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CHAMPIONS CROWNED IN RECORD-SETTING SEASON OF UNIVERSAL TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FRIDAY NIGHT DRAGS
FORT WORTH, Texas (July 29, 2019)
A championship was decided in the first round of action and seven of them were awarded at the end of the night, capping a record-breaking season of Universal Technical Institute Friday Night Drags at Texas Motor Speedway.
1,730 cars competed in the six-week “run what ya brung” drag racing event, a new record in the 11th season of Friday Night Drags. Out of those, only seven could be named champions and receive brand new air compressors from Snap-on Tools, and five had already locked up season titles before the first round of racing Friday.
The drama came in the first round of the US Army Super Car Division where points leader Bryan Pomeroy was matched up with runner-up Wes Coleman (Arlington, Tex.) to lead off the night. The only way Coleman could win the season championship was to win the night’s competition, but his 2013 Cadillac CTSV Wagon was no match for Pomeroy’s C7 Corvette ZR1. In fact, Pomeroy won Week 6 to put a bow on a 2019 championship with three wins and two runner-up showings.
In the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Modified Division, John Apple (Euless, Tex.) was required simply to compete in order to lock up back-to-back season championships, but he and his 1966 Chevy Nova had a victory lap in mind. Apple didn’t take the easy route either. He beat Week 5 finalist Marcus Wadley (Springtown, Tex.) and his 1970 Chevy Nova in the first round and Week 4 winner Chris Thompson (Richland Hills, Tex.) and his 1932 Ford Coupe in the second before eventually dispatching London Johnson’s 2009 Pontiac G8 to end his season the right way. Apple finished the year with four wins and a runner-up performance.
All five other divisions were decided before Week 6 kicked off, but that didn’t stop three of them from winning the weekly award to leave no doubt about their dominance.
In the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Division, Mike Phillips (North Richland Hills, Tex.) and his 2016 Chevy Camaro SS bounced back from an early exit in Week 5 to get a fourth win of the year and his season title.
In the Snap-on Tools All Wheel Drive Division, John Kuethe (Arlington, Tex.) and his 2009 Nissan GTR did the same, getting his fourth win and making it three straight weeks on top to end the season.
Gerard Cuellar (Corinth, Tex.) felt the agony of defeat in the Week Five final for the FastSigns Bandit Division, but he bounced back in Week 6 to win for the third time in 2019 with his 2002 BMW M3. He finished runner-up twice this year.
There were only two divisions whose season champion didn’t cap it off with a Week 6 win.
Tyler Cavett (Saginaw, Tex.) and his 1982 Ford Mustang saw their season win total remain at four in the Summit Racing Equipment Street Outlaws Division, falling in the final to Clayton Thompson (Fort Worth, Tex.) and his 1993 Mustang. Cavett took the overall title and Thompson got his first weekly award of 2019.
Finally, due to a conflict Joe Watson (Haltom City, Tex.) and his 1983 Chevy C-10 weren’t present to accept a second straight season championship in the Texas Born Performance Black Smoke Warrior Division. In his absence, Scott Sanders (Whitesboro, Tex.) and his 1999 GMC Sierra matched Watson with a third win of the year. Watson, though, clinched a 12-11 season title because he only missed one week while Sanders was absent twice. The pair combined for all six wins on the year and faced off in the finals twice with each winning once.
Earlier in the night, awards were given for the In-N-Out Show-N-Shine competition for the final time in 2019:
- Best in Show – Ryan Cooper
- Best Classic – Scott McBrayer
- Best Current – Devin Chang
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.