COMMERCE, Ga. --
"Between the employees for all of our family companies and friends from the golf course and people we do business with it's usually about 100 people in the stands," Vandergriff said.
Having the extra support at the track is something that Vandergriff looks forward to, but with it comes responsibilities that he doesn't have at other events.
"You have all your friends and family there to cheer you on so the support is great,'" he stated. "On the other hand you have all your friends and family there so making sure everyone is taken care of and enjoying themselves can be somewhat overwhelming at times."
For the 2013 season Vandergriff expanded his Bob Vandergriff Racing Top Fuel team expanded to a two car operation. Clay Millican and his Parts Plus dragster joined the team and brings years of experience and knowledge to the group. Millican has seen success this season as he raced to a final round appearance at Gainesville. Vandergriff won the SpringNationals in Baytown, Texas last Sunday and will look to go back-to-back at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
The Top Fuel category has seen some incredible racing thus far this season with Tony Schumacher holding a slight lead over his Don Schumacher Racing teammates Antron Brown in second and Spencer Massey in third. Others to watch in the Top Fuel category include Doug Kalitta, Brandon Bernstein, Shawn Langdon, Morgan Lucas, Dave Grubnic and Khalid alBalooshi.
Courtney Force in her sophomore season has raced to two final round appearances this season and won the season-opening event in Pomona. Cruz Pedregon, Del Worsham, Robert Hight and defending event winner Ron Capps area all looking for another Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals victory.
The Pro Stock category is once again shaping up to be a tight battle with Allen Johnson holding down the points lead by only four markers over Mike Edwards. Jeg Coughlin, Vincent Nobile and Erica Enders-Stevens are also pre-race favorites in the 200 mph factory hot rod category.
The teams in several categories of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series also will be on hand to thrill the crowds during the weekend with intense side-by-side competition.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as every ticket is an exclusive pit pass, allowing them firsthand to see the highly skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds. While visiting the pits, interactive NHRA Nitro Alley and the NHRA Manufacturers Midway are two popular areas fans won't want to miss.
Fans also will want to take advantage of the popular Championship Sunday Track Walk, which is free to all Sunday ticket holders. This popular event gives fans the opportunity to walk down the legendary drag strip alongside some of the NHRA's biggest stars.
Fans wanting to attend the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals will have an exciting ticket offer they can take part in. For the second consecutive year NHRA is offering a special NHRA Fan Pack which includes two Tier 2 reserved adult tickets along with a preferred parking pass. This offers the easiest access into Atlanta Dragway via a separate gate entrance and allows fans to park in the nearest lot next to the main ticket office. Other Fan Pack benefits include: two hot dogs and Cokes, one NHRA Fan Guide and a waived service fee on each transaction. Limited quantities are available for each race day with Friday's NHRA Fan Pack priced at only $80; the Saturday or Sunday Pack is priced at just $112.
• SCHEDULE: Mello Yello Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 and continue on Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 5.
• TICKETS: Tickets are available online at www.NHRATIX.com or by contacting the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472).
• TELEVISION: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, May 4 and three hours of eliminations coverage at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 5.
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