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Friday October 24
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6:45 p.m NSCS Qualifying (2 laps, All Positions)

Saturday October 25

7:30 am NCTS Garage Opens

8:30 am NCSC Garage Opens

9:00 a.m NCTS Final Practice

9:10 a.m NCTS Qualifying (CANCELLED)

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m NSCS Practice

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1:30 p.m NCTS Atlanta 200 (130 laps)

Sunday October 26
9:00 a.m Gates Open

9:00 a.m Speedway Children's Charities Track Walk

1:30 p.m Pep Boys Auto 500 Driver Introductions

2:00 p.m NCSC Pep Boys Auto 500 (325 laps)

NSCS = Sprint Cup Series
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NCTS = Craftsman Truck Series

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THE RACE: Pep Boys 500

Sprint Cup Race #33 of 36 for the 2008 season

Updated: often, leading up to the race

Jumps to sections on this page:
Event Sched | Purse/Race Awards | Local Newspapers
Weather | Camping | Odds
TV / Re-airs | Radio | Practice/Qual Times
Rundown of Race/Results | Entry/Practice/Qualifying | Track/Race Records
Paint Schemes | Track/Race Info | Goodyear Notes | Driver/Team/Testing News

  • Race: Sunday, October 26, 2008 in Hampton, GA

  • Title Sponsor: Pep Boys

  • Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 2:17pm/et

Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

  • TV: ABC 2:00pm/et

  • NASCAR Countdown: ABC - 1:00pm/et

  • SPEED's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 11:00am/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

  • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
    Monday, October 27 at 2:30am/et on ESPN2
    Monday, October 27 at 10:00am/et on ESPN Classic
    Thursday, October 30 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED and
    Thursday, October 20 at 5:30pm/et on HD Net (High Def)

  • Announcers: Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree

  • Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake

  • Studio: Allen Bestwick, Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty

  • TV Listings, Links and Info:
    Jayski's TV Listings Page
    NASCAR on TV
    Race Fan TV

Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team

Practice Dates/Times/TV

  • Practices:
    Friday, October 24, 3:00 - 4:30pm/et, TV-SPEED;
    Saturday, October 25, 10:30 - 11:30am/et, TV-SPEED at 12:00noon/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, October 25, 12:00 - 12:50pm/et on TV-ESPN2 via tape at 7:00pm/et

Qualifying Information/Times/TV

  • Qualifying Draw [ping pong balls]: Friday, October 24, 2:00pm/et

  • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42 [if no past champ prov used, then 43rd goes next fastest non top-35 driver], Friday, October 24 at 6:45pm/et, TV-ESPN2 at 7:00 pm/et, no re-air scheduled;
    AND live via radio at PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio.

news and links

  • Edwards wins at Atlanta: #99-Carl Edwards won the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 7th win of the season and the 14th of his career. #48-Johnson came back from a speeding penalty and being a lap down, getting the lucky dog and finishing 2nd, followed by #11-Hamlin, #17-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #2-Busch, #26-McMurray, #6-Ragan, #24-Gordon and #16-Biffle. There were 10 cautions for 43 laps and 18 lead changes among 8 leaders.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Atlanta Race Results Awards Page.(10-26-2008)

  • UNOFFICIAL Chase Driver Points Standings [after Atlanta race 33 of 36]:
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 6248 [6 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 6065 -183 [7 wins]
    3) #16-Greg Biffle 6063 -185 [2 wins]
    4) #31-Jeff Burton 6030 -218 [2 wins]
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick 5941 -307
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon 5936 -312
    7) #07-Clint Bowyer 5934 -314 [1 win]
    8) #20-Tony Stewart 5847 -401 [1 win]
    9) #17-Matt Kenseth 5835 -413
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5829 -419 [1 win]
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin 5823 -425 [1 win]
    12) #18-Kyle Busch 5783 -465 [8 wins]
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta.(10-26-2008)

  • UNOFFICAL Classic Driver Points Standings [after Atlanta race 33 of 36]:
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson 4784 [6 wins]
    2) #99-Carl Edwards 4686 -98 [7 wins]
    3) #18-Kyle Busch 4581 -203 [8 wins]
    4) #31-Jeff Burton 4404 -380 [2 wins]
    5) #16-Greg Biffle 4343 -441 [2 wins]
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 4307 -477 [1 win]
    7) #29-Kevin Harvick 4224 -560
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon 4157 -627
    9) #20-Tony Stewart 4132 -652 [1 win]
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin 4048 -736 [1 win]
    11) #07-Clint Bowyer 4040 -744 [1 win]
    12) #17-Matt Kenseth 3967 -817
    13) #6-David Ragan 3944 -840
    14) #9-Kasey Kahne 3720 -1064 [2 wins]

  • Racing Resources Says …
    * Carl Edwards won the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He posted his 14th career victory in his 154th career race [9.1% winning %]. It was his seventh victory in 2008, second only to Kyle Busch, who has eight wins.
    * Edwards posted his third career weekend sweep. He also won the Nationwide race at Memphis on Saturday. His other two sweeps came at Atlanta in 2005 and Michigan in '08.
    * Edwards has scored three victories (Las Vegas, Texas, second Atlanta) and five top-10 finishes in the eight races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2008. He posted his third win in nine races at Atlanta and his seventh top-10 finish in nine races there. Edwards won the race from the fourth-place starting position.
    * Edwards posted his fourth win in 47 Chase races. It was his 12th career victory in 102 superspeedway races. He led six times for 98 laps, including the final 16.
    * Roush Fenway Racing posted its sixth Atlanta victory. Its most recent Atlanta victories came in 2005 when Edwards swept both races. It marked Roush Fenway's 13th Chase victory since '04, second only to Hendrick Motorsports, which has scored 18 wins in the 47 Chase races.
    * Points leader Jimmie Johnson (second) has scored top-10 finishes in the past nine races, extending a streak that began at California in August. Johnson has led in 27 of the 33 races this season, more than any other driver. He led 28 laps Sunday. Johnson has led 738 laps in the seven Chase races. Matt Kenseth is second in laps led at 327 laps.
    * Jeff Gordon (ninth) has gone 38 races without a victory, his longest streak between victories.
    * Denny Hamlin (third) scored his first top-5 finish in seven races at Atlanta.
    * Kevin Harvick (13th) has been running at the finish in the last 77 races, the longest current streak by any driver.
    * Clint Bowyer (20th) ended a nine-race streak of top-15 finishes that began at the second Bristol race.
    * This was the ninth win for Ford in 2008. Chevrolet and Toyota each have 10 and Dodge has four. The top 10 consisted of five Fords, two Chevrolets, two Toyotas and one Dodge.
    * Michael Waltrip, who made his 1,000th NASCAR start, finished 37th after suffering radio problems, tire issues and a bout with the wall on Lap 168 and an accident on Lap 209.
    * The top five finishers were Chase drivers. Seven of the top 10 were Chasers.
    * Greg Biffle won the first two Chase races, Tony Stewart won at Talladega, Jeff Burton won at Lowe's, Jimmie Johnson won at Kansas and Martinsville and Carl Edwards won at Atlanta.
    * Six of the 12 Chase drivers each earned lap-leader bonus points at Atlanta by leading at least one lap: Johnson, Edwards, Kenseth, Biffle, Earnhardt Jr. and Hamlin.
    * Eight of the 12 Chase drivers changed positions after Atlanta.
    * Johnson now leads second-place Edwards by 183 points, the biggest lead ever in the Chase (since 2004) with three races remaining.
    * The biggest points deficit overcome with three races remaining occurred in 1990 when Dale Earnhardt was 49 points behind Mark Martin and won that season by 26. * Johnson is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in the first seven races of the Chase. He also is the only Chase driver to lead in all seven Chase races.(ESPN)(10-28-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Texas:
    No drop in or out of top 35, #7 moves up to 34th and #84 down to 35th and the spread is larger, 80 pts ahead of 36th
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    33) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2606 +160
    34) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2551 +105
    35) #84-Speed/Red Bull Racing: 2526 80 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #47[was #00]-Ambrose/Waltrip Racing: 2446, 80 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2396 -130
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(10-26-2008)

  • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Atlanta: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: no driver a lap down
    Caution 2: #78-Nemechek, 42nd
    Caution 3: #38-Gilliland, 27th
    Caution 4: #48-Johnson, 2nd
    Caution 5: #16-Biffle, 10th
    Caution 6: #6-Ragan, 8th
    Caution 7: #31-Burton, 18th
    Caution 8: #12-Newman, 16th
    Caution 9: #10-Allmendinger, 14th
    Caution 8: #20-Stewart, 17th

  • Atlanta Penalty Report:
    Car#, Penalty, Reason, Lap Issued
    1 #77 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 3
    2 #21 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 3
    3 #77 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 3
    4 #21 Pulling up to pit OL 5
    5 #77 Pulling up to pit OL 5
    6 #66 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 35
    7 #48 Excessive Speed-Entering pits PT 89
    8 #84 Excessive speed - Exiting pits PT 90
    9 #22 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 112
    10 #9 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 132
    11 #55 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 134
    12 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 209
    13 #55 Excessive Speed-Entering pits PT 245
    14 #29 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 254
    15 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 254
    16 #55 Excessive Speed-Entering pits TE 254
    17 #21 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 255
    18 #7 Commitment Line Violation TE 255
    19 #22 Commitment Line Violation TE 255
    20 #55 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 289
    21 #55 Safety violation MCI 299
    22 #83 Car/truck pitting out of the assigned pit box OL 299
    23 #41 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 303
    24 #42 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 303
    25 #78 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 303
    26 #31 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 304
    27 #66 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 305
    28 #47 Excessive speed - Exiting pits TE 307
    29 #31 Pitting before Pit Road is Open TE 313
    PT - Pass through
    TE - Tail end of the longest line
    SG - Stop and Go
    OL - One lap
    ND - NASCAR discretion
    MCI - Must come into pits.(NASCAR Statistics)(10-26-2008)

  • Pit Stall Selections have been made for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, #48-Johnson got to choose first since he will start from the pole due to rained out qualifying, and took stall #1, #16-Biffle, who starts 2nd, took stall #21, the next pit with an opening in front of it and #31-Biffle, who starts 3rd took stall #20, the first stall with an opening behind it. #17-Kenseth [starts 10th] took the final pit stall. See who took what stall on my Atlanta Pit Stall selections page.(10-25-2008)

  • Race Coverage of the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, October 26, 2008.
    TV: ABC at 2:00pm/et; pre-race show at 1:00pm/et
    Radio: PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio on the NASCAR page - Racecast and Chat.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, October 27 at 2:30am/et
    ESPN Classic, Monday, October 27 at 10:00am/et
    SPEED, Thursday, October 30 at 12:00pm/et and;
    HDNET, Thursday, October 30 at 5:30pm/et

  • NASCAR This Week on ESPN and ABC: Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the Sprint Cup Series schedule, and Sunday’s 500-mile race on the 1.5-mile track is the fourth-from-last race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. ESPN on ABC will have live, high definition coverage from Atlanta beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 1pm/et on Sunday, Oct. 26. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will air live coverage of Sprint Cup qualifying from Atlanta on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7pm/et as well as same-day coverage of final practice airing Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7pm/et. Dr. Jerry Punch will be lead announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will be pit reporters with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Tech Center. The pre-race NASCAR Countdown show from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Allen Bestwick, with Rusty Wallace and analyst Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race. The race will re-air Monday, Oct. 27, at 10am/et on ESPN Classic.

  • Pep Boys Auto 500 Oct. 26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway scheduled DIRECTV drivers
    (DIRECTV channel, car#, driver)
    HD (high definition)/SD (standard definition) Channels
    795, #31-Jeff Burton
    796, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    797, #48-Jimmie Johnson
    798, #99-Carl Edwards
    799, Team Radios/National Broadcast
    Teams and drivers are subject to change at anytime, more info at

news and links

  • Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Stall Selections

  • Happy Hour Practice for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 181.776
    #15-Menard 180.710
    #29-Harvick 180.669
    #8-Martin 180.628
    #16-Biffle 179.977
    slowest: #22-Blaney 171.667 and #70-Raines 172.834
    See speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds page.(10-25-2008)

  • Saturday Practice for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the fastest:
    #99-Edwards 184.726
    #29-Harvick 182.189
    #18-Busch 181.046
    #24-Gordon 180.981
    #17-Kenseth 180.981
    slowest: #70-Raines 174.192 and #45-McCumbee 174.807
    See speeds, ave speed, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds page.(10-25-2008)

  • Qualifying for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway has been cancelled due to rain and a wet track. The field was set by the rules book [owners pts top 35, 2007 owners win, past champ and race attempts], so #48-Johnson will start first followed by #16-Biffle, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #07-Bowyer, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #20-Stewart, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #17-Kenseth. Two drivers will miss the race, #02-Logano and #40-Clauson. This is the 10th time in the 2008 season where rain washed out qualifying. See the starting lineup on my Starting Lineup/Qualifying page. For weather links, see my Atlanta Race Info page.(10-24-2008)

