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THE NEXT Winston Cup RACE
NEWS, STATS and INFO

THE RACE: MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500

Winston Cup Race #4 of 36 for the 2003 Winston Cup season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, March 9th, 2003 in Hampton, GA

  • TV: Fox - 1:00pm/et

  • Pre-Race Show: Fox - 12:30pm/et - with hosts Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • Race Re-Air: March 12th at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel, March 12th at 1:00am/et and 3:00pm/et on Speed Channel

  • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

  • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Matt Yocum, Steve Byrnes, Jeanne Zelasko

  • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

  • NASCAR on TV and Fox Sports

  • Purse/Race Awards: $4,130,954 (was $3,589,313 in 2002)

  • Entry List: Entry List for Atlanta from NASCAR.com

  • 2002 Race Winner: Tony Stewart, 148.443mph, started 9th

  • Race Record: Dale Earnhardt, Mar 1996, 161.298mph

  • Track/Race Length: 1.54 mile oval, 325 laps, 500.5 miles

  • Pit Road Speed: 45mph


    Practice

  • Practice: Friday, Mar 7th, 11:20 -1:20pm/et; and Saturday, Mar 8th, 9:30 - 10:15am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 8th, 11:10 - 11:55am/et on TV-FX live


    Qualifying

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, Mar 7th, 10:20am/et

  • Qualfying Order: MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 qualifying order - ThatsRacin.com and/or MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 qualifying order - NASCAR.com

  • First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-36, Friday, Mar 7th at 3:05pm/et, TV-FX at 8:00pm/et [tape delay] and live via PRN radio/internet (link below) and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required)

  • Qualifying Results: on my Atlanta Qualifying Page

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web (NOTE: this is a paid subscription service).

  • Second-Round Qualifying: there is no longer a 2nd round of qualifying (since the 2001 season)

  • Track Qualifying Record: Geoffrey Bodine, Nov 1997, 197.478mph

  • Race Qualifying Record: Bobby Labonte, 194.957mph, March 1999

  • March 2002 Pole Sitter: Bill Elliott, 191.542mph, finished 35th


  • Track Specs: Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    Degree of Banking: Turns: 24 degrees
    Straightaways: Banking: 5 degrees; Straights: Frontstretch - 1471 feet; Backstretch - 1380 feet.
    Grandstand Seating: 124,000

  • Track Homepage: Atlanta Motor Speedway site


    Race Winners at Atlanta

    Past Winners: Atlanta Motor Speedway - NASCAR.com


    GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

    NO LONGERS BEING SENT OUT - no idea why not


    RACE BONUS INFO

  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $40,000 at Atlanta for leading the points and winning the race (Sterling Marlin last won the award, $20,000 at Darlington on March 17, 2002). The $360,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if the driver is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finishers in the drivers point standings(3-3-2003)


WEATHER, TV/RADIO COVERAGE
LOCAL NEWS, TRACK/FAN INFO

Radio Coverage:
Performance Racing Network(PRN) and


Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations
Gofastmotorsports.com


Scanner Frequencies:
are linked on my Scanner Freq/Equipment Links Page



Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Hampton/Atlanta GA Area:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Augusta Chronicle
Ledger-Enquirer
Macon Telegraph
Savannah Morning News


WEATHER FORECASTS:
The Weather Channel
Accuweather
Accuweather - Local Radar
Intellicast - NASCAR weather
National Weather Service
Weather Underground


TRACK/TRAVEL/CAMPING INFO FOR THE FANS:
atlanta.net
ARS Racing Outlet - Atlanta Review
Atlanta Connections


DRIVER APPEARANCES:
any I know of are listed on my Driver Appearances/Chats page with info and links


TV Coverage/Info/News Pages:
Perfect Paranoia
Race Fan TV

IN-CAR AUDIO SITES


QUALIFYING, PRACTICE and RESULTS
news and links

  • Bobby Labonte wins race at Atlanta: #18-Bobby Labonte won the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 6th career win at the track and 20th career win. #24-Jeff Gordon ended up 2nd, followed by #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, #17-Matt Kenseth (new points leader) and #20-Tony Stewart. It was Labonte's first win since Martinsville last April, 31 races ago and it extends Labonte's streak of winning a race every year to 9 years. The unofficial top ten finishers:

