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    Event Schedule

    Times are local
    to the Track

    Fri, September 4

    10:30 am NNS Haulers Enter

    12:00 pm NNS Garage Opens

    6:00 pm NNS Gargae Closes

    7:00 pm NSCS Haulers Enter


    Sat, September 5

    6:00 am NSCS Garage Opens

    6:30 am NNS Garage Opens

    7:00 am NNS Rookie & Spotter / Drawing for Qualifying Order

    8:00 - 9:00 am NNS Practice

    9:30 - 10:50 am NNS Final Practice

    10:00 am NSCS Rookie & Spotter / Drawing for Qualifying Order

    11:00 am Gates 13 & 15 Open

    11:00 am - 12:30pm Pep Boys Auto 500 NSCS Practice

    1:00 pm - 2:30pm Pep Boys Auto 500 NSCS Final Practice

    2:40 pm Degree V12 300 NNS Qualifying

    4:25 pm NNS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting

    4:30 pm Gates 12 & 4 Open

    4:40 pm Pep Boys Auto 500 NSCS Qualifying

    6:30 pm NNS Driver Introductions

    7:00 pm Degree V12 300 NNS Races

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    2:30 pm NSCS Garage Opens

    5:30 pm NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting

    7:00 pm NSCS Driver Introductions

    7:30 pm (~7:46pm green flag) Pep Boys Auto 500 NSCS Race


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    NSCS = Sprint Cup Series
    NNS = Nationwide Series
    NCWTS = Camping World Truck Series
    SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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  • SPRINT CUP RACE INFO and RUNDOWN PAGE
    NEWS, STATS, RESULTS, LINKS and INFO

    the Jayski site is owned and served by:


    THE RACE: Pep Boys Auto 500

    TRACK: Atlanta Motor Speedway

    NASCAR Sprint Cup Race #25 of 36 for the 2009 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, September 6, 2009 in Hampton, GA

    • Title Sponsor: Pep Boys

    • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:46pm/et


    Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

    • NASCAR Countdown: ESPN - 7:00pm/et

    • Television Race Coverage: ESPN, 7:30pm/et

    • TV Announcers: Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree, Dr. Jerry Punch
      Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake, Vince Welch
      Studio: Allen Bestwick, Tim Brewer, Brad Daugherty, Rusty Wallace

    • SPEED's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 5:00pm/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

    • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
      Monday, September 7 at 2:30am/et on ESPN2
      Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et on ESPN Classic
      Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED

    • 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:
      Saturday, September 5, 11:00 - 11:45 am/et, TV-SPEED

    • Happy Hour 'Final' practice: Saturday, September 5, 1:00 - 2:30pm/et, TV-SPEED


    Qualifying Information/Times/TV


    RACE RUNDOWN
    news and links

    • Kahne wins at Atlanta: #9-Kasey Kahne won the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2009 and 11th of his career. Kahne moves up to 6th in drivers points, up 5 spots. #29-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #42-Montoya, #00-Reutimann, #5-Martin, #11-Hamlin, #83-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #39-Newman and #16-Biffle. Points leader #14-Stewart finished 11th, #48-Johnson has rear-end problems and finished 36th, #99-Edwards had debris go thru an oil cooler and lost many laps finishing 37th, #2-Busch wrecked and finished 38th. Other Chase contenders: #17-Kenseth finished 12th and #18-Busch 13th. Vickers is now 13th, 20 points out of 12th and Kyle Busch is 14th, 37 points out of 12th. Pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. finished 26th down a lap after leading 68 laps early in the race. There were 9 cautions for 42 caution laps and there were 31 lead changes among 13 drivers.
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Monday, September 7 at 2:30 am/et; ESPN Classic: Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et.
      For race results, awards and more, see my Atlanta Race Results Page.(9-6-2009)

    • Sprint Cup Series Notes Atlanta:
      * Kasey Kahne won the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. he climbed from 11th to sixth in the points standings, gaining five positions. He is now 96 points ahead of 13th-place Brian Vickers. 105 points separate fifth to 13th; 122 Points separate fifth to 14th. Any driver with a 196 point lead or more over 13th-place Vickers is mathematically locked into the 2009 Chase. Tony Stewart locked at Michigan. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon locked at Bristol. Denny Hamlin locked in at Atlanta by finishing sixth in the race, leaving eight positions still to be determined at Richmond.
      * 122 points separate 10 drivers from fifth (Edwards) to 14th (Kyle Busch).
      * Any driver more than -196 points behind 12th-place Kenseth has been eliminated from the 2009 Chase (17th on back).
      * 16th-place Clint Bowyer will be eliminated if Kenseth starts at Richmond.
      * Kahne became the sixth repeat race winner in 25 races this season joining Kyle Busch and Martin with four each, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with three and Kenseth with two. Kahne became the fifth different race winner in the last five races at Atlanta. He started second. Eight of his 11 series victories have come front a front-row start.
      * Kahne's last win came at Infineon, nine races ago. He scored his second series win in 12 races at Atlanta. He also won at Atlanta in the spring of 2006. Kahne scored his 11th series victory in his 205th career start. Kahne scored his second win for Richard Petty Motorsports. His other nine wins came with Evernham Motorsports.
      * The last 12 races at Atlanta have been won from an 11th or better starting position.
      * Dodge swept both races at Atlanta in 2009. Kurt Busch won the spring race.
      * This marked the eighth win by Dodge in 101 races at Atlanta.
      * Chevrolet has scored 12 wins in 2009, leading all manufacturers. Toyota has eight while Dodge has three and Ford has two.
      * Harvick (finished second) posted his fourth top-10 finish of the season.
      * Hamlin (sixth) has scored five straight top-10 finishes in a streak that began at second Pocono.
      * Vickers (seventh) extended an eight-race streak of top-15 finishes that began at Daytona in July. He is just 20 points behind 12th-place Kenseth.
      * Gordon (eighth) is the only driver to score top-10 finishes in the last five races at Atlanta. He extended a nine-race streak of top-15 finishes at Atlanta.
      * Stewart (11th) extended a 17-race streak of running at the finish at Atlanta that began in November 2001.
      * Kenseth (12th) extend a nine-race streak of top-15 finishes at Atlanta.
      * Jeff Burton (34th) has finished 16th or worse in the last 11 races, since Michigan in June.
      * Johnson (36th) has led at least one lap in 21 of the 25 races in 2009, the most by any driver.
      * Kahne became the 12th different race winners in the 16 superspeedway races (restrictor-plate races excluded).
      * Johnson is the only driver that has led at least one lap in all 16 superspeedway races in 2009.
      * Gordon is the only driver to score 13 top-10 finishes in the 16 superspeedway races in 2009, the most by any driver.
      * Pole winner Martin Truex Jr. led the most laps (68) and finished 26th.
      * Stewart (11th) and Elliott Sadler (21st) have each been running at the finish in the last 48 races, the longest current streak. (ESPN/Racing Resources)(9-7-2009)

    • Race Fast Facts - Atlanta Motor Speedway:
      #9-Kasey Kahne won the Pep Boys Auto 500, his 11th victory in 205 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2009.
      This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 18 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2009.
      #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #14-Tony Stewart leads the point standings by 237 points over Jeff Gordon.
      #11-Denny Hamlin became the fourth driver to clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson).(NASCAR Statistics)(9-6-2009)

    • UNOFFICIAL Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings
      [after Atlanta, race 25 of 36]:

      pos, car#, driver, points, behind, [wins], race finish
      (four have clinched a spot in The Chase)
      1) #14-Tony Stewart [3 wins], 3694, finished 11th at Atlanta
      2) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 3457, -237, 8th
      3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 3404, -290, 36th
      4) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 3296, -398, 6th
      (the following have not clinched a spot in The Chase
      5) #99-Carl Edwards, 3162, -532, 37th (+105 points ahead of 13th)
      6) #9-Kasey Kahne [2 wins], 3153, -541 (+96), 1st
      7) #2-Kurt Busch [1 win], 3152, -542 (+95), 38th
      8) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 3145, -549 (+88), 3rd
      9) #39-Ryan Newman, 3138, -556 (+77), 9th
      10) #5-Mark Martin [4 wins], 3126, -568 (+72), 5th
      11) #16-Greg Biffle, 3125, -569 (+69), 10th
      12) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 3077, -617 (+20 ahead of 13th), 12th
      Contenders for the top-12/The Chase:
      13) #83-Brian Vickers [1 win], 3057, 20 points out of 12th, 7th
      14) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 3040, -37, 13th
      15) #00-David Reutimann [1 win] 2945, -132, 4th
      For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(9-6-2009)

    • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Richmond:
      No changes the spread between 35th and 36th now drops to 94 points
      34) #7-Gordon/Robby Gordon: 2015, +261
      35) #34-Andretti/Earnhardt Ganassi: 1848, 94 points ahead of 36th
      these teams/ drivers must qualify by speed but are close to the top-35:
      36) #82-Speed/Red Bull: 1754, 94 points out of 35th
      37) #71-Gilliland-Labonte/TRG: 1492, -356
      The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
      For the owners points standings, see my Owners Points Standings.(9-6-2009)

    • Penalty Report - Atlanta:
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #98, Pre-Race to the rear, Tail End
      #77, 37 Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #98, 38 Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #77, 61, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #47, 61, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #99, 82, Pitting before pit road is open/Too Fast Entering, Tail End
      #55, 83, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires
      #13, 105, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #31, 131, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Tail End
      #6, 186, Excessive speed ENTERING pits/Also Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #31, 187, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #6, 188, Excessive speed ENTERING pits/Also Commitment Line Violation, Pass Thru
      #14, 202, Lug nut(s) not installed, Must Come In
      #48, 247, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/
        Team member not in contact with the outside tires, Tail End
      #20, 269, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #43, 270, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      #77, 300, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #77, 302, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, Pass Thru
      #33, 311, Pitting before pit road is open, Tail End
      (NASCAR Statistics)(9-6-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Atlanta: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: #17-Kenseth, 12th
      Caution 2: #82-Speed, 24th
      Caution 3: #33-Bowyer, 29th
      Caution 4: #7-Gordon, 16th
      Caution 5: #19-Sadler, 21st
      Caution 6: #16-Biffle, 10th
      Caution 7: #39-Newman, 9th
      Caution 8: #14-Stewart, 11th
      Caution 9: #18-Busch, 13th
      (9-6-2009)

    • Start and Parks? Which teams parked their cars early in the race at Atlanta (or seemed to)?
      43rd: #66-Blaney, completed 20 laps
      42nd: #87-Nemechek, 26
      41st: #09-Bliss, 39
      (only count a team with a history of start and park and only if 25% or less of race completed)(9-6-2009)

    • Pit Stall Selections - Atlanta: The selections of pit stalls for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #1-Truex Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters], outside pole sitter #9-Kahne took pit stall 34, the 2nd to next pit stall with an opening in front of it, #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 21st pit stall, the next stall [after the 1st] with an opening in front of it. The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #18-Busch, who starts 5th.
      To see where all the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Atlanta Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-5-2009)

    • Race Coverage of the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2009.
      Television (TV): ESPN at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:46pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      ESPN2: Monday, September 7 at 2:30 am/et
      ESPN Classic: Tuesday, September 8 at 11:00am/et
      SPEED, Wednesday, September 9 at 12:00pm/et

    • Jayski's - 2009 Sprint Cup Race Results Page

    • NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton explains new restart rules: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton gave an explanation Friday of the new double-file restart rules. Here are excerpts of the conversation with the media and his answers to some questions ask.
      SD: What is the procedure for double-file restarts?
      Pemberton: “When the caution comes out, the field will be frozen as it is today. The free-pass car will be identified as it is today and it will be the same format. As the cars are gathered behind the pace car, the pit road is opened for leaders, the second time by it will be open for the lap-down cars, and that is how it is today. And when we come to the one [lap]-to-go [until the green drops], the cars that have elected not to pit that are lap-down cars that will be in front of the lead-lap cars that have pitted, will be waved around to join the field at the tail end. The lineup will be on the double-file restart, lead-lap cars to the front, lap-down cars, … then it will be the free-pass car, then it will be the cars that have been waved around and then it will be the penalty cars.
      SD: If a guy on the lead lap opts not to pit, he’s the leader?
      Pemberton: Correct. Still P1 [the leader].
      SD: Is there an option for the lead car to select which lane?
      Pemberton: When we give the 1-to-go, the leader throughout the entire race will get lane choice, high or low. He has to make that choice when we come to the 1-to-go at the stripe. One other thing we have added is the free pass will take place from start to finish throughout the entire race.
      SD: If a car on the lead lap pits a second time with the lap-down cars, does he restart with the lap-down cars?
      Pemberton: He will start in his respective track position how he came off of pit road. If you have a lead-lap car who makes multiple pit stops to work on his car, he is not in that lead-lap group that pitted that first-time by. He’ll be scored where he comes off pit road [with lapped cars]
      SD: The lap-down cars that don’t pit and the get the wave around the leader, do they get to come all the way around to rear of the field?
      Pemberton: That’s correct but they will not be able to hit pit road for tires and fuel. Pit road won’t be closed but they will forfeit their wave-around status if they hit pit road for tires and fuel.
      SD: At tracks like Martinsville and Bristol and you’re waiting for the 1-to-go, are you anticipating that the wave around could be hard to be completed?
      Pemberton: There could be issues. Every track has its different set of challenges. We’ll have to address those when we get to them. The whole field will be double file so they won’t be as strung out.
      SD: If multiple lead-lap cars stay out, do the lap-down cars that don’t pit still get waved around?
      Pemberton: The only way you can be waved around is if you are between the leader and the pace car. As pit stops take place, you need to be in front of the lead-lap cars. You get waved around regardless if you’re one or two or three laps down [or more].
      SD: Are you going to use double-file restarts throughout the race for every race?
      Pemberton: Yes.
      SD: It was said that Trucks and Nationwide will use it later this year? Any timetable?
      Pemberton: It’s just later. We need to work through some of these details here. We’ve got three races in three different states [this weekend]. We want to make sure we concentrate on this [in Cup] and get everything as right as we can.(SceneDaily)(6-7-2009)

    • NASCAR Announces “Double-File Restarts – Shootout Style”: NASCAR announced a change to its race format with the addition of “Double-File Restarts – Shootout Style” throughout each race. Beginning with this weekend at Pocono Raceway, the first- and second-place drivers will line up side-by-side as the green flag flies for each restart. “We’ve heard the fans loud and clear: ‘double-file restarts – shootout style’ are coming to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “This addition to the race format is good for competition and good for the fans.”
      NASCAR recently used the “double-file” format for its non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, which produced an unpredictable finish. The format will be adapted for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the near future. Under the previous format, cars on the lead lap would restart in a single-file line while cars that had been lapped would start in a line next to them. Under the new format, the race leader will have the option to restart on the inside or outside lane. The second-place driver would then restart next to the leader. Regardless of where the leader starts, drivers in odd number positions (3rd, 5th, 7th places, etc.) will restart on the inside lane, while drivers in even number positions (4th, 6th, 8th places, etc.) will restart on the outside. All restarts will use the same format regardless of the number of laps remaining in the race.
      The first-place driver will continue to control the timing of restarts in a designated zone on the track. Likewise, cars are to stay in line until they reach the start/finish line. The first eligible car a lap or more down will continue to earn one lap back following a caution, which is known as the “free pass.” However, a new element beginning this week will be that the “free pass” will remain in effect the entire race [before it was all race until 10 or less laps to go, then none was awarded]. Lapped cars choosing to remain on the track will be “waved around” the caution car and will restart the race in respective track position, thus picking up a lap to the leader provided the leader also pits. This will also remove lapped cars from behind the pace car, allowing the leaders to take the green without interference [so the leader will not restart in the middle of the pack].(NASCAR)(6-4-2009) Comment here


    NEWS, PRACTICE and QUALIFYING
    news, notes and links

    • Atlanta Pit Stall Selections

    • Truex wins pole at Atlanta: #1-Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 184.149mph for his 2nd pole of the season and 3rd pole of his career. #9-Kahne was 2nd fastest followed by #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #2-Busch, #5-Martin, #83-Vickers, #12-Stremme and #11-Hamlin. Points leader #14-Stewart will start 12th.
      The non Top-35 drivers who made the race: #21-Gilliland, #71-BLabonte, #82-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #66-Blaney, #09-Bliss, #13-Papis and #08-TLabonte (using the past champions provisional).
      The three drivers who failed to qualify: #78-Smith, #36-Carpentier and #37-Raines.
      For qualifying results, order, pole progression and starting lineup see my Atlanta Starting Lineup/Qualifying page.(9-5-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Atlanta Motor Speedway:
      #1-Martin Truex Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Pep Boys Auto 500 with a lap of 30.106 seconds, 184.149 mph.
      This is his third pole in 142 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      This is his second pole and sixth top-10 start in 2009. His first pole of 2009 was for the Daytona 500.
      This is his first pole in ten races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #9-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2009 and his seventh in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his 19th in 25 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-5-2009)