  • Practice for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway finally began after a 2 hours, 15 minute delay. The fastest after 8 minutes, then a mist rolled in and it has been red-flagged:
    #12-Newman 187.900
    #16-Biffle 1850536
    #6-Ragan 184.302
    #99-Edwards 183.966
    #55-Waltrip 183.673
    28 of the 45 drivers have made a run
    after 8 minutes, a light mist started and has halted practice
    see the cancelled practice speeds on my Atlanta Practice Speeds page.(10-24-2008)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, October 24, 2008 at 6:45pm/et.
    TV: ESPN2 - 7:00pm/et
    Radio: PRN Radio and Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio Jayski's FREE Semi-Live Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done. The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #38-Gilliland, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #2-Busch. The first go-or-go homer to go out [36th] is #10-Allmendinger, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #40-Clauson. See the full qualifying order on my Atlanta Qualifying Page.(10-24-2008)

  • Entry List for the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of 2008 owners points (2008 race attempts/owners pts standings in parens):
    #02-Joey Logano (1/58)
    #10-A.J. Allmendinger (32/38)
    #21-Bill Elliott [past champ] (32/41)
    #40-Bryan Clauson (18/44)
    #45-Chad McCumbee (32/40)
    #47-Marcos Ambrose (32/36) [was #00 team]
    #70-Tony Raines (32/43)
    #77-Sam Hornish Jr. (32/37)[past owner winner]
    #78-Joe Nemechek (32/42)
    #96-Ken Schrader (32/39)
    withdrew from the race
    #08-Johnny Sauter (13/46)
    In the event qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 77,21,47,10,96,45,78,70
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 40.02
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(10-20/22-2008)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Atlanta:
    No drop in or out of top 35, #84 moves up to 34th and #7 down to 35th and the spread is larger, 75 pts ahead of 36th
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    33) #22-Blaney/Bill Davis Racing: 2566 +196
    34) #84-Speed/Red Bull Racing: 2460 +90
    35) #7-Gordon/RGM: 2445 75 points ahead of 36th
    these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
    36) #47[was #00]-Ambrose/Waltrip Racing: 2370, 75 points out of 35th
    37) #77-Hornish/Penske Racing: 2305 -140
    For the owner points standings, see my Drivers/Owners Points Standings page.(10-19-2008)

  • What happens if qualifying gets rained out?
    After the 5th race of the season, the current season OWNERS points are used:
    #1) - First 35 by current Owner Points [position 1-35][top 35 teams do NOT need to attempt ALL the races]
    #2) - Last Years Cup Champ or the Event Champion if not already in the field
    #3) - Car Owners whose team has won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #4) - Drivers who have won in the previous and current season not already in the field
    #5) - ALL Past Sprint Cup Champions not in by 1 thru 4 [is NOT charged against the 6 past champ provisionals]
    #6) - Qualifying Attempts [not starts] with Owners points as the tie breaker
    #7) - Qualifying Order Position
    (all above apply as long as the team was entered by the entry deadline - usually 7-13 days before the race)

  • Go or Go Home Drivers to Qualify Together: NASCAR announced in January that starting with the Cup race at California, teams outside the top 35 in owners points will be allowed to qualify together at the end of the qualifying session. The Nationwide and Truck Series used this procedure at Daytona. Sprint Cup didn't use the new procedure at Daytona due to the unique/somewhat complicated qualifying session/races there. The thought is that nobody would have an advantage in track conditions.(2-19-2008)

  • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

  • Jayski's - 2008 Sprint Cup Race Results Page

  • 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

  • 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).

  • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the Sprint Cup Series [NNCS]. NASCAR revamped the system by simplifying the procedure with teams no longer accruing provisionals throughout the season to gain entry into the starting fields. While starting positions one through 42 in the NNCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NNCS OWNER [not Driver] championship points that have entered the event prior to the entry deadline [usually 13 days before the day of the race] one of those starting positions in the field, providing they have made an attempt to qualify [which usually means the team at least practiced and made an effort to qualify].
    The remaining seven positions [36-42] will be assigned to those drivers with the fastest qualifying speeds whose car owners are not among the top 35. The final starting position [43rd] – the champion’s provisional – can be utilized by a car owner whose driver is a current or past Sprint Cup champion who participated as a driver during the current of previous season and was entered in the event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline.
    If there is more than one series champion vying for the position, it will be given to the most recent series champion. If the final provisional starting position – 43rd in the Sprint Cup – is not filled by a current or past series champion, it will be assigned to the next eligible car owner according to qualifying results.
    Through the first five races of the season for the Sprint Cup, the top 35 in the NNCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
    Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top 35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

  • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Sprint Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.”(NASCAR PR)
    This is only for a team/driver OUTSIDE the top-35 in owners points, drivers whose team is in the top-35 in owners points, would already be guaranteed in the field and not need the Past Champions Provisional.(1-31-2007)
    See my 2008 Past Champions Provisional Page for more.(2-8-2008)


  • Newman could break Atlanta pole record: Should #12-Ryan Newman claim the pole during Friday’s Hot Shot Qualifying Night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Newman would surpass his mentor, Buddy Baker, with eight-career pole wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Currently tied with Baker at seven poles. More info about poles, records, all time pole list and 2008 poles, see my All Time Pole Wins page.(10-24-2008)

  • October 2007 Race Winner: #48-Jimmie Johnson, 135.260mph, started 6th

  • March 2008 Race Winner: #18-Kyle Busch, 140.975, started 6th

  • Race Record: Bobby Labonte, Nov 16, 1997, 159.904mph

  • Slowest Race Record: Fred Lorenzen, 1962, 101.983mph

  • October 2007 Pole Sitter: #16-Greg Biffle, 192.453, finished 22nd

  • March 2008 Pole Sitter: #24-Jeff Gordon, 185.251, finished 5th

  • Track Qualifying Record: Geoffrey Bodine, 11/16/1997, 197.479mph

  • Most Wins - Active Driver: Bobby Labonte, 6

  • Most Wins - All Time: Dale Earnhardt, 9

  • Most Poles - Active Driver: Ryan Newman, 7

  • Most Poles - All Time: Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman, 7

  • Most Top 5s: 26 - Dale Earnhardt

  • Most Top 10s: 33 - Richard Petty [65 starts]