    #18-Bobby Labonte (172 laps led - led halfway and the most laps)
    #24-Jeff Gordon (66 laps led)
    #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr (23 laps led)
    #17-Matt Kenseth
    #20-Tony Stewart (17 laps led)

    #38-Elliott Sadler (1 lap led)
    #7-Jimmy Spencer (1 lap led)
    #77-Dave Blaney (1 lap led)
    #25-Joe Nemechek (19 laps led)
    #12-Ryan Newman (21 laps led) - 1 lap

    Laps Leaders (10): #12-Newman (21 laps led); #18-Labonte (led the most laps - 172); #25-Nemechek (19); #20-Stewart (17); #24-Gordon (68); #38-Sadler (1); #77-Blaney (1); #8-Earnhardt Jr (23); #48-Johnson (2); #7-Spencer(1)
    Cars on the lead lap: 9 (of 43 starters)
    Off track/out of race: Foyt (out-engine); #6-Martin (out-engine); #97-Busch (out-engine); #11-Bodine (off-accident); #9-Elliott (out-engine); #49-Schrader (out-engine); #42-McMurray (out-engine); #0-Sprague (out-overheating); #21-Rudd (out-engine); #99-Burton(out-engine); #48-Johnson(out-engine); #01-Nadeau (out-accident);

    Cautions 7 for 34 laps
    Caution 7: lap 309-313: #99-Burton lost and engine, #43-Andretti hit the wall, #48-Johnson lost an engine.
    Caution 6: lap 303-306: #21-Rudd lost an engine.
    Caution 5: lap 208-213: #42-McMurray blew a right rear tire down, causing a lot of smoke, it was thought he lost an engine.
    Caution 4: lap 185-188: #49-Schrader blew and engine.
    Caution 3: lap 174-178: #2-Wallace slapped the wall.
    Caution 2: lap 145-153: #97-Busch blew an engine, with a many cars trying to get back on the lead lap, crashed including #11-Bodine and #23-Wallace, Wallace drove off, #11-Bodine backed into the wall.
    Caution 1: lap 136-140: #6-Martin blew an engine;

    NOTES: During the Caution 6 pitstops, #1-Park came out and collided with #43-Andretti and #01-Nadeau. Laps 268 range the lead laps cars made pit stops. As of lap 250, #12-Newman as no power steering. On lap 195, #25-Nemechek had to pit for a missing lug nut, he was 3rd at the time, he stayed on the lead lap. On caution 4, all the lead lap cars came in, except #8-Earnhardt Jr. All the lead lap cars (12 of them) pitted on Caution 3, lap 174. Around lap 168, #9-Elliott took his car to the garage with a blown engine. On lap 143, #45-Petty came back on the track after changing a sway bar and fuel pump. Around laps 118-123, the 2nd lead lap green flag pit stops were done. On lap 90, #7-Spencer pitted early due to a vibration in the front, they changed tires and fell a lap down. During #99-Burton's pitstop, he left before the rear tire was changed, he stopped and backed up and the crew finished but he lost a lap. #25-Nemechek had a 22 sec pitstop and he fell back to 10th. Teams are pitting laps 50-60 range. #12-Newman's water temp is up to 240 degree's and a possible flat tire on lap 48 and has pitted, he had plastic on his grill, is ok now. #97-Busch is showing smoke as of lap 35, possible tire rub. #8-Earnhardt Jr came onto pitraod before the start of the race, the radio was not working, they fixed it and he went back out and took the green flag.(3-9-2003)

    Re-Air: the race will be re-aired on Speed Channel, Wed, Mar 12th, 8:00pm/et (enhanced) and Thurs, Mar 13th, 1:00am/et and at 3:00pm/et.
    Result Links at:
    ThatsRacin.com, NASCAR.com or Motorsports One.(3-9-2003)