    • Atlanta Pole Progression: (who had the pole first, who got it next and who ended up with it)
      #34-Andretti, 1st out to qualify, 179.400mph, starts 40th
      #48-Johnson, 2nd out, 183.358mph, starts 3rd
      #9-Kahne, 9th out, 183.497mph, starts 2nd
      #1-Truex Jr., 32nd out, 184.149mph, starts 1st (9-5-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 4:40pm/et.
      Television (TV): SPEED - 4:30pm/et
      Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128
      Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

    • Qualifying Order for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. 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 #34-Andretti.
      The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #33-Bowyer.
      The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #37-Raines with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #66-Blaney.
      See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(9-5-2009)

    • Happy Hour practice for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, top 5 are:
      #39-Newman 179.866
      #5-Martin 179.522
      #83-Vickers 179.330
      #33-Bowyer 179.278
      #24-Gordon 179.272
      Slowest: #08-Labonte 172.377 and #96-Darnell 172.538
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers run in Happy Hour practice at Atlanta:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #82-Scott Speed, 8th fastest overall
      #21-David Gilliland, 13th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 19th
      #13-Max Papis, 20th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 22nd
      #09-Mike Bliss, 32nd
      #66-Dave Blaney, 35th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC], 46th/last; would use past champ provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #78-Regan Smith, 42nd
      #37-Tony Raines, 44th
      #36-Patrick Carpentier, 44th
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • 1st Saturday practice for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #48-Johnson 182.807
      #5-Martin 182.507
      #11-Hamlin 181.729
      #14-Stewart 181.699
      #2-Busch 181.639
      Slowest: #96-Darnell 167.457 and #08-TLabonte 171.907
      Light rain fell for a few minutes at Atlanta Motor Speedway around 12:08pm/et. Red flag was out and cars came to pit road for a few minutes, but went back out to practice. Very tight schedule at Atlanta on Saturday.
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers run in the 1st practice at Atlanta:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 13th fastest overall
      #66-Dave Blaney, 19th
      #71-Bobby Labonte, 31st
      #09-Mike Bliss, 33rd
      #37-Tony Raines, 36th
      #21-David Gilliland, 37th
      #36-Patrick Carpentier, 38th
      #08-Terry Labonte [PC], 45th would use past champ provisional
      these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
      #82-Scott Speed, 41st
      #78-Regan Smith, 42nd
      #13-Max Papis, 43rd
      See speeds, average speeds, laps run on my Atlanta Practice Speeds Notes page.(9-5-2009)

    • The Entry List for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2009 owners points:
      #08-Terry Labonte (Past Champ 1996)(51st in owners pts/5 attempts)
      #09-Mike Bliss (2009 Race Winner as owner)(38/24)
      #13-Max Papis (43/12)
      #21-David Gilliland (44/8)
      #36-Patrick Carpentier (42/24)
      #37-Tony Raines (47/16)
      #66-Dave Blaney (41/24)
      #71-Bobby Labonte (Past Champ 2000/too late)(37/24)
      #78-Regan Smith (40/12)
      #82-Scott Speed (36/24)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (40/24)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,08,82,71,87,66,36,37
      missing the race would be [3]: #'s 78,13,21
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(8-31/9-4-2009)

    • Chase clinch scenarios heading to Atlanta: #14-Tony Stewart, #48-Jimmie Johnson, and #24-Jeff Gordon have each clinched a spot in the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. That leaves nine spots left to be had - and more than nine drivers who want one of them. Mathematically, eight of those spots can be clinched at Atlanta. Realistically, only three likely will. Any driver who leaves Atlanta with a 196-point lead over 13th-place will clinch a Chase spot. Furthermore, any driver with a 162-point lead over 13th-place will need only to start Race #26 at Richmond to clinch.
      Currently, #11-Denny Hamlin, in fourth place, has a 230-point lead on 13th - meaning he can lose 34 points and still clinch. Put simply, if Hamlin finishes third or better, fourth and leads at least a lap or fifth and leads the most laps at Atlanta, he will clinch a Chase spot.
      #99-Carl Edwards, in fifth, is 199 points ahead of 13th and can lose three points to that position. Though there are numerous possibilities for Edwards to clinch, only an Atlanta win will guarantee it.
      #2-Kurt Busch, in sixth, holds a 192-point lead over 13th. He needs to gain four points to clinch. Like Edwards, there are a number of ways for that to happen, but only a win on Sunday would guarantee a clinch.
      Those drivers currently in position seventh through 11th can mathematically clinch - but the scenarios are almost too far-fetched for it to happen. #39-Ryan Newman needs to gain 84 points over 13th, #16-Greg Biffle needs 75 points, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya needs 132 points; #5-Mark Martin needs 136 points; and #9-Kasey Kahne needs 144 points.(NASCAR PR)(8-31-2009) Comment here

    • 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 Sprint 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, if still tied then by best finish
      #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)

    • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

    • 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.

    • 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 [NSCS]. 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 NSCS still will be determined by qualifying speed, the new system will assure the highest-ranked 35 positions of the NSCS 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 NSCS 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 Sprint 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 Sprint Cup: See my 2009 Past Champions Provisional Page for more


    RACE RECORDS, NOTES, RULES and NEWS

    • Newman could break Atlanta pole record: Should #39-Ryan Newman claim the pole during Saturday’s Qualifying afternoon 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 2009 poles, see my All Time Pole Wins page.(8-22-2009)

    • October 2008 Race Winner: #99-Carl Edwards, 134.272mph, started 4th

    • March 2009 Race Winner: #2-Kurt Busch, 127.573, started 2nd

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

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

    • Youngest Race Winner: Kyle Busch (03/09/2008 - 22 years, 10 months, 7 days)

    • Oldest Race Winner: Morgan Shepherd (03/20/1993 - 51 years, 5 months, 8 days)

    • October 2008 Pole Sitter: None due to inclement weather. #48-Johnson started 1st based on pts

    • March 2009 Pole Sitter: #5-Mark Martin, 187.640, finished 31st

    • Track Qualifying Record: Geoffrey Bodine, 11/16/1997, 197.478mph

    • Youngest Pole Winner: Terry Labonte (03/15/1981 - 24 years, 3 months, 27 days)

    • Oldest Pole Winner: Harry Gant (11/14/1993 - 53 years, 10 months, 4 days)

    • Most Races - Active Driver: Richard Petty, 65

    • Most Races - All Time: Bill Elliott, 60

    • 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]

    • Most Cautions: 11 - 11/1993 and 3/8/2009

    • Fewest Cautions: 1 - 7/9/1961

    • 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

    • Lead Lap Finishes (All-Time): Dale Earnhardt, 26 in 46 races

    • Lead Lap Finishes (Active): Jeff Gordon, 21 in 34 races

    • Most Laps Led: Cale Yarborough, 3,283 laps led

    • 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

    • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 35 - Chevrolet

    • Races won from starting pos 1: 14 [of 100]

    • Races won from starting pos 2: 11

    • Races won from starting pos 3: 9

    • Races won from starting pos 4: 10

    • 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: 57 of 100

    • Races won from the top 10: 79 of 100

    • 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 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts from the pole.

      • Jeff Gordon won the first NASCAR Nationwide race at Atlanta held March 14, 1992.

      • The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta was held March 13, 2004, won by Bobby Hamilton.

      • The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.

      • It was renamed Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990.

      • The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.

      • There have been 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, two races per year except 1961, which had three.

      • Fireball Roberts won the pole and race for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 1960.

      • 43 drivers have won a pole, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman, each with seven.

      • Six of Newman’s seven poles came in back-to-back races between March 2003 and October 2005.

      • 42 drivers have won a race at Atlanta; 21 have won more than once, including Kurt Busch, who won his second Atlanta race earlier this season. In that event, Busch scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0.

      • Dale Earnhardt scored nine victories, more than any other driver. Cale Yarborough is second with seven.

      • Bobby Labonte has six victories, most among active drivers. Labonte is tied with Richard Petty for third on the all-time win list.

      • The Wood Brothers are the most productive car owners with 12 victories. They last won there in 1993 with Morgan Shepherd.


      • 57 races at Atlanta 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 that a race winner has started at Atlanta.

      • There have been seven season sweeps, most recently by Jimmie Johnson in 2007.

      • Kurt Busch’s perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 in March was the eighth perfect rating since the inception of the Loop Data statistic in 2005. There has been one more since then: Jimmie Johnson at Dover International Speedway.

      • Jimmie Johnson is the only active driver to average a top-10 finish (9.1).

