SIX FIRST-TIME WINNERS HIGHLIGHT WEEK ONE OF 2019 UNIVERSAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FRIDAY NIGHT DRAGS
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 20, 2019)
With a near-record 308 cars in the field, Texas Motor Speedway capped week one of Universal Technical Institute Friday Night Drags with an impressive six-of-seven winners taking home plaques for the first time.
Former weekly winner John Kuethe (Arlington, Tex.) was the first car to register this year in the Snap-On All Wheel Drive Division, and he was the first one across the finish line in his 2009 Nissan GTR, topping Michael Anthony by nearly two car lengths.
As for everyone else, a lesson in how to get to Victory Lane was required because all six were new to winning at UTI Friday Night Drags, most of them taking out FND veterans to get there.
In the Summit Racing Equipment Outlaw Division, Chris Wolfe (Boyd, Tex.) saw his 1979 Ford Mustang go up in a burst of flames just off the start line, allowing Tyler Cavett (Saginaw, Tex.) to race home in his 1982 Ford Mustang.
The Texas Born Performance Warrior Division ended in a similar fashion. In what was billed as possibly the race of the night, Haltom City’s Joe Watson (2018 season champion) broke off the start line, and Scott Sanders (Sherman, Tex.) and his 1999 GMC Sierra was a winner for the first time. Sanders didn’t take the easy road to get there either. He took out former season champion Charles Carey in the first round.
Another defending season champion, Adam Gerety, fell short in the final in the Supercar Division. Matt Owen (Weatherford, Tex.) and his 2016 Chevrolet Corvette outpaced Gerety’s Chevrolet Camaro by three car lengths.
In one of the competition’s smaller divisions, the high-powered Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Modified Division, Hal Anderson (Keller, Tex.) was pumping his fist out the driver’s side window of his 1980 Ford Fairmont as he crossed the finish line about a car length ahead of Chris Thompson’s 1932 Ford Coupe. Thompson is a multi-year champion in the division.
The Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division offers the biggest challenge each week because it’s the largest division, and with 103 cars entered the 104th car ended up taking the title. Unique Rodriguez was actually classified in the lower power Bandit Division with his 2001 Lexus IS3000, but after making a pass it was decided he’d need to move up. Didn’t matter. Rodriguez shifted gears and ran away from multi-time winner Mike Franks for his first Friday Night Drags win.
Finally, in the FastSigns Bandit Division, Jason Magallon and his 2011 Infiniti G37 edged out Steven Box (Arlington, Tex.) and his 2018 Ford Mustang by about 1-1/2 car lengths.
Round Two of the six-week journey starts with gates and grandstands opening at 6 p.m. this Friday night. Competitors can practice from 6 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. while other car lovers bring their rides for the Show-N-Shine car show.
Competition kicks off at 9:15 p.m.
UTI Friday Night Drags competitors must be 18 or older to participate with the entry fee being $20 per week. All vehicles must pass pre-race inspection, and all drivers must wear an approved helmet. Helmets can be rented at Texas Motor Speedway for $10 per night.
Spectator tickets may be purchased at Gate 6 at $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Parking is free outside Gate 6 or $20 in the infield. Coolers are allowed in both the grandstands and the infield.
The Torchy’s Tacos located in the TMS infield will be open for each event from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.
The 2019 Universal Technical Institute Friday Night Drags schedule is:
- June 28
- July 5 – Fireworks Night, Military/First Responder Night presented by Snap-On
- July 12 – Tim Montana concert
- July 19 – TBD
- July 26 – Fan Appreciation Night
For more information, CLICK HERE.
About Texas Motor Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway, with a crowd capacity in excess of 190,000, is among the largest sports stadiums in the United States and features an array of amenities such as the world’s largest TV that make it one of the premier venues in the world of sports. The 1.5-mile superspeedway located in Fort Worth hosts all three NASCAR national series as well as the NTT IndyCar Series among its various races and specialty events throughout the year. Since opening in 1997, Texas Motor Speedway has generated an annual economic impact of approximately $300 million to the North Texas region. Texas Motor Speedway is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., a publicly traded company that is a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. For more information, please visit texasmotorspeedway.com.