  • Rumblings - Atlanta: the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 was the 37th win for Joe Gibbs, and the 20th career victory for Labonte (he's now tied for 28th on the all-time win list with Speedy Thompson). This victory also means the 18 team grabs the final wild-card spot on this year's Winners Circle contingeny plan. Jeff Gordon (2nd) had his best finish since he won at Kansas Speedway last September. Elliott Sadler (6th) had his best finish since he was 6th at Infineon Raceway last June. Jimmy Spencer (7th....with Mongo leading the way) had his best finish since he was 4th at Daytona last July. Greg Biffle (13th) tied his career-best finish today. He was 13th at Fontana last April. STREAKIN....An empty category this week.
    This Week's Elevator....UP: Operator of the Week is Dale Earnhardt Jr (+30), followed by Jeff Gordon (+26), Matt Kenseth (+20), and Sterling Marlin (+20). DOWN: The Big Dropper was Bill Elliott (-37), followed by Kurt Busch (-31), Jimmie Johnson (-21), and Michael Waltrip (-21). Jimmy Spencer led a lap today for the first time since Richmond last May. We've got our third different points leader in four events after today. Matt Kenseth takes the point with Michael Waltrip falling to third. The big move forward belongs to Jimmy Spencer (35th to 23rd), while Mark Martin's second blown engine in a row drops him the most spots (11th to 25th).(StockCarFans.Com)(3-10-2003)

  • Newman fastest in Sat practice: The AM Saturday practice for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 was delayed by fog and teams ended up practicing in one session [from 10:15am to 12:00noon/et]. The fastest was #12-Ryan Newman at 187.487 [in 37 laps], followed #20-Tony Stewart at 186.893 [59 laps] and #2-Rusty Wallace at 186.723 [55 laps]. Slowest were #14-Larry Foyt at 178.000 and #49-Ken Schrader at 180.686. For speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(3-8-2003)

  • Atlanta Ramblings: The man is just a pole machine! Ryan Newman got the 8th Bud Pole of his Cup career (Sunday will be only his 47th start in our top division) today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His speed of 191.417mph was good enough to nip Awesome Bill Elliott by less than 3/100th's of a second for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (isn't there room in that title for at least one more sponsor?).
    For Bill Elliott, this will be his best starting spot since he had the pole at Pocono last July. Elliott Sadler (3rd) has his best starting position since he lined up on the outside pole at Lowe's Motor Speedway last May. Jeremy Mayfield (10th) has his best starting spot since he started 9th at Loudon last September. Steve Park (15th) has his best starting spot since he lined up 10th at Dover last September. Brett Bodine (25th)...remember him?...has his best grid position since he started 18th at Michigan last August. This will be his first start since we were at Rockingham last November.
    STREAKIN.....Tony Stewart has 4 Top-10 starts in the last 5 races.
    Two cars hit the trouble train today. Bobby Hamilton Jr and Jeff Fultz (both attempting their first race of the season) hit 19/41 North this afternoon as they were the only DNQ's. The Provisionals were grabbed by: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Petty, Terry Labonte (all of those were non-charged), Kenny Wallace, Larry Foyt, Ken Schrader, and Jack Sprague (this was his 2nd charged provisional already this season).
    Next week we start using the current year's owner points, so the new teams can now start breathing a little easier. Just another reason that the first month is tough on the start-up guys.
    Never a tough day qualifying for Mr. Lead Lap tho....he always starts 44th. For you new readers, Mr. Lead Lap is where your driver would finish if he could just stay out of the other guys' wrecks. He always finishes as the last car on the lead lap. He runs all the laps (he'll win that contingency every time), but he'll never win a race. A decent start for our hero this season. After three events he's 14th in the points (moving up 6 spots last week), with an average finish of 19.3. Last season, he was 16th at this point. Ol' LL is coming off the worst season in his career (we invented him 10 years ago)....he was 16th in the final rundown last year and looking for a bounceback season in '03.(Stockcarfans)(3-8-2003)

  • Newman wins pole at Atlanta: #12-Ryan Newman won the Bud Pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 191.417mph. #9-Bill Elliott is on the outside pole with a speed of 191.232. #38-Elliott Sadler was third in the Pedigree Ford at 190.883. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr got loose on his first lap and almost lost it and was not able to re-gain the speed and ended up in provisional land. #14-Larry Foyt, shut off his car before he even took a lap and took it back to the garage. #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr and #57-Jeff Fultz failed to qulaify for the race. See Qualifying speeds, who used provisionals and who missed the race on my Atlanta Qualifying/Grid Page, with qualifying order, practice speed and rank and provisional rank for each team.