  • Oldest Winner: Morgan Shepherd, 51 years, 4 months, 27 days, 3/20/1993

  • Youngest Winner: Kyle Busch, 22 years, 10 months, 8 days, 3/9/2008

  • Most Cautions: 11 - 11/1993

  • Fewest Cautions: 1 - 7/9/1961BR>
  • Most Caution Laps: 99, 11/6/1977

  • Fewest Caution Laps: 7, 11/2/1986

  • Most Running at the Finish: 41 - 3/20/2006, 3/18/2007, 3/9/2008

  • Fewest Running at the Finish: 10 - 4/1964

  • Worst Starting Spot to Win: Bobby Labonte, Nov 2001, started 39th

  • Most Lead Changes: 45 - Nov 1982

  • Fewest Lead Changes: 6 - 3 times, most recently June 1963

  • Most Leaders: 17, 3/12/2000

  • Least Leaders: 3, 6/30/1963

  • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 35 - Chevrolet

  • Fewest Laps Led by a Race Winner: 1 - David Pearson 9/17/1961

  • Most Laps Led by a Race Winner: 308 - Cale Yarborough, 3/30/1969

  • Races won from starting pos 1: 14 [of 98]

  • Races won from starting pos 2: 10

  • Races won from starting pos 3: 9

  • Races won from starting pos 4: 9

  • Races won from starting pos 5: 13

  • Races won from starting pos 6: 4

  • Races won from starting pos 7: 5

  • Races won from starting pos 8: 6

  • Races won from starting pos 9: 6

  • Races won from starting pos 10: 1

  • Races won from starting pos 11: 3

  • Races won from starting pos 12,13,15,18,19,22,31,35,37,39: 1

  • Races won from starting pos 14,17,20,21: 2

  • Races won from the top 5: 55 of 98

  • Races won from the top 10: 77 of 98

  • First Career Starts at Atlanta: Rusty Wallace [3/80]; Jeff Gordon [11/92]; Scott Wimmer [11/2000]

  • At Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    • Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was then a 1.5-mile paved speedway.
    • The first Sprint Cup race was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts.
    • Jeff Gordon won the first Nationwide race at Atlanta held March 14, 1992.
    • The first Craftsman Truck series race at Atlanta was held March 13, 2004 and won by Bobby Hamilton.
    • The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.
    • The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54-miles between the two races in 1997.
    • There have been 98 Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, two races per year except 1961, which had three.
    • Fireball Roberts won the pole for the first Sprint Cup race in 1960.
    • Fireball Roberts won the first Sprint Cup race.
    • 43 drivers have won poles, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman, each with seven.
    • Six of Newman’s seven poles came in the six races between March 2003 and October 2005.
    • 42 drivers have won races; 20 have won more than once there.
    • Dale Earnhardt scored nine victories, more than any other driver. Cale Yarborough is second with seven.
    • Bobby Labonte heads the list of active drivers with six Atlanta victories. Labonte is tied with Richard Petty for third on the all-time Atlanta win list.
    • 14 races have been won from the pole.
    • 55 races have been won from the first five starting positions.
    • Bobby Labonte won the 2001 fall race from the 39th starting position, the deepest in the field a race winner has started.
    • There have been seven season sweeps at Atlanta, most recently by Jimmie Johnson in 2007.
    • There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta: 2007-2 (329 laps).
    Hot Fact
    Atlanta has produced three of the 12 closest finishes since the advent of electronic timing in May 1993.
    * Dale Earnhardt finished 0.010 seconds ahead of Bobby Labonte in the sixth-closest race (tied with Rockingham-2004) on March 12, 2000.
    * Kevin Harvick beat Jeff Gordon by 0.006 seconds on March 11, 2001, in the fourth-closest finish.
    * Carl Edwards beat Jimmie Johnson by 0.028 seconds on March 20, 2005, in the 12th-closest finish (tied with Texas in April 2004).


    Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
    #7-Robby Gordon Jim Beam #7 Team Schemes Page
    #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Express #11 Team Schemes Page
    #12-Ryan Newman Kodak #12 Team Schemes Page
    #16-Greg Biffle Dish Network #16 Team Schemes Page
    #17-Matt Kenseth USG #17 Team Schemes Page
    #18-Kyle Busch Halloween M&M's #18 Team Schemes Page
    #19-Elliott Sadler Ronald McDonald House Charities #19 Team Schemes Page
    #24-Jeff Gordon Nicorette/DuPont #24 Team Schemes Page
    #28-Travis Kvapil Hitachi Power Tools #28 Team Schemes Page
    #38-David Gilliland Aflac Children’s Cancer Center none...yet
    #40-Bryan Clauson Guitar Hero World Tour #40 Team Schemes Page
    #45-Chad McCumbee Marathon American Spirit Oil #45 Team Schemes Page
    #48-Jimme Johnson Lowe's/Kobalt Tools #45 Team Schemes Page
    #66-Scott Riggs Hunt Brothers Pizza #66 Team Schemes Page
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard #88 Team Schemes Page

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Featured on #19 at AMS UPDATE: Elliott Sadler’s #19 Dodge will feature a Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) paint scheme this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in support of World Children’s Day at McDonald’s. This year, participating McDonald’s restaurants will offer customers the opportunity to Give A Hand by donating a small amount to personalize and post a paper hand that symbolizes their support. In addition, in the U.S. on November 20, participating restaurants will donate $1 from the sale of select menu items to RMHC. In addition, from November 10 – 20, customers in the U.S. can help support RMHC through the “Give a Hand” in-restaurant program. For each hand sold, $1 will go to support RMHC. Started in 2002, World Children’s Day at McDonald’s is the company’s largest annual fundraiser for children. The #19 Ronald McDonald House Charities Dodge will run “Thank You Paul Newman 1925 – 2008” on the rear panel of the racecar. Paul Newman, a former IndyCar team owner, actor and philanthropist, began supplying McDonald’s with Newman’s Own all-natural salad dressing in March 2003. McDonald’s, as a Newman’s Own customer, enabled Paul Newman to donate additional profits to charity through the exclusive agreement. Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $250 million to thousands of educational and charitable purposes worldwide since 1982. In 2005, Newman accepted the Ronald McDonald House Charities Award of Excellence on behalf of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps.(GEM PR)(10-23-2008)
    UPDATE - Image: on Friday #9-Kasey Kahne and #19-Elliott Sadler, of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, combined efforts to help raise awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), benefitting programs to support children and families in need around the world. Kasey Kahne, founder of the Kasey Kahne Foundation, donated $150,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities to support its three core programs: Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. Kahne is a long-time supporter of RMHC, donating $500,000 to date.
    In addition to Kahne's donation, Elliott Sadler announced he will drive an RMHC-themed race car this weekend, during the Sprint Cup Series race in Atlanta, to help raise awareness for the Charity and World Children's Day at McDonald's – the company’s largest annual fundraiser for RMHC. The race car will also feature a special tribute to Paul Newman – famous philanthropist, race car enthusiast and long-time supporter of the Charity. The #19 Ronald McDonald House Charities Dodge will run "Thank You Paul Newman 1925 – 2008" on the rear panel of the race car. Since 1982, Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $250 million to thousands of educational and charitable purposes worldwide.(CSRwire) See an image of the scheme on my #19 Team Schemes page.(10-24-2008)

