O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


Euless' John Apple. Apple, the owner of Apple Automotive

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 29, 2017) - The apple doesn't fall far from the tree for Euless' John Apple. Apple, the owner of Apple Automotive that is celebrating its 32nd year of business, has turned his work into a labor of love that is showcased each week during Friday Night Drags at Texas Motor Speedway.

Apple has poured nearly six months of sweat equity into his 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova in hopes of getting it on the track for the start of this year's Friday Night Drags. After previously working on the cars for previous Friday Night Drags racers, including 2015 champion Brock Anders, he felt it was time for him to hit the track.

"I've always been in the hot rod business," Apple said. "Once you've got it in your blood, you've always kind of got it. It doesn't ever go away. It's like riding a bicycle. I certainly got interested in it after working with Brock."

Working on classic muscle cars made to drag race is something Apple does on a regular basis. He has seen the transformation of the muscle car throughout the years during his time under the hood at his repair shop.

"I'm probably working on the third generation of the hot roders out here right now," Apple said with a smile.

While he enjoys the thrill of street racing, he understands the dangers of illegal racing. While last week was just his first time racing on Texas Motor Speedway's 1/8-mile drag strip, he values the importance of safety the event brings to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

"If you were getting into muscle cars or drag cars, Friday Night Drags at Texas Motor Speedway would be an excellent place to race," Apple said. "Not only that but it keeps you or your child off the streets because it is not safe to run these cars up and down the streets. That's why I highly recommend taking it to Texas Motor Speedway. It's a fun sport and you can have a really good time. You can meet a lot of nice people and learn a lot about cars."

Friday Night Drags continues this week with a bang as the event will celebrate Independence Day by offering up the "Earliest Fireworks Show in the Metroplex." The fireworks spectacular presented by Snap-On Tools will light up the North Texas skies at approximately 10:30 p.m. CT.

Continuing in the patriotic theme, military and first responders will receive free admission by presenting a valid ID at the Gate 6 box office.

Levy Restaurants also will serve up some items with red, white and blue flare. The items on tap for fans include the Burnout Brisket Melt ($10), a chopped brisket sandwich with smoked cheddar cheese, fried onion straws and topped with Levy's signature barbecue sauce. For a refreshing treat there is the Patriotic Punch snow cone ($5-$9) that comes with blue raspberry, pina colada and strawberry. For dessert try the Stars & Stripes Funnel Cake ($5) that comes with strawberries, whipped cream and topped with red, white and blue sprinkles. 

Racers from across North Texas compete for weekly and season-long championships in seven different divisions. This year's divisions consist of Reunion Tower Geo Deck Bandit Division; Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division; Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Modified Division; Snap-On Tools All Wheel Drive Division; Texas Lottery Super Cars Division; 4 Wheel Parts Black Smoke Warrior Division; and Summit Racing Equipment Street Outlaw Division.

Racers accumulating the most points throughout the six weeks in each division will win a Snap-On roll cart. Each week, competitors accumulate points for a six-week total. Three points are awarded to the weekly winner, two to the runner-up and one to all other competitors. Racers with perfect attendance during the six weeks receive a two-point bonus.

Accompanying Friday Night Drags is the Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine, where car enthusiasts proudly display their prized vehicles. Each week awards are handed out to the best in one of four categories: Best of Show, Best Classic (1972 or earlier), Best Current Custom (1973 to current) and Best Motorcycle. Show-N-Shine participants also will take a parade lap around Texas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile track.

Gates open weekly at 6 p.m. with inspection, practice and Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine beginning at 6:15 p.m. Drag racing competition begins 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. General admission grandstand tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available for advance purchase at www.texasmotorspeedway.com or at the Gate 6 ticket booth. Parking is free in the PSL lot outside of Gate 6 and available for $20 in the infield (with admission included in the pricing). Coolers are permitted in both the grandstands and infield.

For more information and official rules regarding Friday Night Drags, please visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com.


6 pm - Gates 6 & Grandstands Open

6:15 - 7:30 pm - Practice

6:15 - 7:30 pm - Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine

7 pm - Hill Air Support Show-N-Shine Judging

7:30 - 9 pm - Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine/Parade Lap (Must Arrive By 7:20 pm to Participate)

8:15 pm - Drivers' Meeting

9 pm - Racing Registration & Tech Close

9:15 pm - Drag Racing

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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