  • Pre-Race UPDATE: The Georgia Automobile Racing Hall Of Fame (GARHOF) will be part of the prerace show. They will have 20 to 25 vintage race cars to make a lap. These cars are froms early 30's to 1965. GARHOF is preserving racing history.(3-7-2003)
    UPDATE: Members of the Georgia Automobile Racing Hall of Fame Association will take part in pre-race activities Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Drivers will display 26 vintage stock cars on the front stretch on the morning of the race and then later parade them around the speedway prior to the start of the race. They include, from the Warner Robins area: Tom Lanier in a 1937 Ford, Don Tomberlin, 1959 Plymouth, Bob Everly, 1955 Chevy, Harry Dennard, 1956 Chevy, Butch Seymore, 1962 Ford Falcon and Bob Moore, 1936 Chevy. Al Smith, who lives in Jeffersonville but works in Warner Robins, will be there driving a 1934 Ford. Ron Dykes will be there for Kathleen in a 1955 Chevy while Donnie Brown in a 1974 Vega and Sam Odom sporting a 1932 Ford represent Macon's entrants. The rest of the field comes from North Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee said Moore who is also president of the association.(Macon Telegraph)(3-8-2003)

  • Friday Practice at Atlanta is over. #12-Ryan Newman was the fastest with a speed of 191.867mph, followed by #17-Matt Kenseth at 191.417 and #38-Elliott Sadler at 191.370. Slowest were #14-Larry Foyt at 181.248 and #57-Jeff Fultz at 183.862.
    For Speeds see ThatsRacin.com.(3-7-2003)

  • Surprise! Rain at Atlanta but....: The early morning rain that fell at Atlanta Motor Speedway appears to be on its way out of the area, but it has juggled the Friday schedule for activities. Winston cup cars are on the track, getting ready for Friday afternoon's qualifying after early morning rain at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The rain appears to be on its way out of the area and the track is dry now, but the weather again has juggled the schedule for Friday's activities at the 1.54-mile track. Cup cars got rolling a little late Friday morning for their two-hour practice. Officials hope to work in a 45-minute ARCA series practice before Cup qualifying for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 Friday afternoon.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-7-2003)

  • Qualifying Order is up for Atlanta. See links above. 45 drivers/team listed. First driver scheduled out is #32-Ricky Craven. 45th and last driver scheduled to go out is #35-Bobby Hamilton.(3-7-2003)

  • Cup Qualifying at Atlanta: Qualifying for the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled to start at 3:05pm/et on Friday, March 7th, will be televised via TAPE on FX [check local listings] at 8:00pm/et [no re-air date/time found].
    Qualifying can be heard LIVE on radio via PRN Radio and XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio - Channel 144, and via the Internet at NASCAR.com's paid service, Trackpass.
    Jayski is back to normal and Eastern Time and will run my separate Qualifying page with all the speeds updated every five drivers or so, with practice speeds to compare, provisional rank; as I watch/listen to qualifying.(3-7-2003)

  • Trackside from Atlanta: will air Friday, March 7th at 10:30pm/et [but the programming schedule says 7:00pm/et which is my guess] on Speed Channel [re-air's at 3/8 12:30am/et and 11:00am/et]. This week Trackside comes to you directly from Atlanta Motor Speedway, the site of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Trackside at Atlanta will be coming to you LIVE from the "Speedway Childrens Charities Spring Reception", an exclusive event not open to the public but full of drivers, owners and team managers. Everybody will be there, so tune in and see who stops by to chat with the gang.(3-7-2003)

  • Entry List is up for Atlanta, see above for the link. 45 drivers/teams listed, the 42 full time teams, plus #11-Brett Bodine, #57-Jeff Fultz and #35-Bobby Hamilton Jr.(3-4-2003)

  • How to break a tie during qualifying?(same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski's Provisional Status page

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online and That's Racin'