  • Jim Beam back on the #7 at Atlanta: The #7 Jim Beam Dodge returns to racing action this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Before Robby Gordon makes a lap around the 1.54-mile track in his Dodge Charger, he will help Jim Beam and the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) raise awareness about the success of DWI Courts in Georgia on Friday, October 24th at the Georgia State Capital Building. With more than 17,000 people killed by drunk drivers in the United States each year, Beam Global and NCDC have joined forces to bring national attention to the effectiveness of the DWI Courts in addressing drunk driving, and Gordon serves as spokesman on the issue.(RGM PR)(10-24-2008) Comment here

  • Halloween colors for Kyle Busch at AMS: Kyle Busch’s #18 M&M’s Toyota will feature a special Halloween M&M’s paint scheme in the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in celebration of Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31, and to promote the M&M’s Halloween Millions contest. Busch will participate in the NASCAR Foundation Track Walk Sunday morning in Atlanta and walk alongside the children of the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home orphanage located in Atlanta, a charity supported by the Kyle Busch Foundation (KBF). The children will stick around and cheer Busch on during the Pep Boys Auto 500, compliments of the NASCAR Foundation and Busch.(Elevation Group PR), see my #18 Team Schemes page for an image of the scheme.(10-23-2008)

  • Aflac Cancer Center to sponsor #38 at Atlanta: Yates Racing announced that the Aflac Children’s Cancer Center will serve as the primary sponsor on the #38 entry with driver David Gilliland for the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October, 26, 2008. The Aflac Cancer Center is committed to providing their pediatric patients a brighter future through advanced medical treatment, family-centered care, a child-friendly environment and innovative research. Recognized as one of the top five childhood cancer centers in the country by Child magazine, the Aflac Cancer Center treats nearly 350 new cancer patients each year and follows more than 2,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. Their courageous patients range in age from infants to young adults. Aflac Cancer Center, in conjunction with Emory University School of Medicine and the Emory Winship Cancer Institute, is committed to excellence and innovation in pediatric cancer and blood disorders research. Their participation in hundreds of national therapeutic and non-therapeutic clinical trials gives their patients access to the latest in treatment for childhood cancer and blood disorders. More info at or call 404-250-KIDS.(Yates Racing PR)(10-21-2008) Comment here

  • McDonald's to sponsor Sadler UPDATE: McDonald's will make its return to NASCAR's Cup series as one of three primary sponsors for Gillett Evernham Motorsports' #19 Dodge of Elliott Sadler this season. McDonald's, Best Buy and Stanley Tools were announced as company's sharing sponsorship on the car Tuesday. Best Buy is expected to be on the car for 15 races, while Stanley will have 13 and McDonald's eight, although those numbers are still subject to change.(
    UPDATE: McDonald's USA and Gillett Evernham Motorsports [GEM] announced that McDonald's will sponsor Elliott Sadler's #19 Dodge in six [not 8] Sprint Cup races in 2008. "McDonald's is thrilled to partner with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, which is one of the premier teams in the Sprint Cup Series," said John Lewicki, McDonald's senior director of alliance marketing. "This partnership is a great fit as McDonald's, Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Elliott Sadler are all committed to delivering quality experiences to fans and customers alike." McDonald's will sponsor Sadler's #19 Dodge all season and serve as the primary sponsor at:
    Martinsville on March 22
    Darlington on May 10 Michigan on June 15 [Big Mac]
    California on Aug. 31
    Dover on Sept. 21 [added]
    Talladega on Oct. 5 [Monoploy] and
    Atlanta on Oct. 26.
    McDonald's logos will also appear on the uniform of Sadler's teammate Kasey Kahne in the 2008 season. McDonald's has sponsored Gillett Evernham Motorsports since 2004 and has continued to grow its involvement. "McDonald's is obviously one of the great brands of American history and we feel proud a company of its prestige selected Gillett Evernham Motorsports," said team co-owner Ray Evernham. "The sponsor partners we have at this race team are second to none. McDonald's has supported my team and my family for quite a few years now. They are more than just a sponsor, they are my friends." Sadler will carry "trimary sponsorship" in 2008 with Best Buy and Stanley taking turns serving as primary sponsor along with McDonald's throughout the season. "The cool thing is I've always been a McDonald's, Best Buy and Stanley kind of guy," Sadler said. "We have some great partners and I am glad they are coming on board with us. McDonald's has been a big part of my life growing up." For more information about McDonald's visit www.McDonald' PR).see an image for the car on the #19 Team Schemes page.(1-24-2008)

  • USG scheme returns to the #17: Matt Kenseth will run the USG Sheetrock paint scheme on the #17 Ford at Las Vegas on Sunday for the first of three times this season. The other two USG Sheetrock races in 2008 are:
    Chicago in July and
    Atlanta in October
    (Roush Fenway Racing PR), see the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2008)

  • Nicorette scheme for the #24 at Las Vegas UPDATE: Jeff Gordon will run the special #24 DuPont Nicorette Chevy paint scheme for the first of six races in 2008 at Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "It is rewarding to be involved with a sponsor such as Nicorette that focuses on making a difference in people's lives and helping people achieve better health by quitting smoking," said Gordon. "Nicorette continues to be an excellent partner and I look forward to a big weekend in the special DuPont Nicorette paint scheme at Las Vegas." The special paint scheme coincides with one of the most unique sponsorships in motorsports history with Nicorette helping race fans and crew members quit smoking through its QUIT Crew program. Nicorette's QUIT Crew program is currently helping over 300 NASCAR team members from 19 different racing organizations quit smoking through counseling, support, and the proper use of the smoking cessation products Nicorette, NicoDerm CQ and Commit. Quit smoking support is also available to NASCAR fans throughout race weekend at Nicorette's interactive Winner's Circle Exhibit located in the LVMS fan area. At the exhibit, Nicorette's certified smoking cessation coaches will be on hand to provide individuals with free, quit smoking counseling. For more information about Nicorette's racing program and on how to quit smoking, visit Marketing PR)(2-26-2008)
    UPDATE: Gordon is scheduled to drive the #24 DuPont/Nicorette Chevy at:
    Las Vegas,
    Phoenix [4/12],
    Chicago [7/12],
    Richmond [9/6],
    Atlanta [10/26] and
    Texas [11/2].
    Nicorette also sponsors the Nicorette 300 Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 8. see an image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2008)

