O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (July 14, 2016) - During the day, Watauga's Shawnee Haggard is a physical education teacher at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Eagle Mountain trying to burn off the energy of young children. By night, Haggard's energy is focused on her 1992 Chevrolet S10 that has proven to be one of the most dominant trucks competing in Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco this season.  

Haggard has won two of the first three events during Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco in the 4 Wheel Parts Black Smoke Warrior Division, putting her atop the standings. Fans don't have a difficult time spotting Haggard's ride that features a distinctive set of pink wheels and a sticker on the back that reads, "Warning you're about to get beat by a girl." (Click here for full interview.) 

The pink wheels and brash sticker are part of Haggard's personality, having fun and reminding other drivers in her division - a vast majority of them men - that she can race and more than likely win.

"When a female comes in there, man, the pouty pants come out of the woodwork," Haggard said. "I'm no joke. I'm not scared of these guys and I'm going to give it all I got every time I go."

Cars have fascinated Haggard, and her husband, Michael Haggard Jr., was with her when she decided to try the drag racing for herself.

"We'd always go out to Kennedale to the track and we'd be watching and I was like, 'I want to do that. I want people cheering for me,'" Haggard said. "I've always loved to go fast. It reminds me of Ricky Bobby (from the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby), 'I want to go fast!'"

With each win, her fan base continues to grow at Lighthouse Christian Academy. The trophies from her two wins proudly sit at the school's front desk for everyone to see. Haggard continues to get students excited about racing, inviting them out to see her compete at Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco and even bringing her prized cars for students to see at the school.

"They love it when I bring my husband's (Chevrolet) Malibu up because it has flames from headlight to taillight and they love that," Haggard said. "They call it the Hot Wheels car."

Haggard races across North Texas in other drag racing events, but her sole focus remains on winning the championship of Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco. For her, it's about the competition as well as the relationships she has developed over the course of competing in Friday Night Drags that continues to bring her back.

"We just go out, have fun with our friends and family and you get the people in the crowd cheering for you once you start becoming something," Haggard said.

While she will look to make it three wins on the season during Week 4 of Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco, drag racing will be just part of the excitement this week as more than 350 Jeeps representing the BaaBaaBlack Jeep social media group will be on display. The group also will take part in a special parade lap around Texas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile oval prior to the start of drag racing.

Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco, a six-week summer series, offers car enthusiasts the opportunity to race down Texas Motor Speedway's pit road, which is transformed into a 1/8-mile drag strip. Each week, competitors race for a trophy and points, which are tallied at the conclusion of the final weekend to ultimately crown the season champion.
Cars are divided into seven different divisions that consist of The Speedway Club Tuner Division, Reunion Tower Geo-Deck Street Bandit Division, Sportsman, American Steel Carports Supercar Division, Snap-On Tools All-Wheel Division, 4 Wheel Parts Black Smoke Warrior Division and Street Outlaw Division. 
Coupled with drag racing, cars and motorcycles both past and present are on display during the Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine competition that awards the best in four different categories (Best of Show, Best Classic-1972 or earlier, Best Current Custom-1973 to current, Best Motorcycle).
The gates open each week at 6 p.m. with inspection, practice and Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine beginning at 6:15 p.m. Drag racing competition gets underway at 9:15 p.m. 
The cost is $20 to participate in the drag racing or Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine competition each week. For spectators, general admission grandstand tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and available at the Gate 6 ticket booth or online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Parking is free in the PSL lot outside of Gate 6 and available for $20 in the infield (with admission included in pricing). Coolers are permitted in both the grandstands and infield. 
For more information and official rules of Friday Night Drags presented by Maaco, please visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com. 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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