TRACK/RACE NEWS

  • Grand Marshal named for Atlanta: If you ask famous fishermen Johnny Morris and Bill Dance and conservation leader Rob Keck just how big this Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is, they'll probably grin, spread their arms wide open and reply, "This big." That's because these three legendary outdoorsmen will be seeing the festivities up close, serving as Grand Marshals and giving the famous command to start engines. Morris is the founder of Bass Pro Shops. But fishing isn't just his job - it's his life and his passion. A five-time qualifier for the Bass Masters Classic, Morris is also a member of the Fishing Hall of Fame and a deeply committed conservation leader. Dance is a member of the International Fishing Hall of Fame and a 23-time National Bass Champion. He is a three-time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year, eight-time Bass Masters Classic qualifier and host of a national TV outdoors show. He has written seven books about fishing, and his largest catch was a 13-lb., 2 oz. Largemouth Bass. Rob Keck is Chief Executive of the 450,000-member National Wild Turkey Federation. He is also the host of the NWTF's two award-winning television programs, "Turkey Call", which airs on TNN (The National Network), and "Turkey Country", which airs on the Outdoor Channel. Keck is a dedicated hunter, fisherman and trapper. Another fishing legend and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame member, Charlie Campbell, will serve as honorary starter for Sunday's race, waving the green flag as 43 cars rumble down the front stretch to begin the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Campbell, also a five-time B.A.S.S. Masters Classic qualifier, has been an integral part of Bass Pro Shops since 1977. He helped design the original Bass Tracker boat, developed the Charlie Campbell Spinner Bait and helped bring back to popularity the Zara Spook topwater bait. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 for more information on Tickets.(AMS PR)(3-7-2003)

  • Davis to sing National Anthem at Atlanta: Linda Davis will be performing the national anthem for the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Davis, a self-proclaimed country girl from east Texas, moved to Nashville in 1982 to pursue a life in show business. She landed her first record deal with Capitol Records. Shortly after she received a call from a huge fan, who turned out to be none other than superstar Reba McEntire. McEntire loved Davis' music so much that she invited her to become a featured entertainer on tour with her. Their mutual respect led them into the studio together, where they recorded a duet entitled "Does He Love You," which went on to become a No.1 hit and earn the duo a Grammy award for best country vocal collaboration. Davis currently resides in Nashville with husband Lang Scott and daughters Hillary (16) and Rylee (2). For more information about the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(AMS PR)(3-6-2003)

  • A Rodeo at Atlanta: Racin' and ropin' will collide this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, as the United States Cowboy Tour Championship Rodeo returns for another exciting night of bareback riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, cowgirl's barrel racing, team roping and bull riding. Fox racing analyst Jeff Hammond will be the featured competitor in the team roping event, as more than 200 of the nation's best cowboys and cowgirls will be competing for over $40,000. The rodeo, presented by Bellamy Strickland Chevrolet/GMC rides into town Friday and Saturday, landing on Speedway Blvd. at AMS, with shows starting each night at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 4-12. There is a $4 discount for families of four or more.(AMS PR)(3-7-2003)

  • A BIG car slide: Platinum Racing will debut the world's largest race car March 7-9 during the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend. The three-and-a-half story inflatable slide, which is a scale replica of a NASCAR Winston Cup car, took six moths to engineer but only one day to construct. The slide inflates in a mere 3-5 minutes using multiple blowers. Atlanta race fans of all ages will have the opportunity to be among the first to enjoy the thrill of zipping down the world's largest racecar. The slide will be open Thursday, March 6 - Sunday, March 9 from 7a.m. to 1 a.m. and the cost of admission is $5. It will be located in the display lot (in front of the Earnhardt and Champions Grandstands).(AMS PR)(3-7-2003)

  • Wind Tunnel after Atlanta? If Chevy is dominant this weekend at Atlanta, a track at which it generally is strong, don't be surprised if NASCAR hauls the top cars into the wind tunnel the day after the race. In fact, the Ford and Dodge teams will demand it.(Sporting News)(3-4-2003)

  • Atlanta Rally: Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and Senator Mike Crotts will host an Atlanta racing rally on Thursday, March 6, at the Georgia State Capitol, and fans are invited and encouraged to attend and show their support for the sport. Gov. Perdue will host a news conference at noon on Thursday, March 6, 2003, on the north side of the State Capitol building downtown. Fans interested in attending should be at the Capitol by 11:45 a.m. Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Bruton Smith, Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark and other racing dignitaries are all expected to attend the news conference. Earlier the same day, Smith and Clark will also be introduced in the Senate chambers and presented with a proclamation from the State Senate, promising support for keeping two races in Atlanta. Atlanta Motor Speedway's two NASCAR Winston Cup race weekends contribute $455 million annually to the Atlanta economy - more than the combined total of the Atlanta Hawks, Braves, Falcons and Thrashers. Atlanta's races also attract fans from all 50 states and as many as a dozen foreign nations, while another 10 million fans tune in worldwide.(AMS PR)(2-28-2003)