  • Kodak back with Newman in 2008: been told Kodak will be the primary sponsor for #12-Ryan Newman for six races:
    Pocono - June 8;
    Chicago - July 12, The Mummy scheme;
    Watkins Glen - Aug 10;
    California - Aug 31;
    New Hampshire - Sept 14;
    Atlanta - Oct 26
    See an image of the car on the #12 Team Schemes page.(Kodak News)(1-16-2008)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Paint Schemes Gallery


  • Track Specs:
    Track/Race Length: 1.54 mile quad oval, 325 laps, 500.5 miles
    Degree of Banking: Turns: 24 degrees; Straightaways: 5 degrees
    Straights: Frontstretch - 2332 feet; Backstretch - 1800 feet
    Pit Road Speed: 45mph
    Pace Car Speed: 55mph
    Grandstand Seating: 124,000
    Opened: 1960

    Race Festivities/Officials:
    Grand Marshal: Pep Boy's Sr. VP Scott Webb
    Command to start engines: Pep Boy's Sr. VP Scott Webb
    Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: ?
    Invocation: Keith Strickland, Solid Stone Ministries, McDonough, GA
    National Anthem: American Idol’s Michael Johns
    Military Flyover: C-130, 919 Special Operations Group, Eglin AFB, FL
    for the season race officials by track, see my Race Officials page

  • Track Homepage:

  • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Last Year: see my October 2007 Atlanta Race Info page

  • Last May: see the March 2008 Atlanta Race Info page

  • Atlanta Concerts: Former US Army Ranger Keni Thomas will perform a special concert on Sunday of the Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend. The concert is presented by Vault and the USO and Thomas will be appearing on the VAULT Stage at 11am/et. on Sunday, Oct. 26. The VAULT Stage is located behind the Earnhardt Grandstand near Gate 15. Fans are encouraged to help the USO support our military members by making contributions into bottle-shaped bins beside the VAULT stage or by donating Coke Rewards points at Thomas, a former Ranger, fought with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Rangers in Somalia and was engaged in part of the battle highlighted in “Blackhawk Down.” Since ending his military career, he has pursued music as his career and passion and was featured in the movie, “Sweet Home Alabama.”
    Up-and-coming country act Brantley Gilbert will be performing “Georgia on my Mind” before the start of the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sunday, Oct. 26. Gilbert, a native of Jefferson, is slated to perform at 1:53 p.m. preceding the Pep Boys Auto 500.(AMS PR)(10-24-2008)

  • Pep Boys Auto 500 Weekend October 24-26 Traffic Plan:
    Basic Traffic Plan for the Pep Boys Auto 500 weekend (October 24-26):
    Fans have a choice of which major route to take, either Hwy. 19/41 or Hwy. 20 from I-75 southbound. I-75 northbound race fans can exit at either Exit 212 Hampton-Locust Grove Road or Exit 218, GA Hwy 20. Please choose which route to take based on where you would like to park on property; fans will be directed to a certain lot based on which way they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to get to their seats easily regardless of where they park on property. Be advised that the direction fans enter speedway property is the same direction they will exit.
    ENTERING THE SPEEDWAY: From Hwy. 19/41: FROM THE NORTH: Those traveling from the North (traveling southbound on Hwy. 19/41) will be directed to parking lots on the north side of the property and should utilize Speedway Blvd. Those traveling south on Hwy. 19/41 will turn right at Speedway Boulevard and park in the yellow, red or green parking lots off of Speedway Blvd. Those with vehicle credentials need to stay in the left lane, use the counter-flow lane as they approach the speedway and enter just south of the main entrance at entrance E or at entrance G off of Richard Petty Blvd.
    FROM THE SOUTH: Those traveling from the South (traveling northbound on Hwy. 19/41 from Griffin) will turn at the main speedway entrance and will be directed to the blue parking lot.
    From Hwy. 20: Those traveling on Hwy. 20 will be directed to the Weaver or orange parking lot on the south side of the property.
    EXITING THE SPEEDWAY: Fans will leave the same way they came in. If they entered from the North, they will be directed northbound. Those who enter from the South will be directed southbound.
    Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about road/lane closures or construction projects. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, construction, and delays due to bad weather. Callers can also reach live operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at For its fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each gate.(AMS PR)(10-22-2008)

  • Flyover Set for Pep Boys Auto 500: The 919th Special Operations Group from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida will conduct a military flyover before the Pep Boys Auto 500, including a Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The massive C-130 is the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide, used by more than 50 nations in more than 40 models and variations. Great seats are available for as little as $39 for an adult ticket. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-877-AMS-TIX, 770-946-4211 or go to PR)(10-21-2008)

  • American Idol’s Michael Johns to Sing National Anthem at AMS: Atlanta Motor Speedway has secured singer and heartthrob Michael Johns to sing the National Anthem and a mini concert as part of the Kroger Pre-Race Show before the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 26. Johns, who quickly gained national fame for his soulful voice and handsome looks on American Idol’s seventh season, recently wrapped up performing on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008. The Perth, Australia native with ties to Georgia is geared up to perform before the Pep Boys Auto 500. In addition to Johns’ National Anthem performance preceding the Pep Boys Auto 500, singer Katie Lawhorne will sing the National Anthem before Saturday’s festivities and Thea Agnew will do so on Friday. Lawhorne, a 13-year old Stockbridge, Ga. native, will provide a local flair for the National Anthem performances. For fans interested in attending the Pep Boys Auto 500 and seeing Johns, Lawhorne and Agnew sing the National Anthem, great seats are available for as little as $39 for an adult ticket. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-877-AMS-TIX or 770-946-4211 and reserve your seat today.(AMS PR)(10-20-2008)