      • There have been 159 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Georgia.

      • 169 NASCAR national series drivers all-time have their home state recorded as Georgia.


    PAINT SCHEME NEWS

      Car# and Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promotion Image Link if available
      #00-David Reutimann Aaron’s Outdoors
      Mossy Oak Brand 'Tree Stand' Camo
      #00 Team Schemes Page
      #1-Martin Truex Jr. Guitar Hero #7 Team Schemes Page
      #5-Mark Martin Carquest/Kelloggs #5 Team Schemes Page
      #7-Robby Gordon Polaris #7 Team Schemes Page
      #11-Denny Hamlin Farm Bureau Insurance #11 Team Schemes Page
      #14-Tony Stewart Office Depot/Old Spice #14 Team Schemes Page
      #16-Greg Biffle 3M/Red Cross #16 Team Schemes Page
      #17-Matt Kenseth R&L Carriers #17 Team Schemes Page
      #18-Kyle Busch Pedigree Dog Food #18 Team Schemes Page
      #19-Elliott Sadler Stanley Tools #19 Team Schemes Page
      #21-Bill Elliott David Gilliland #21 Team Schemes Page
      #31-Jeff Burton CAT Financial #31 Team Schemes Page
      #33-Clint Bowyer BB&T #33 Team Schemes Page
      #36-Patrick Carpentier Wave Energy Drink #36 Team Schemes Page
      #43-Reed Sorenson Air Force #43 Team Schemes Page
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger Hunt Brothers Pizza #44 Team Schemes Page
      #48-Jimmie Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools #48 Team Schemes Page
      #71-Bobby Labonte TaxSlayer.com #71 Team Schemes Page
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard #88 Team Schemes Page
      #96-Erik Darnell Academy Sports + Outdoors #96 Team Schemes Page
      #98-Paul Menard Richmond / Menards none...yet
      #99-Carl Edwards Aflac Children's Cancer Center #99 Team Schemes Page


    • 13-Year-Old Girl from Aflac Cancer Center Designs Carl Edwards’ Car: On September 6th, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion will sport a colorful new look inspired by a 13-year-old patient at the Aflac Cancer Center. Aflac invited children at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service to “Color Carl’s Car” for the Labor Day weekend race. The chosen paint scheme, submitted by Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia, was selected among 54 other entries as part of Aflac’s month-long effort to generate awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. All of the children’s drawings will be featured on the pit wall banner for the #99 race team. Edwards will wear a matching fire suit and a white helmet signed by children at the Aflac Cancer Center. People can join the fight against pediatric cancer by donating to the Aflac Cancer Center (ACC) through the Aflac Cancer Center causes page which can be accessed on Facebook.com or at aflac.com/aflaccancercenter. Aflac will contribute one dollar for anyone who joins the ACC causes page and will match donations up to $1 million.
      Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos kicked off the campaign by making a personal donation of $100,000 and challenged others to contribute to the fight against childhood cancer. Carl Edwards responded to this challenge by announcing on Facebook that he will donate his portion of the winnings from Sunday’s race to the Aflac Cancer Center.
      Aflac is also engaging NASCAR fans in the fight against childhood cancer through a text donation program which will run throughout the month of September. The NASCAR community can simply text “GoCarl” to 90999 using any carrier, to donate $5 per text, with charges appearing on customers’ wireless bill. The NASCAR Foundation will match texted donations up to $10,000.
      Childhood cancer is Aflac’s primary philanthropic commitment and the number one cause of death by disease for young people under the age of 15. However, due to increased and improved research and treatment, since the 1980s, childhood cancer survival rates have improved from less than 20% to over 80% today.
      “This is a wonderful campaign and a great example of how Aflac continues to support childhood cancer treatment and research,” said Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion. “I am proud to be a part of this effort.”
      “Aflac is combining our passion for fighting childhood cancer with our NASCAR sponsorship of Carl Edwards to raise money and awareness for a great cause,” said Paul Amos II, Aflac President and Chief Operating Officer. “By showcasing Jody’s compelling story we hope to inspire NASCAR fans to help raise funds and support the research and treatment that takes place everyday at the Aflac Cancer Center.”
      As an additional program element, Aflac has teamed up with Motorsports Authentics to create a special die cast car, featuring the special paint scheme, which was sold on QVC and is still available online at nascarsuperstore.com. As part of the initiative, five percent of all profits from the die cast sales will be donated to the Aflac Cancer Center.(RFR/Aflac), see images of thew scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(9-6-2009)

    • Kenseth carrying R&L colors at Atlanta: The #17 Ford of Matt Kenseth will carry the green and gold colors of R+L carriers this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Pep Boys Auto 500. It will be the third of four races this season with R+L Carriers as the primary on the #17 Ford also running at Charlotte in May and Daytona in July and is scheduled to run at Auto Club Speedway in Oct. Kenseth has carried the R+L Carriers paint scheme 12 times since 2006. In his 12 previous starts in the #17 R+L Carriers Ford, Kenseth has achieved 12 top-12, 10 top-10, and four top-five finishes.(Roush Fenway Racing), see images of the scheme on my #17 Team Schemes page.(9-5-2009)

    • Farm Bureau Insurance to be back on the #11: Farm Bureau Insurance Racing will be back on the track this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, for the PepBoys Auto 500. Farm Bureau Insurance will again serve as the primary sponsor for the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin. In May, Denny made the debut of the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota at Darlington Raceway - finishing 13th. Denny Hamlin currently ranks 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points and is coming off a strong run a few weeks ago at Bristol, where he finished 5th.(Farm Bureau Insurance Racing), see images of the scheme on my #11 Team Schemes page.(9-4-2009)

    • Special scheme for Edwards at Atlanta: At the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the #99 Aflac Ford will sport a colorful new look inspired by the creative imagination of a 13-year-old cancer patient from the Aflac Cancer Center. In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Aflac invited children at the Aflac Cancer Center to “Color Carl’s Car,” inspiring the design of the car Carl Edwards will drive at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on September 6. It will also mark the beginning of a month-long fundraising campaign whereby Aflac is asking NASCAR fans to help in the fight against childhood cancer.
      The paint scheme, inspired by 13 year old Jody Lawrence of Greensboro, Georgia, will feature an array of colors and a crayon-sketched look. Edwards will wear a matching fire suit and a white helmet signed by patients of the Aflac Cancer Center. The remaining 54 paint scheme submissions will be featured throughout the concourse of Atlanta Motor Speedway for viewing by race attendees and will adorn the pit wall banner for the #99 race team. Jody, who is battling neuroblastoma cancer, receives treatment at the Aflac Cancer Center. To extend the program beyond the track, Aflac has created a text donation program to coincide with the paint scheme launch. Running throughout the month of September, the donation program gives the NASCAR community an easy method to contribute to the Aflac Cancer Center. Fans can simply text “GoCarl” to 90999 using any carrier, to donate $5 per text, with charges appearing on customers’ wireless bill.
      As an additional program element, Aflac has teamed up with Motorsports Authentics to create a special die cast car, featuring the special paint scheme, to sell through QVC. As part of the initiative, five percent of all profits from the die cast sales will be donated to the Aflac Cancer Center. All cars sold through QVC will be personally autographed by Edwards (Aflac Racing). See images of the scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2009)

    • Reutimann to run camo scheme at Atlanta: #00-David Reuitmann is scheduled to run the Aaron’s Outdoors/Mossy Oak Brand 'Tree Stand' Camo paint scheme in the Pep Boy's Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. See many images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(Aaron's Sports)(8-18-2009)

    • Polaris to Sponsor Robby Gordon Race Weekend: #7-Robby Gordon will race The Off Road Championship (TORC), at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway, in Crandon, Wis., on Sunday, September 6, and then jump on a plane and head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Labor Day Pep Boys 500, later that night. As part of the multi-year product development and marketing agreement Polaris and Gordon inked earlier this year, Polaris will be the primary sponsor of Gordon’s #007 TORC Chevy Silverado race truck for the TORC race and the primary sponsor on the #7 NSCS Toyota Camry, at the NASCAR Labor Day Classic 500. A whirlwind of a weekend, Gordon will practice for the TORC race on Friday and Saturday morning, then fly to Atlanta after Saturday’s practice to qualify for the NASCAR Labor Day Classic, and return to Crandon on Saturday night for more prep before the race on Sunday. After the TORC race, he’ll jump back on a plane to compete in the NASCAR race on Sunday evening. This past winter, Gordon and Polaris entered into a three-year agreement that included Gordon providing insight on future products and promoting Polaris’ RANGER RZR Side-by-Sides. The agreement was unique in that Gordon would not only market Polaris product but also use his off-road expertise to help create new Polaris vehicles. It won’t be much longer when off-road enthusiasts will see the first of the units co-developed by Robby Gordon and Polaris. The TORC off-road race can be seen live on ABC, Sunday, September 6, from 4:00-5:00pm/et. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Labor Day Pep Boys 500 will air on ESPN, starting at 7:00pm/et, Sunday night.(RGM), see image of the scheme on my #7 Team Schemes page.(8-15-2009) Comment here