  • Racing Weather 101: About 20 members of the American Meteorological Society are expected to breeze into Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday for a few quick lessons, such as the effects of barometric pressure on tire pressure. Racing's crew chiefs and drivers have long known the correlation between weather and speed, but these local meteorology enthusiasts are still learning the ropes. They will learn more this week as ARCA driver Doug Stevens and his team owner Mark Wallace describe the effects of weather on racing conditions. Stevens has competed in two ARCA events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing 11th and 10th. Stevens is also a graduate of Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder Legends Racing Series, where he won the Pro series championship three straight years. Wallace, who lives in Griffin, is the co-owner of Stevens' ARCA ride and also co-owner of the #77 Winston Cup car driven by Dave Blaney. Wallace also competes in the Thursday Thunder summer racing series, in the Masters (over 40) division.(AMS PR)(2-28-2003)

  • Fans can attend AMS test session UPDATE Waltrip cancels...but: Atlanta race fans will have a chance to congratulate Michael Waltrip on his second Daytona 500 win next week during a test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which will be free and open to the public. Fans are encouraged to attend the test session Wednesday, Feb. 26, armed with signs and banners for Waltrip to see as he tests his #15 NAPA Chevy in preparation for the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway. It will be the first and only time this season that Atlanta Motor Speedway will open up the grandstands and invite fans to come watch testing. Other drivers expected to attend the test are #31-Robby Gordon, #38-Elliott Sadler and rookies #42-Jamie McMurray and #0-Jack Sprague. Fans who attend the test will be directed to enter the speedway through Gate 1, which is located directly behind the gift store (near turn four on the outside of the speedway). Test sessions will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm, with an hour break from lunch around noon. There is no charge for admission to these test sessions. Fans are reminded that while they're here for the test session, they can still pick up tickets to the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Seats start at just $25 for Sunday only or $59 for a three-day weekend package and are available by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.(AMS PR)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip has canceled his test, scheduled for this week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but Atlanta race fans are still welcome to attend the Wednesday, Feb. 26 free open test session and cheer for the drivers on hand as they prepare for the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.(2-24-2003)

  • Golf Carts, ATVs Not Allowed for at Atlanta: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials have instituted a new policy stating that no fans will be allowed to bring golf carts or ATVs onto the Atlanta Motor Speedway property for the March 7-9 Bass Pro Shops 500 weekend. The only exclusions to this new policy are for handicapped patrons using a single-passenger purpose-built motorized. This policy was enacted because of the danger the golf carts and ATVs pose to both the drivers and other patrons, and it will be strictly enforced. As in the past, fans will be allowed to carry coolers or personal bags on property, and should expect to have their bags searched upon entry. No glass is permitted on speedway grounds. Fans with further questions should visit the Atlanta Motor Speedway site and click on FAQ.(2-22-2003)

  • MBNA America and Bass Pro Shops to sponsor March Cup race at AMS: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced that MBNA America, the world's largest independent credit card lender, and Bass Pro Shops, the nation's leading outdoor retailer, will be the title sponsors of the track's first NASCAR Winston Cup race of the season on Sunday, March 9, 2003. The race, the fourth stop on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, will be known as the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500. MBNA also sponsored the spring Winston Cup race last season. Bass Pro Shops is beginning its foray into race sponsorship with this partnership. Headquartered in Springfield, Mo., Bass Pro Shops currently operates stores in 14 cities nationwide, including Atlanta. For more information about the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 weekend, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com. Great seats are available by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or by visiting Ticketmaster or see my Tickets/Tour Links page.(AMS PR)(2-4-2003)

  • AMS Honor: Atlanta Motor Speedway's 2003 Atlanta 500 weekend has once again been named to the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. The spring and fall race weekends at Atlanta have consistently received the honor over the past decade. The Atlanta 500, which will be held March 9, is the state's second highest attended single-day sporting event - second only to Atlanta Motor Speedway's fall NASCAR Winston Cup race. The Top 20 events are voted on by a committee of Southeast Tourism Society members from each of its ten member states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia). Events are judged on their economic impact to the community, community involvement, attendance, and unique aspects.(AMS PR)(12-20-2002)

