinson put it all on the line when they dragged down Texas Motor Speedway’s pit road for their school’s bragging rights.
When all was said and done, it was Ponder High School Principal Shawn Simmons that won his third race in a row driving the 2014 SCION FR-S and tC models. Simmons defeated Denton High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Kevin Atkinson in the final round.
“It was a lot of fun,” Simmons said. “I’ve never had the opportunity to do something like this before in a set up like this where you don’t have to worry about safety issues or anything like that. A lot of fun and I really appreciate the invitation!”
Beginning in 2009, Friday Night Drags presented by SCION was developed to curtail illegal street racing in North Texas. After just four seasons, Texas Motor Speedway has seen over 1,000 different drivers participate in the safe racing environment. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20. An average of 135 people die in the United States annually in street racing-related accidents and 58% of these fatalities are people between ages 15 and 20.
For the participating high school administrators, bringing attention of Friday Night Drags presented by SCION to their students is a goal they all share.
“It’s great to give them an alternative to street racing,” runner-up Atkinson said. “A lot of times there are some drugs and alcohol involved there. You can come out here and have a drug-free and alcohol-free place where the kids can get together and it’s supervised and everything is done in an orderly manner. Your life is the most important thing. If you guys continue to provide this, it’s going to save lives and in the end, that’s what the most important thing is.”
Friday Night Drags presented by SCION runs over six Fridays in June and July (June 14, 21, 28 and July 12,19,26). Competitors will compete in six different divisions (Tuner, Street Bandit, Sportsman, Super Cars, Street Outlaw, Black Smoke Warrior) based on their car’s style and set-up. Champions will be crowned after the season finale on July 26.