Hi guys. I was also thinking Birmingham would be a great spot to stop for Thursday night, that just leaves about 5.5 hours on Friday....plenty of time to find a car wash and get the cars cleaned up before checking into our rooms at the host hotel.
I found a hotel in Birmingham that is right on the highway, it's the Hampton Inn & Suites at 2021 Park Place. It's a 5.5 hour drive from that hotel to the host hotel in Valdosta. Here is the mapquest from the hotel in Birmingham to Valdosta: