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PREVIOUS CHAMPION REFLECTS ON 10 YEARS RACING IN FRIDAY NIGHT DRAGS
FORT WORTH, Texas (June 28, 2018) —
After waiting more than six months for his custom-made Chevrolet Camaro to arrive, Adam Gerety couldn’t wait to see what it could do. Less than a week after picking it up at the dealership, he broke in his new whip at the inaugural Drag-N-Brag in June of 2009 at Texas Motor Speedway.
A second-round dismissal, however, left the new car owner disappointed yet invigorated.
“I lost to a Mustang,” Gerety recalled. “I didn’t like how that felt.”
Nine years later Drag-N-Brag, known now as the Universal Technical Institute Friday Night Drags, is celebrating its 10th anniversary and Gerety’s 2010 Chevy Camaro SS/RS is the class of the Super Car Division.
“It’s a (one of a kind) from GM, and despite that I still felt it needed to be modified,” said Gerety, a 49-year-old resident of Trophy Club, Texas. “It’s a Lingenfelter setup with Honeywell Garrett turbos. ... It’s a color they don’t make anymore. It’s imperial blue metallic, so I try to keep it looking stock. I keep the paint stock and I keep the interior fairly stock. It is caged, has welded wheels - skinnies on the front and Mickey Thompson rubber all the way around. I’ve been able to get some fat tires underneath it with the 15-inch wheel package, so that helps with the traction.
“Inside, the car is still relatively stock. Stock interior seats, stock rear, full interior. The air conditioner still works. The heated seats still work. It has a Brink’s Racecraft ... six-point cage that I had installed this year,” he continued. “I have an OBD2 setup that allows me to remotely connect to the car and monitor all the telemetry data and modify the tune based on how the car is operating that evening or how the weather is performing - the different characteristics and things that need to be accounted for.
“It’s a pretty special car that’s been purposely built for Friday Night Drags.”
Since his second-round exit in June of 2009, Gerety and his Camaro haven’t missed a night of UTI Friday Night Drags. Over the last decade, Gerety has driven his turbo-charged, finely-tuned Camaro from a stock competitor to one of the cars to beat for six Fridays every summer.
And while he couldn’t give an exact number on how many races he’s won over the years on Texas Motor Speedway’s 1/8-mile dragstrip that is situated on pit lane, Gerety’s hard work in turning his stock Camaro into a championship contender culminated in 2015 with a Texas Harley Super Car Division title.
“That was pretty special, especially when you consider the competition out there,” Gerety said. “I’ve made a lot of friends through Friday Night Drags over the years and a lot of those guys race in the same division as me. I’ve won weekly trophies and a fair share of races over the years, but that really meant a lot to me. That’s something that I’ll never forget.”
Neither will a recent trip Gerety took with his father, David. Gerety spent a week turning his hot rod into a street car. The two spent June 9-15 traveling more than 3,700 miles as part of the Hot Road Power Tour, a seven-day, seven-city journey that featured more than 6,000 vehicles in the world’s largest traveling car show.
“My father’s birthday was earlier this year so I thought it would be fun to take my dad on the road,” Gerety said. “We met lots of cool people and saw lots of cool cars and it was just great times with my dad.”
Gerety and his father visited five states - Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina - as part of the tour. His prized Camaro spent two of the days at the Lingenfelter display booth. He also had the opportunity to run it down the four-way dragstrip at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C.
“It was on street tires and de-tuned, but still whole the experience was amazing,” said Gerety, who works in the financial services industry. “Most of the memories involve my dad. It was a great time.
Gerety choked back the tears when asked what it meant to spend so much quality time with his 75-year-old father.
“The world,” he said.
Gerety returned home from the trip with less than a week to prepare his Camaro for the season opener of UTI Friday Night Drags on June 22. The short turnaround didn’t give Gerety enough time to prep the car the way he wanted; yet he still nearly drove off with a Round 1 win, dropping a close final showdown with Stephen Kamp and his 2017 Chevrolet Corvette.
“We were out there and we gave it our best Friday night. We took second, but the car wasn’t quite ready,” Gerety said. “We noticed a couple things that needed to be changed, so we woke up Saturday morning and got the car ready. We’ll be ready for Week 2.”
The first week of Universal Technical Institute Friday Night Drags featured a record-breaking, opening-night car count of 366 vehicles. With this Friday being Fireworks Night presented by Snap-on Tools, Texas Motor Speedway is once again going to be the place to be in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
“I remember that first year, I would take the Camaro to be a part of the Show-N-Shine and then take it over to race in the drags. There might have been 50 cars that first year and now there’s 50-plus cars in our division alone,” Gerety said. “It’s great to see how much it’s grown over the years.
If anyone would know, it’s the man who hasn’t missed a race in 10 seasons.
“And the feeling is the same as it was in my first race,” he said. “The adrenaline rush is crazy. It’s hard to describe until you do it, but it’s five, six, seven, eight seconds of just extreme pleasure and an adrenaline rush as you’re either winning or losing. It’s a rush either way. The feeling at the end is dictated by the outcome, so it doesn’t feel so good to lose - but it’s still a fun time getting there.”