  • Record Purse Set for Atlanta Races: With nearly $7 million dollars in posted prize money on the line, NASCAR’s top drivers will go head-to-head during the Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend for the largest purse offered in the history of Atlanta Motor Speedway. When all is said and done, $6,799,225 in prize money will be awarded to the Sprint Cup Series drivers in the Pep Boys Auto 500 and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers in the Atlanta 200, all battling for a cut of the record purse on the high banks of AMS. The fight for the record purse begins on Friday, Oct. 24 with Hot Shot Qualifying Night. Watch the brightest stars of the Sprint Cup series shine under the lights of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 1.54-mile quad-oval, as they compete for the pole position to lead the field to the green flag come race day on Sunday. Round two comes on Saturday, Oct. 25, when the action heats up as the Craftsman Truck series hits the track for Atlanta 200. Undefeated in a truck at AMS, Kyle Busch will put perfection on the line as he attempts to become just the third driver ever to win four NCTS races on one track. Race weekend comes to a head on Sunday, Oct. 26 for the Pep Boys Auto 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Watch the top stars in NASCAR exchange blows for 500 miles on the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway, each competing for first place and a large piece of the record purse. Great seats are available for all Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend events, October 24-26th. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-877-AMS-TIX or 770-946-4211 and reserve your seat today.(AMS PR)(10-20-2008)

  • Atlanta Motor Speedway To Honor Bill Elliott and 1988 Championship Team: Atlanta Motor Speedway will honor Bill Elliott's 1988 Melling Racing Team to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the team's 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship as part of the pre-race activities for the Oct. 26 Pep Boys Auto 500. Many of Elliott's crew members from the 1988 Championship team will join the Dawsonville native on stage for a recognition ceremony. Elliott's team, based in his hometown of Dawsonville, is the only team located outside of North Carolina to win both the driver and owner championships.(AMS PR)(10-14-2008)

  • 2009 Cup Schedule Announced, 4 "off" weeks: NASCAR announced today its national series schedules for the 2009 season, which features realigned dates for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Truck Series. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series there will be a three-way date swap between Atlanta Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway (formerly California Speedway) and Talladega Superspeedway.
    • Atlanta’s second 2009 race will be held on Sunday, Sept. 6, taking the Labor Day weekend slot now held by Auto Club Speedway.
    • Auto Club Speedway’s second race will be Sunday, Oct. 11 – the fourth week of the “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” a slot formerly held by Talladega.
    • Talladega’s second event will move to Sunday, Nov. 1, making it the seventh Chase event – the slot formerly held by Atlanta.
    “The 2009 schedule reflects realigned dates that are good opportunities for everyone involved in our sport – fans, sponsors, tracks and teams," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. The season begins with a tripleheader weekend at Daytona International Speedway capped by the running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 15. In addition to that season-opening event for the Sprint Cup Series, the Truck Series starts its season on Friday night, Feb. 13, followed the next afternoon by the Nationwide Series opener. For all three series, the season will conclude with another tripleheader weekend, at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20-22.
    Other key NASCAR Sprint Cup dates in 2009:
    • The 31st annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona – a non-points event – will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7.
    • On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 12, Richmond International Raceway will again host the “Chase cut-off” race, affording the last opportunity for drivers to qualify for NASCAR’s championship playoffs.
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host the first races in both the “Race to the Chase” (Sunday, June 28) and the Chase (Sunday, Sept. 20).
    There also will be an additional off-week for NASCAR’s premier series in 2009, prior to the Labor Day weekend event, giving teams a final break before a 12-week stretch that will end the season. Because of the way the calendar falls, NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will have a total of four off-weeks during the 2009 season.
    The NASCAR Nationwide Series will have a 35-race schedule. Changes from this year include a new event at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, replacing Mexico City; a switch of the Atlanta Motor Speedway event from March to September; and moving the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event in Montreal to Sunday, Aug. 30.
    The NASCAR Truck Series in 2009 again will have 25 races, with one realigned date: The series’ late-season race at Atlanta will be replaced by a night event at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday, Aug. 28.(NASCAR PR)(8-19-2008)

  • Atlanta retains agency to boost attendance: Atlanta Motor Speedway has retained Blue Sky Agency, an Atlanta-based advertising firm, to launch a brand campaign to increase attendance. Many tracks that host Sprint Cup races have reported flat or declining attendance the past few years, and AMS has seen a double-figure drop across all of its events in the past three to four years, according to Ed Clark, the speedway's president. Those tracks don't release specific attendance numbers. The decline is usually blamed on the expense of gas because NASCAR depends on fans to travel long distances, many in gas-guzzling RVs and campers. Part of the new marketing plan likely will involve shrinking the radius around Atlanta to which AMS markets, Clark said.(Sporting News)(7-19-2008)

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


    Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Sprint Cup)

    Number of Tires: Sprint Cup: Left-side -- 1,600; Right-side -- 1,600

    Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4152; Right-side -- D-4188

    Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.4 in.; Right-side -- 88.6 in.

    Technical Inspection Inflation:
    Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
    Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 47 psi

    Minimum Recommended Inflation:
    Left Front -- 22 psi; Left Rear -- 20 psi;
    Right Front -- 48 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi

    Estimated Pit Window: Every 50-54 laps, based on fuel mileage.

    Notes: Based on two tire tests held at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track in March, Goodyear has brought a new right-side tire for this Sunday's event . . . only teams in the Sprint Cup Series will be running the new right-side tire code, while those in the Craftsman Truck Series will be running the same tire combination as in March . . . this being the second COT race at Atlanta, Goodyear improved its tire recommendation through tests at AMS held on July 21-22 and September 16 . . . both tests were handled by the same three teams in order to keep continuity and build off early results . . . those teams were the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Kyle Busch), No. 28 Yates Racing Ford (Travis Kvapil) and No. 66 Haas-CNC Racing Chevrolet (Scott Riggs) . . . while Goodyear will bring the same left-side tire code as in March (D-4152), the new right-side tire code (D-4188) will help give cars more grip while maintaining good wear characteristics for Atlanta's abrasive racing surface . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams will are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.