    • Truex debuts Guitar Hero scheme at Indy UPDATE: The #1 best-selling video game, Guitar Hero, returns to the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. This time the popular video game franchise introduces their latest hit, Guitar Hero Smash Hits. The video game returns as a primary sponsor with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the fourth time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for several races including the 2009 Daytona 500. This marks the first race for Guitar Hero as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy team. Guitar Hero will once again be the featured paint scheme for Truex and team with paint schemes at the upcoming Atlanta and Charlotte events.(Earnhardt Ganassi)(7-22-2009)
      UPDATE: Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. The paint scheme coincides with the launch of the popular video game franchise’s latest hit, Guitar Hero 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The video game returns as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the sixth time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for four races, including the 2009 Daytona 500, and the #1 team at Indianapolis [and will supposedly be on the #1 car at Lowe's Motor Speedway].(EGR)(9-2-2009)

    • Special CAT scheme for Burton in two races: #31-Jeff Burton is scheduled to run a CAT Financial Chevy on:
      September 6th at Atlanta and on
      November 15th at Phoenix
      See the scheme on my #31 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2009)

    • American Red Cross Joins 3M and Greg Biffle: For the second year in a row, the American Red Cross is encouraging loyal NASCAR fans to donate blood through the Red Cross by joining Red Cross Racing. Red Cross Racing is a program designed to increase the number of blood donors and the number of times they donate. Participants of this program can get points for a variety of activities including giving blood and/or platelets, and recruiting other blood donors. #16-Greg Biffle has signed on again as a Red Cross spokesperson this racing season to raise awareness about the ongoing need for blood donations. Biffle, a Red Cross blood donor and member of its National Celebrity Cabinet, will help get the word out to the NASCAR fans across the country about the importance of blood donation. Thanks to a generous donation from 3M, Biffle will wear the Red Cross fire suit and drive the #16 Ford Fusion with the full Red Cross paint scheme at the Sprint Cup Series races in:
      Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend and in:
      Atlanta on Labor Day weekend.
      This year, the program offers participants new and exciting rewards for blood donation activities. Registrants have the chance to get points and exchange them for NASCAR-themed prizes, such as limited edition die-cast cars. Fans can join the program by visiting redcrossracing.com, and can begin accruing points after registering.(PR Newswire)(5-21-2009)

    • Pedigree colors make 2009 debut for Busch: Pedigree will make its first of three appearances as primary sponsor of Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota at Talladega this weekend. The other events at which the Mars Pedigree brand will adorn the #18 this season will be at:
      Atlanta Motor Speedway in September and
      Phoenix International Raceway in November
      The first Pedigree paint scheme of 2009 kicks off the company’s “NASCAR’s Luckiest Dog” contest in which the winner of which will have his or her dog pictured on Busch’s #18 Toyota at the Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix in November.(M&M's Racing PR)(4-23-2009)

    • New sponsor for the #44: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Hunt Brothers Pizza will sponsor AJ Allmendinger’s #44 Dodge for six races plus the All-Star race in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The announcement extends Allmendinger’s season through the Sept. 12 Richmond race. The Petty team remains committed to racing Allmendinger in a full season of competition if its success in generating sponsorship continues. “This is awesome news,” said Allmendinger who is 20th in the point standings despite entering the year outside the top 35. “I want to thank Hunt Brothers Pizza for coming on board and supporting us. I know our fans and NASCAR fans in general certainly appreciate all they are doing for the sport. We plan to give Hunt Brothers Pizza a lot to talk about in the coming weeks.” Hunt Brothers Pizza said its interest in Allmendinger and the Petty team would be a huge hit with its team members as well as their customers in over 6,000 locations across the country. "Partnering with Richard Petty Motorsports is exciting for everyone involved with Hunt Brothers”, said Scott Hunt, CEO of Hunt Brothers Pizza. “We feel blessed to be in a position to support AJ while connecting with our convenience store customers, many of whom are NASCAR fans. Getting the opportunity to work with “The King” Mr. Richard Petty, AJ Allmendinger and all the professionals at Richard Petty Motorsports, offers us a unique opportunity. We are excited and looking forward to seeing the Hunt Brothers Dodge on the track.” Tom Reddin, CEO at Richard Petty Motorsports: "AJ has done a heck of a job placing the #44 in the top 20, and we've been able to form some great partnerships along the way with Hunt Brothers Pizza, Dodge, Valvoline, Charter Communications, Harrah's, Super 8 Hotels and Paralyzed Veterans of America," said Reddin. "The success we are having on and off the track has helped us extend our schedule for the 44 team at least through the second Richmond race, and with a little help from some additional partners, we should have a good shot at making a successful full season. We think the on-track performance of the 44 team, AJ's personality, and all the assets of the Richard Petty Motorsports organization makes this team a very attractive and unique opportunity for potential partners." Allmendinger will race the Hunt Brothers Pizza paint scheme:
      April 26 at Talladega
      May 16 in the All-Star race
      May 24 in The Coke 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway
      July 11 in Chicagoland
      (also ran at Indy on July 26)
      Aug. 22 in Bristol
      Sept. 6 in Atlanta
      Sept. 12 in Richmond
      Allmendinger joined the Petty team for the final five races of the 2008 season. The Los Gatos, Calif. native is a five-time victor in open wheel racing who made the switch to NASCAR two years ago.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR), see images of the scheme on the #44 Team Schemes page.(4-8-2009) Comment here

    • R&L Carriers to sponsor Kenseth for four races: R&L Carriers is an associate sponsor for #17-Matt Kenseth. For a total of four races this season:
      May 24-Charlotte
      July 4-Daytona
      Sept. 6-Atlanta and
      Oct. 11-California
      Kenseth’s Ford will prominently display the green and yellow colors of R&L as well as the company’s logo, according to Donald R. DeLuca, vice president and general counsel for R&L. For the remainder of the Sprint Cup season, R&L Carriers brand will be located on either the rear quarter panel or on the TV panel. This is the final year of a three-year contract R&L has with Kenseth.(Wilmington News Journal), see images of the #17 Team Schemes page for the image of the scheme.(2-17-2009) Comment here

    • Academy Sports + Outdoors sponsoring Labonte for 5 races: Hall of Fame Racing announced that Academy Sports + Outdoors, a leader in the sports and outdoor industry, will sponsor Bobby Labonte and the #96 Ford for five races in the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. Academy Sports + Outdoor's will debut with the # 96 Academy Sports + Outdoor Ford at:
      Bristol Motor Speedway. The retail leader will again race at:
      Darlington Raceway in the Southern 500
      Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400
      Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Pep Boys Auto 500 and
      Talladega Superspeedway in the Amp Energy 500. (Yates Racing PR)(1-28-2009) Comment here

    • Farm Bureau Insurance to sponsor JGR for 6 races: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies will serve as the primary sponsor for six Sprint Cup Series races during the 2009 season. Farm Bureau Insurance will be carried on the #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin twice during the upcoming season including:
      May 9 race at Darlington
      September 6 race at Atlanta
      In addition Farm Bureau Insurance will be on the #20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano at the:
      October 25 race at Martinsville. Both FedEx and The Home Depot will still be represented on their respective cars at each of those races.
      Farm Bureau Insurance will also sponsor a fourth JGR entry at three races in 2009 on the #02 Toyota at the:
      October 17 Charlotte race
      November 8 Texas race
      November 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead.
      The driver for those three races will be announced later. “Farm Bureau Insurance has been an outstanding partner with us and we’re thrilled to have them on these six Cup races this year,” said Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs. “We were able to generate a lot of excitement for them last year and we’ll work hard this year to provide their agents, members and customers a program to be proud of now in our Cup program.”(JGR PR)
      IMAGES: see images of the cars on my #02 Team Schemes page, #11 Team Schemes page and/or #20 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2009) Comment here