  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Jayski's Past Track News/Rumors - Atlanta Motor Speedway


DRIVER/TEAM NEWS

  • Hamilton Jr to run Atlanta UPDATE 2: Bobby Hamilton Jr tested a Winston Cup that Team Rensi (his BGN team) plans to run at Atlanta in March.(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(2-19-2003)
    UPDATE: It's been almost two years since Bobby Hamilton Jr. ran a Winston Cup race, but he believes there is no better place to make his initial 2003 Winston Cup start than Atlanta Motor Speedway. In order to prepare for his return to Winston Cup, Hamilton Jr. tested Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, posting a top speed of 185.853 mph before packing up just before lunch on Wednesday. Although he is the full-time driver of the #25 Team Marines Ford for 2003 in the BGN, Hamilton Jr. has the opportunity to run a limited Winston Cup schedule this year. So when it came time to choose the tracks where he would run, Atlanta was an easy choice.(AMS PR)(2-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Team Rensi Motorsports will make their NASCAR Winston Cup debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 with driver, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., who pilots the teamís #25 Marines Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series. Hamilton, Jr. will compete in the #35 Ford, which will have a very familiar look. Both of Team Rensiís current advertising partners will be featured on the car. The United States Marine Corps as the primary advertising partner and the Timberland Company (on behalf of its Timberland PRO series) as associate advertising partner. Hamilton, Jr. is no stranger to the Winston Cup Series. Since his debut in 2000, he has competed 12 times in the series. In 2001, he posted three top-15 and five top-20 Winston Cup finishes. He has never failed to qualify for a Winston Cup event, something very few people can brag about. The team tested at Atlanta on February 18-19, and according to Fred Wanke, Hamilton, Jr.ís crew chief, it was a good learning experience. The 2003 season marks the United States Marine Corpsí fourth year of involvement in NASCAR and their third with Team Rensi Motorsports, owned by Ed and Sam Rensi and Gary Weisbaum. Timberland partnered with Team Rensi at the beginning of this season as associate advertising partner of the #25 Team Marines Ford in the Busch Series.(Team Rensi PR)(3-1-2003)

  • Buckshot back? UPDATE 2: hearing Buckshot Jones will test at Atlanta towards the end of February, could be a possible ride Michael Waltrip in the #00.(2-3-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing that Jones will not test at Atlanta but will run the race in the #00 Chevy.(2-20-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the sponsor will not be Charter Communications and that the new sponsor will be announced soon. AND Jones is entered in the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 in a car owned by Winston Cup driver Michael Waltrip. It's the same car Jones brought to AMS last fall, only to see rain wash out qualifying and rob him of a chance to earn a starting spot. Jones, who hasn't raced since he drove the #44 Dodge last April in Martinsville, hoped to run some practice laps at AMS next week, but that's not going to happen. Since NASCAR changed the body rules after the 2002 season, it has been difficult for a part-time team to find someone to re-skin the car. "We had hoped to get the people at Dale Earnhardt Inc. to hang the body, but they're pretty busy with their own cars," Jones said. With little hope for a full-time ride, Jones has turned to developing residential subdivisions in and around Gwinnett County. Jones said he'd like to resume his racing career, but the odds of getting a front-running car are slim.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-22-2003)
    UPDATE 2: been told that since the car was not ready to test, it has been decided that Bickshot Jones will NOT run at the MArch Cup race in Atlanta, but plans are to run at Atlanta in Oct.(2-27-2003)

  • Fultz to attempt Atlanta: Jeff Fultz might not be a name that race fans instantly recognize, but he's hoping that will all change at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he attempts to make his Winston Cup debut in the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Fultz will also attempt to make Saturday's ARCA 400. Fultz was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday testing the #57 Team CLR Ford. The full-time fabricator and test driver for Jasper Motorsports [#77] is running a limited ARCA RE/MAX Series in 2003 for Jim Craig Racing.(AMS PR)(2-25-2003)

  • See the 2003 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


PAINT SCHEME NEWS

  • Sadler to the Dogs: #38-Elliott Sadler is running the Pedigree Dog Food yellow and blue schemes at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.(3-7-2003)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery, choose current news


SOME NOTES and NEWS


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