  • Waltrip Set to Make 1,000th Career NASCAR Start at Atlanta: #55-Michael Waltrip will make his 1,000th NASCAR start at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he starts the #55 NAPA Toyota for the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sunday, Oct. 26. After finishing 18th in Martinsville in his 999th-combined NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series start, Waltrip returns to Atlanta for number 1,000, where he has eight career top-10 finishes.
    Stats: After Atlanta Waltrip will have 722 Cup starts [4 wins], 270 Nationwide starts [11 wins] and 8 Truck Series starts [0 wins]. Check out a full story on Waltrip’s career at and more at Comment here

  • Start #300 for Blaney: This weekend marks a milestone in #22-Dave Blaney’s career as he will make his 300th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start when the green flag waves Sunday afternoon. He made his first Cup Series start in October 1992 at [Rockingham] North Carolina Speedway driving for owner Stan Hover [in the #80] and finished 37th (qualified seventh) in his first Cup race at Atlanta in 1999 [his 2nd career start] in which, like this weekend, Blaney was aboard a Bill Davis Racing owned machine. Blaney's best career finishes were 3rds: at Darlington in March 2003 and Talladega in Oct 2007.(BDR PR)(10-21-2008) Comment here

  • Clauson to attempt Cup debut at Atlanta: The #1 best-selling video game, Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) as primary sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ #40 Dodge driven by 19-year-old Bryan Clauson. Clauson was scheduled to make his Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut at Lowe’s Motor Speedway but qualifying was washed out and the #40 car was unable to make a qualifying run. Bryan Clauson will be attempting his debut in the Sprint Cup Series at AMS in the #40 Target/Guitar Hero World Tour Dodge. Clauson—a 19-year-old from Noblesville, Ind.—has competed in the 24 Nationwide Series (NNS) races throughout this 2008 season, driving the #40 Fastenal Dodge. To-date, the teen racer has collected one pole, one top-five and two top-10 finishes. Guitar Hero World Tour transforms music gaming by expanding Guitar Hero’s signature guitar gameplay into a cooperative band experience that combines the most advanced wireless and wired controllers with new revolutionary online and offline gameplay modes including Band Career and 8-player “Battle of the Bands,” which allows two full bands to compete head-to-head online for the first time ever. The Guitar Hero consumer bus will be parked in the display area at AMS all weekend for fans to take a sneak peak at the game. Clauson and Target Driver Reed Sorenson will make an appearance on Sunday to display their music talents prior to the Pep Boys Auto 500.(CGRFS PR)(10-21-2008)

  • Tire testing at Atlanta and Daytona UPDATE: Goodyear will test Daytona International Speedway with #6-David Ragan and #15-Paul Menard's Sprint Cup teams next Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16-17). Goodyear's other scheduled tests looking ahead to the 2009 season include Indianapolis (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and Las Vegas (Dec. 10-11) other upcoming tests to confirm 2008 race recommendations include Atlanta (Sept. 16) and Homestead (Oct. 14)(Goodyear PR)(9-12-2008)
    AND the second Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2008 is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 with #18-Kyle Busch, #28-Travis Kvapil and #66-Scott Riggs as the test drivers. In preparation for the upcoming Pep Boys Auto 500 on October 24-26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is conducting a second tire test to ensure the preeminent tire is ready. Busch, Kvapil and Riggs will return for the second tire test for Goodyear at the 1.54-mile track on September 16. The session is closed to the public.(AMS PR)(9-15-2008)
    UPDATE: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway this week and tested to come up with a new right-side tire that will give Sprint Cup cars more grip when the series visits the track on October 24-26. Participating in the one-day test this Tuesday were the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Kyle Busch), #28 Yates Racing Ford (Travis Kvapil) and #66 Haas-CNC Racing Chevy (Scott Riggs). Those teams were selected because they also participated in a tire test at Atlanta on July 21-22, and Goodyear engineers felt that bringing back the same teams and drivers would maintain continuity and build upon the results of the first test. Using the results from that prior test, Goodyear returned with several potential race combinations to evaluate, and chose the one that worked best. "The spring race at Atlanta was the first for the new car on this track, and many people felt we were too conservative in our tire selection," said Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of global racing. "We have returned to the track twice for testing since the race in order to develop a tire combination that provides a higher level of grip under race conditions. Based upon the data and driver feedback at the test this week, we believe that we've found a solid package for the fall race." Goodyear's new right side tire code (D-4188) will be paired with the same left-side code (D-4152) the tire supplier brought for the Cup cars to run at Atlanta this past March 7-9.
    Goodyear has had a busy week of testing, not only visiting Atlanta but also holding a two-day session with the #6 Roush-Fenway Ford (David Ragan) and #15 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet (Paul Menard) at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Upcoming still in 2008 are two tire tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22-23 and Oct. 6-8) and one each at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 14) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Dec. 10-11).(Goodyear PR)(9-18-2008) Comment here

  • Logano to attempt to make Cup debut at RIR: The Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at will mark #02-Joey Logano’s first career Sprint Cup Series start if he makes the field during qualifying Friday evening at Richmond International Raceway. This is a relatively new race car that has been tested by Logano, most recently last month at New Smyrna Speedway. In addition to Saturday night’s Chevy Rock & Roll 400, Logano will attempt to qualify for one other Sprint Cup race in 2008 for Joe Gibbs Racing – the Oct. 26 event at Atlanta Motor Speedway nearby The Home Depot’s headquarters in Atlanta. Logano will pilot the #96 Toyota for Hall of Fame Racing in five Sprint Cup races in 2008, beginning with the Sept. 14 New Hampshire race. Logano will also drive the #96 machine at Kansas, Charlotte, Martinsville, and Texas [the #96 plan was dropped after 2 races].· Logano will make his 12th career Nationwide Series start in Friday night’s Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond. In 11 Nationwide Series starts thus far this season, Logano has notched one win, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. Logano will have Wally Brown as his crew chief in both races with the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(JGR PR), see a few images of the #02 Home Depot Toyota that Logano will run on my #02 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2008)

  • Three drivers participate in day one of Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta: UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch, along with #66-Scott Riggs and #28-Travis Kvapil, hit the pavement Monday to test combinations of tire compounds and set ups for Goodyear. With two full days of testing, Goodyear is working to ensure the ideal tire for October's race. "I think it will be a lot better direction than what Goodyear had here in the spring. They came here and tried to be cautious with the tire," said Steve Addington, crew chief for the #18 team, referring to noted tire shortcomings during the Kobalt Tools 500. "Now, they've seen what they needed to see and that's the reason we're down here, to try to help them get the tire to where fans will see better racing.(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(7-22-2008)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch, along with Cup Series drivers Travis Kvapil and Scott Riggs, each participated in the second and final day of tire testing by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch, testing in a fully-decaled #18 M&M's Toyota, posted a best lap of 180.662 mph (30.69 seconds). Riggs was the fastest of the group in his red and gray primer Chevrolet with a Haas CNC logo on the hood as he reached 180.994 mph (30.63 seconds), while Kvapil's primer white, decal-free Yates Racing Ford hit 175.101 mph (31.66 seconds).(Atlanta Motor Speedway PR)(7-23-2008) Comment here

  • See the 2008 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.

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