    • BB&T to sponsor #33 & Bowyer for eleven 2009 races: BB&T Corporation and Richard Childress Racing have agreed to an 11-race sponsorship for RCR’s #33 Chevy with driver Clint Bowyer for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. In addition to 10 points races, BB&T will also be the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s #33 Chevy for the annual Sprint Cup Series all-star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May. The March 8 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark the first of three consecutive races for BB&T, followed by four in a row starting at Talladega in April and wrapping up with the all-star festivities in Charlotte. In September, BB&T will be showcased again in Atlanta and at Dover for the first of three Chase for the Sprint Cup races. Bowyer’s #33 Impala SS will also feature a burgundy and gold BB&T paint scheme at Martinsville and Talladega next fall. BB&T will serve as a major associate sponsor of the #33 Chevy for the remaining 26 races on the 2009 schedule while General Mills’ brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper will be the primary sponsor. Next season will mark the second-consecutive year that BB&T has expanded its role within the RCR family of sponsors. In 2007, BB&T sponsored a partial Nationwide Series schedule with Bowyer in RCR’s flagship #2 Chevrolet. That role evolved into a 25-race schedule in 2008, in addition to two races on the #07 Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series.(RCR PR)(11-12-2008) Comment here

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


    TRACK/RACE NEWS

    • 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: Brian Zuckerman, Pep Boys’ Senior VP for General Counsel & Secretary
      Command to start engines: Brian Zuckerman
      Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: ?
      Invocation: Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family
      National Anthem: Diamond Rio
      Military Flyover: 4 Four F-15 Eagle tactical fighters, 122nd Fighter Squadron of the 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard.

    • For the season race officials by track, see my Race Officials page

    • AMS Pep Boys Auto 400 2009 Fan Guide

    • Track Website: atlantamotorspeedway.com

    • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Atlanta Motor Speedway

    • October 2008: see my Atlanta Race Info page

    • March 2009: see the Atlanta Race Info page


    • Pep Boys Auto 500 Grand Marshal named: Pep Boys Auto has selected Brian Zuckerman to serve as Grand Marshal for the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Zuckerman serves as Pep Boys’ Senior Vice President for General Counsel & Secretary. He joined Pep Boys Auto in 1999 as a staff attorney.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • Diamond Rio, SHeDAISY to Perform National Anthems at AMS Grammy-nominated country artists Diamond Rio and SHeDAISY will perform the National Anthems prior to the running of the Pep Boys Auto 500 and Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway respectively. In addition to the Anthem, Diamond Rio will headline a Pre-Race Party concert prior to the race. Also giving fans up-close access to NASCAR Sprint Cup driver introductions, a limited number of stage-front passes are available for $49. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. with a performance by up-and-coming country star Jason Michael Carroll. A Pep Boys Auto 500 ticket is also required for admission to the party area. To purchase Pre-Race Party Passes or ticket to the Pep Boys Auto 500, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (77) 946-3917 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • AMS Fly Over to Feature Four F-15 Eagles: Four F-15 Eagle tactical fighters will perform the pre-race fly over prior to Pep Boys Auto 500 and Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway’s pre-race festivities will include four members of the “Bayou Militia,” the 122nd Fighter Squadron of the 159th Fighter Wing of the Louisiana Air National Guard. The 122nd Fighter Squadron is tasked to provide air superiority over the Gulf Coast in support of USNORTHCOM and NORAD. The group is based out of the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans.(AMS)(9-5-2009)

    • Tickets Still Available for AMS’ Pep Boys Auto 500 Race Weekend: While ticket sales are brisk, great seats are still available for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, this Sunday’s Pep Boys Auto 500. Race fans can still purchase tickets through Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Ticket Office or Ticket Master and pick up their tickets at Will Call the day of the race. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Speedway’s entry gates on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets remain available in the Champions Grandstand near the start/finish line, in the Earnhardt Grandstand, in the Petty Grandstand and a very limited number remain in the Winners and Elliott Grandstands. In addition, a limited number of Pre-Race Party passes remain available. Presented by the Georgia Lottery, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Pre-Race Party will feature pre-race concerts with country legends Diamond Rio and special guest Jason Michael Carroll. In addition to the concerts, a Pre-Race Party pass will give race fans stage-front access for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions prior to the Pep Boys Auto 500. A number of reserved and unreserved camp sites are also still available and may be purchased in advance or upon arrival at the Speedway. For more information on tickets, Pre-Race Party passes or camping, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Paints Inside Stripe Yellow: Atlanta Motor Speedway has painted the track’s inside racing groove stripe yellow in an effort to aid drivers in spotting the line during the Speedway’s first full weekend of NASCAR night racing. In addition to the change in color, the new paint included reflective glass beads, making the stripe more noticeable under the lights. After receiving input from Sprint Cup drivers Kurt Busch and John Andretti urging him to paint the line from white to yellow, Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark acted on the advice and changed the stripe’s color preceding this weekend’s Degree V12 300 Nationwide Series race and Pep Boys Auto 500 Sprint Cup Series race. “Kurt [Busch] and I talked following our most recent Goodyear Tire Test and he expressed a concern that the line was difficult to see at night,” said Clark, who also worked at Bristol and Lowe’s Motor Speedway when those facilities added night racing. “John [Andretti] and I discussed the concern on the phone and he shared the sentiment, so I knew this was a necessary change for our first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race.”(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Chief Lighting Officer Ready to Turn On the Lights Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Chief Lighting Officer is eagerly anticipating his responsibility of turning on the lights for Atlanta’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race. Jack Welch was selected from more than 750 entrants to serve as the track’s Chief Lighting Officer in a promotional earlier this year. As Atlanta’s CLO, Welch will make history as he “flips the switch” to turn on the lights, receives VIP for the Pep Boys Auto 500 and participates in pre-race festivities. “We are very excited about the trip and being involved with turning the lights on at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” said Welch, a resident of Pearl, Miss. “What a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend!” Welch’s birthday is Sept. 7.(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Atlanta’s PRN Up-to-Speed to Feature Truex, Jr. and Sadler: Martin Truex, Jr. and Elliott Sadler will headline “PRN Up to Speed” at the Speed Stage in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Display Lot on Sunday, Sept. 6. Truex, Jr. and Sadler will join Performance Racing Network hosts Doug Rice and Brad Gillie for a question-and-answer session with fans prior to Atlanta’s first Sprint Cup night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500. “PRN Up to Speed” will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the Speed Stage.(AMS)(9-4-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Sets Record One-Day Ticket Sales on Monday: In addition to establishing a new single-day mark for ticket sales, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s ticket sales for the Pep Boys Auto 500 are up significantly over 2008 sales as of the close of business on Monday. “Yesterday was the best day for ticket sales in my 17 years at Atlanta Motor Speedway and it really speaks to the anticipation surrounding our first night race,” said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager. “We’re building a new NASCAR tradition with the Pep Boys Auto 500 and night racing on Labor Day weekend and fans are responding with tremendous interest.”(AMS)(9-2-2009)

    • Pep Boys Auto 500 Weekend Traffic Plan:
      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 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 from which fans enter speedway property is the same direction they will exit to.
      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 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 www.511ga.org.(AMS)(9-2-2009)

    • Fan Tips for Those Attending the Pep Boys Auto 500 Race Weekend: Below are some tips that will help ensure fans have a memorable, exciting visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway during the September 2009 Pep Boys Auto 500 NASCAR race weekend.
      Ø Gate Openings – Various gates will be open each day for fans to access the facility. The following is the schedule with opening times and gates available that day: Saturday (11 a.m., gates 13 & 15, 4 p.m. gates 12 & 14), Sunday (2 p.m., all gates).
      Ø Important Note: For fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each grandstand.
      Ø Nationwide Insurance Fan Assistance Patrol Program – The Nationwide Insurance Fan Assistance Patrol offers golf cart transportation and general assistance throughout the Atlanta Motor Speedway parking areas. This service is limited to the Atlanta Motor Speedway facility only, providing patrons with the ability to move to and from almost any area on the property. Patrons may inquire about any of these services at the Nationwide Insurance Information Booths located throughout the Atlanta Motor Speedway property.
      Atlanta Motor Speedway provides tram service between the campgrounds and the entrance gates before and after events and will depart regularly from the designated Nationwide tram stops. Tram passengers under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Trams are provided as a courtesy service to speedway guests. Due to the demand for this service, continuous riding (joyriding) is prohibited
      Campground tram route: Runs along inner perimeter road through all public parking and most camping areas.
      Infield tram route: Runs from the guard house at the new tunnel into the infield along the road course.
      Ø Nationwide Insurance Pit Stops – Nationwide is hosting two tented rest areas at the display lot. Stop by and relax for a few moments to help fight exhaustion during the race weekend.
      Ø ATM Machines – Bank of America will have 10 ATM machines at various locations throughout the property. You will find ATM machines at gates 13 and 15 (will call). There are also locations in the Champions, Earnhardt, Petty and Elliott Grandstands, as well as near the infield concessions area.
      Ø Camping Guidelines – Quiet time in all camping areas is from midnight to 7 a.m. (except Mid-State Family Campground) although we do allow the use of generators, we ask that you respect your neighbors and only use them when necessary. Also, no flatbed trucks (over 10 feet long), flatbed trailers, box trucks, or portable storage containers are allowed.
      Ø Traffic Reports – Traffic information will be provided by WSB 750 AM and WKHX Kicks 101.5 FM. Tune in throughout the weekend for the latest traffic news. 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 www.511ga.org.
      Ø Outside Food- While we pride ourselves on providing an excellent variety of food and drink options for our guests, visitors are welcome to bring their own items if they prefer. Coolers larger than 14”x14”x14” and glass bottles are not allowed inside the gates of the speedway. Planning ahead will make your entrance to the speedway much simpler for both our visitors and security officers alike.
      Ø Handicapped Parking Enforcement – Handicapped parking areas will be strictly enforced for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend and misuse could result in being fined and/or towed. These areas are reserved for those fans with a handicap, not for those who plan to use a friend or relative’s handicap permit to gain access to these areas. The person who is the owner of the handicapped parking sticker is required to be in the vehicle.
      Ø Ticket Resale – No tickets may be resold on Speedway property. This will be strictly enforced. Fans can also utilize TicketExchange, Ticketmaster's new online service that enables safe and secure fan-to-fan ticket transactions. Buyers simply select the tickets they want based on price and seat location, without having to bid against other buyers, without having to coordinate delivery from anonymous sellers, and without the gamble that the tickets are fraudulent. Sellers are guaranteed payment for tickets sold, without having to collect payment or deliver the tickets to the buyer. For more information on TicketExchange, visit www.ticketmaster.com.
      Ø Directions to Atlanta Motor Speedway: Directions to AMS, including traffic patterns and facility maps can be found by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com
      Ø First- Aid: During race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has Emergency Assistance locations in each grandstand as well as the Infield. Should you or anyone in your party require Emergency Assistance while you are on AMS property, please visit one of those locations or, if needed, dial 911.
      Ø As with any large event, there is going to be significant traffic come race weekend, so Atlanta Motor Speedway would also like to encourage all fans coming to any event throughout the weekend to come early and stay late. All General Parking lots at AMS open at 6 a.m., so fans should feel free to get here early to beat the traffic and check out everything the Speedway has to offer come race weekend.
      Ø For more information on race weekend or to answer any questions you may have please visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call (770)-707-7904.(AMS)(9-2-2009)

    • AMS Extends Ticket Office Hours: In response to fan demand for tickets to next weekend’s Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has extended its Ticket Office hours. The Speedway’s Ticket Office is now open from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, the Ticket Office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX.(AMS)(8-25-2009)

    • AMS Extends Ticket Office Hours: In response to fan demand for tickets to next weekend’s Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has extended its Ticket Office hours. The Speedway’s Ticket Office is now open from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition, the Ticket Office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Fans can call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX.(AMS)(8-25-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Pep Boys Auto 500 Accommodation Options: Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Labor Day weekend, is fast approaching and the Speedway has made a number of value-oriented accommodations available to race fans. Atlanta Motor Speedway has partnered with more than 30 local-area hotels to give race fans affordable room rates without requiring multi-night stays. In addition to hotel and motel options, the Speedway has a number of camping options and luxury RV accommodations available. Atlanta Motor Speedway is now utilizing more than 30 area hotels to provide reasonable room rates for fans attending the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sept. 6. With hotel partners as close as neighboring cities and as far as Macon, Atlanta Motor Speedway can help race fans find affordable rooms in most any direction from the Speedway. Participating partner hotels do not require a multiple-night stay and their room rates have been capped at $130 per night. Some partners have rooms available for as little as $60 per night. For more details on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s hotel partners for the Pep Boys Auto 500 race weekend on Sept. 5 and 6 or for contact information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/fans/hotels/.
      To accommodate increased camping demand surrounding Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race on Labor Day weekend, the Speedway recently announced the addition of the Elliott Reserved Campground and Legends Tent Reserved Campground. With the additions of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s new campgrounds, a number of camping options are still available for fans attending the Pep Boys Auto 500, Atlanta’s historic first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race. Featuring reserved and unreserved options, infield and exterior camping, RV and tent camping, and options for luxury camping and for handicap patrons, Atlanta Motor Speedway has a variety of camping with options for most any fan. Campsites for the Pep Boys Auto 500 start at just $60. For more information, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 770-946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/tickets/camping/.
      In addition to traditional camping options, Atlanta Motor Speedway has a few Trackside Terrace luxury RV sites available. Perched above Atlanta Motor Speedway’s backstretch, Trackside Terrace offers fans proximity to the action found few other places. Each Trackside Terrace RV spot includes full RV hookups, 10 pit passes and tickets, two tow passes for additional vehicles and select sites include a veranda viewing platform situated along the backstretch embankment. Trackside Terrace locations can be purchased for $3,500. For more information on Trackside Terrace or any of Atlanta Motor Speedway’s luxury accommodations, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 770-946-4211.(AMS)(8-13-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Chief Lighting Officer: Jack Welch has been selected by Atlanta Motor Speedway to serve as the Chief Lighting Officer for the Speedway’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sept. 6. Ending a six-week search that sought an electric personality to “flip the switch” turning on the lights before Atlanta’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, Welch was picked from more than 750 entrants. “It was one of those situations where they said, ‘I won,’ and I didn’t believe the girl on the phone,” said Welch, a resident of Pearl, Miss. “My wife and I are extremely excited and I can’t wait to turn on the lights.” Welch’s entry outshined the rest, displaying his bright use of vocabulary with lighting-themed puns. But Welch was also chosen for being a shining star to a child in need when he donated tickets to the 2008 Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to the Aflac Cancer Center, giving a young boy an once-in-a-lifetime experience. “We buy tickets to the Pep Boys Auto 500 each year and couldn’t make the race last year, so we wanted to get those tickets out there and let someone else use them. When we heard about Carl Edwards’ visit to the Aflac Cancer Center, my wife, Nancy, suggested we send the tickets there,” said Welch. “We already have tickets for this year’s Pep Boys Auto 500, so we are going to donate the tickets to the Aflac Cancer Center again.” In addition to turning on the lights for the track’s first night race as Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Chief Lighting Officer, Welch will have travel arrangements to Atlanta provided, be featured in the official souvenir program, and receive VIP access to Atlanta Motor Speedway. For more information on the Chief Lighting Officer or to purchase tickets to Atlanta Motor Speedway first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, the Pep Boys Auto 500 on Sept. 6, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(7-15-2009)

    • Atlanta Announces Pre-Race Party for Pep Boys Auto 500: A Pre-Race Party celebration has been added to the schedule for the Sept. 6 Pep Boys Auto 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup night race, giving race fans stage-front access for driver introductions and a pre-race concert with Diamond Rio and Jason Michael Carroll. The Pre-Race Party will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the Atlanta Motor Speedway frontstretch in front of the Champions Grandstand. The event features a combined two-hour concert with country legends Diamond Rio and rising-star Jason Michael Carroll and will be followed by pre-race festivities and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver introductions. A limited number of stage-front passes are available for purchase at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 877-9-AMS-TIX or 770-946-4211, or online at atlantamotorspeedway.com. Pre-Race Party passes for stage-front access will sell for $49, with the first 200 specially-priced at $39. A Pep Boys Auto 500 ticket is required for admission to the party area.(AMS PR)(7-14-2009)

    • AMS sues Pep Boys over sponsorship: UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway is suing Pep Boys over a payment dispute on a contract that called for the auto parts chain to pay $3 million for a two-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race sponsorship, according to court documents. Pep Boys has allegedly stopped making payments for the 2009 race, according to the lawsuit filed April 30 in Georgia Superior Court in Henry County, Ga. The suit says the deal was worth $1.4 million for the track’s 2008 fall race and $1.6 million for the 2009 fall race. According to the complaint, Pep Boys did not make the $800,000 payment due March 1, 2009, and the track is owed $1.6 million for the 2009 race. Although the contract states that the sponsorship is for “a fall NSCS Event,” SMI says in its complaint that Pep Boys did not object to the 2009 race being moved to Labor Day weekend before it was announced. According to the complaint, Pep Boys sent a letter saying it could terminate the contract because the track breached the agreement since the 2009 fall race is now “during the summer.” Atlanta Motor Speedway alleges that the wording in the contract prevents it from being terminated on those grounds.(SceneDaily)(5-8-2009)
      UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway and Pep Boys have reached an out-of-court settlement of the track’s lawsuit against the auto parts retail chain over the title sponsorship of the Sept. 6. Sprint Cup race at the track, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. The settlement was not filed with the court, but an AMS spokesman indicated that the race will remain being called the Pep Boys Auto 500 this year.(SceneDaily)(7-6-2009)

