This past weekend, one hour north of Atlanta, some of the world's fastest-accelerating machines took to two strips of asphalt to compete for the title of Southern National champion. Female National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) nitro racers dominated, as Leah Pritchett and Courtney Force won in their respective classes Sunday at the 38th Annual Southern Nationals Powered by Mello Yello.

Prior to the festivities of the week, Mello Yello NHRA champions took to the city of Atlanta for a little southern hospitality. A group of drivers including Pro Stock World Champion Bo Butner stopped by Coca-Cola headquarters for a rare opportunity to tour the Coca-Cola archives. Coca-Cola Archivist Justine Fletcher walked the group down memory lane and highlighted Coca-Cola’s strong involvement with the sport of drag racing. Drivers were treated to a rare glimpse of archival press kits, advertisements and materials that highlighted past champions of the sport.

Mello Yello, The Coca-Cola Company’s popular citrus-flavored soft drink brand, extended its relationship with the NHRA last year but Coca-Cola’s history with the sport began years earlier. The company first introduced its Full Throttle brand to the NHRA in 2005, as it became an official sponsor of the sport however Mello Yello’s racing roots run deep. Whether it’s the association with the hit movie Days of Thunder to drag legend Frank Oglesby, drivers had the chance to discuss Mello Yello’s racing pedigree.

In addition to the trip down memory lane highlighting Mello Yello's deep racing roots, which trace back to its 1979 launch when it was introduced as the “World’s Fastest Soft Drink”, Fletcher spoke to the NHRA team about Coca-Cola’s strong history in sports as well as the company’s humble beginnings.

On May 3, drivers visited the Jean R. Amos USO Center at Hartsfield International Raceway and had lunch with more than 100 servicemen and servicewomen. A group of drivers including Brittany Force, Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher enjoyed Chick-fil-A and thanked military members for their service.