O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


Friday Night Drags

FORT WORTH, Texas (July 20, 2017)

Not all cars are created equal, just ask the competitors in Texas Motor Speedway’s Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Modified Division of the popular Friday Night Drags summer series.

Chris Thompson of Richland Hills has the oldest car racing in Friday Night Drags of the more than 520 competing so far this season – a 1932 Ford Coupe – and it has proven to be the fastest. Thompson, whose car includes a signature flames paint scheme, currently leads the division’s point standings entering Week 5 after earning a victory in Week 3 of the six-week series.

While his car immediately captures the attention of spectators for its look and speed, it’s the memories the car holds that mean the most to him.


Thompson’s car, which has competed in Friday Night Drags the last four seasons, was a gift given to him by his late father. Giving the car new life and racing it on a weekly basis for thousands to see is something Thompson had in mind when he was given the car.

“It was a fun toy back then and it had never seen a lot of pavement in his life so in my life it’s going to see as much pavement as it can,” Thompson said. “He didn’t own it for very long. It sat most of its life. When I got it, it had 200 miles – in the seven years he owned it. He wrecked it one time and for years we put it back together. The last four years it has gotten 2800 miles – about 700 miles a year.”

The significance of the car has never stopped Thompson from bringing it out to the racetrack and reaching speeds well over 100 miles per hour. For him, that’s his only preference when he gets behind the wheel.

“It’s real tight inside here and it’s not very comfortable – it’s got air conditioning and power brakes – but if you sit in it for 30 minutes you want to get out,” Thompson said with a chuckle. “This is just a play toy and where we get to have fun.”

Thompson and the other competitors will continue their evening of fun this week with the fifth installment of Friday Night Drags. The six-week summer series is part of a season where each Friday competitors race for trophies and points, which are tallied at the conclusion of the final weekend to crown the season champions. Competitors do not have to sign up to compete in the entire six-week series, offering anyone on any given Friday night through July 28 the opportunity to show up and race.

This week fans attending Friday Night Drags will receive an added bonus, as Texas Motor Speedway will show Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out on Big Hoss – the world’s largest TV beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The movie, starring the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith, is free with admission into Friday Night Drags.

Fans also will not want to miss out on a special food item featured for the last two weeks of Friday Night Drags. Levy Restaurants will be serving up Street Corn Nachos, which features crispy white corn tortilla chips topped with seasoned ground beef, queso blanco, roasted corn and garnished with lime wedges, cilantro, queso fresco and tajin.

The gates open each week at 6 p.m. with inspection, practice and Hills Air Support Show-N-Shine vehicle display 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.

General admission grandstand tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under and are available at the Gate 6 box office or online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com. Parking is free in the PSL lot outside 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, 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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