    • AMS announces Fan-Friendly Hotel/Motel List for Labor Day Weekend: Continuing a program to provide fans with reasonably-priced hotel accommodations when attending their NASCAR events, Atlanta Motor Speedway is working with approximately 30 Atlanta-area hotels who have agreed to offer fair rates and no multi-night minimums for fans traveling to Atlanta for the Sept. 5-6 Pep Boys Auto 500 weekend. Each participating hotel and motel is offering Atlanta Motor Speedway race attendees rooms priced at no more than $129 and some rates are as low as $60. Each participating hotel will not require multiple-night stays and will provide locked-in rates for fans using the promotion code, “AMS Discount.” A complete list of participating properties can be found below or can be accessed online at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com under the “Visitor’s Guide” tab.(AMS PR)(4-25-2009)

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


    GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

      Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials

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

      Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4256; Right-side -- D-4260

      Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.3 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 (Sprint Cup).

      Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will be running different tire set-ups at Atlanta this weekend . . . Sprint Cup teams will be running a new combination of left- and right-side tire codes . . . this combination came out of a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta on July 13-14 . . . participating in that test were Kurt Busch (Dodge), Denny Hamlin (Toyota), Jamie McMurray (Ford) and Tony Stewart (Chevrolet) . . . compared to the tire set-up Cup teams ran at Atlanta this past March, Goodyear has made a construction change to both the left- and right-side tires . . . that change is designed to give the cars more grip . . . the compounds on both sides of the car are unchanged from March . . . Atlanta is the only track at which these two tire codes are scheduled to be run in 2009 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams 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. The estimated pit window is every 50-54 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear).


    DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

    • Gilliland in the #21 at Atlanta UPDATE 2: Motorcraft's Facebook page is reporting: Wood Brothers just announced David Gilliland to drive the #21 car this weekend in Atlanta. A press release with more details is coming soon.
      UPDATE: David Gilliland will be taking over the driving duties of the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion this weekend for the Pep Boys Auto 500, filling in for Bill Elliott. Elliott is experiencing some back problems and uncertain how he will feel driving the car. Co-owner Eddie Wood stated, “Given the modified practice schedule where the practices and qualifying are all being done on Saturday, we didn’t feel there was enough time to make changes to the seat if Bill wasn’t comfortable and we needed to get another driver. We called David to see if he was available. Thankfully he was and agreed to help.” Gilliland has 6 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway with his best finish (15th) coming in 2006.(Wood Brothers Racing)
      UPDATE 2: Bill Elliott has cracked three ribs riding his dirt bike. “It was just a freak deal,” Elliott said. He said although he probably could have raced in pain, he decided to step out of the Wood Brothers Ford for this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway because he didn’t want to jeopardize the team’s chances of running well in the Pep Boys Auto 500. “I just decided that those boys had worked so hard on the car it wouldn’t be fair for me to have a problem and mess them up,” Elliott said. David Gilliland, who lost his regular ride to Bobby Labonte, will drive in Elliott’s place this weekend. “He runs good at Atlanta, so they should be OK,” Elliott said. “And I’ll be back in the car for Kansas.”(Racin' Today)(9-4-2009)

    • Bobby Labonte in the #71 for seven races UPDATE: After Bobby Labonte was dismissed from his driving duties for seven of the remaining 12 races in the #96 Yates Racing [Hall of Fame Racing] Ford, the 2000 Sprint Cup champ has agreed to pilot the #71 TaxSlayer Chevy for TRG Motorsports in those seven events starting this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Yates Racing announced on Monday that rookie Erik Darnell would share the ride with Labonte for the remainder of the year. David Gilliland, who has competed in 22 races for TRG this season, will continue driving for the team in the remaining events.(FoxSports), this move also affects the Past Champions Provisional, especially at AMS where three past Sprint Cup champions are eligible for the past champions provisional. #71-Bobby Labonte [2000 Champ], #08-Terry Labonte [1996 & 1984 Champ] and #21-Bill Elliott [1988 Champ] all are with teams outside the Top-35 in Owners Points and must qualify 7th or better among the 11 go-or-go-homers to make the race. If one or more does not, the 8th spot [43rd starting spot] would go to the most recent past champion. If all three race into the lineup, the 43rd spot goes to the 8th fastest of the eleven.
      BUT, rules state: "If after starting position 1 through 42 are assigned and there remains an eligible car owner whose driver is the current or a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who participated as a driver in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and who was entered in the Event for that owner in that car prior to the entry deadline, a 43rd provisional starting position, the "Champion's Provisional", will be assigned to that car owner." So since LBobby Labonte was not entered in the #71 prior to the deadline [13 days before the event usually], he will not be eligible to use the past championa provisional at Atlanta this week.(9-3-2009)
      UPDATE: Bobby Labonte has signed a seven race deal to drive the TRG Motorsports #71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy starting this weekend in the Pep Boys Auto 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Labonte will keep his streak of 568 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts intact, the first of which dates back to the 1993 Daytona 500. "This whole thing came together over the last 24 hours," Labonte said. "Slugger (Richard "Slugger" Labbe, TRG Motorsports crew chief) called me yesterday morning and had an idea and wondered if I would be interested or not. I had some openings I wasn't planning on, so it just kind of worked out. I am just trying to go to the rest of the races full-tilt. I talked to Kevin (Buckler TRG Motorsports team principal) a couple of times yesterday and he seems very committed and I think it will work out for both of us. Slugger worked with my brother Terry years ago when we had our Busch team. Terry and I had a team and Slugger worked on Terry's car. He worked at our shop in High Point, so I have known him for a long time." Buckler has a lot of respect for what David Gilliland has done for TRG Motorsports this year. "I have the utmost respect and appreciation for what David Gilliland and TRG Motorsports has done together this year. He performed behind the wheel and was the consummate professional and a great guy. I know he has some terrific opportunities coming up with several top teams. We maintain our relationship with David and he will be in our car again before the season is over." The TRG Motorsports crew is comprised of Mike Brown, Jim Burns, Paul Clapprood, Dennis Croxell, Bobby Dell, Marc Hendricksen, Richard "Slugger" Labbe, Andy Pugh, Tim Rice, Jesse Sanders and Joe Zanolini.(TRG Motorsports)(9-4-2009)

    • Darnell replacing Bobby Labonte for 7 races: UPDATE 2: Yates Racing, announced that former NASCAR Camping World Series Rookie-of–the-Year and current NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Erik Darnell will be behind the wheel of the #96 entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for seven races this season. Darnell will make his Sprint Cup Series debut Labor Day weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the #96 Academy Sports & Outdoors Ford Fusion. He also is slated to pilot the #96 at Loudon, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. Darnell will carry the familiar colors of Northern Tool + Equipment for the Loudon and Kansas races. Academy Sports & Outdoors will be Darnell's primary sponsor at Atlanta, Talladega and Texas. Bobby Labonte will continue to race the#96 Ford under the Hall of Fame Racing banner with Ask.com and DLP as his primary sponsors at Richmond, Dover, Fontana, Charlotte and Martinsville. "This is a move that will be beneficial to Yates Racing surviving this difficult economic time," said Bobby Labonte. "Of course, I'm disappointed that the sponsorship environment is so challenging right now, but I intend to make the most out of the remaining races that I'm behind the wheel for Ask.com, DLP and Hall of Fame Racing."(Yates Racing PR)(8-31-2009)
      UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing would like to keep Bobby Labonte as its NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and likely will not be affiliated with Yates Racing next year, team co-owner Tom Garfinkel said Monday. The organization signed Ask.com as a sponsor and Bobby Labonte as a driver in January for the 2009 season and then landed a deal with Yates Racing for Yates to field the cars. Seven of the final 12 races were unsponsored, and Yates Racing has opted to put Erik Darnell in the #96 Sprint Cup car instead of Labonte. Garfinkel, in a phone interview, said his organization is still in discussions with Ask.com for next season but doesn't anticipate the Yates Racing relationship to continue. The organization is looking for other teams to partner with and is in discussions with other sponsors as well, Garfinkel said.(SceneDaily)(8-31-2009)
      UPDATE: Bobby Labonte has started 568 consecutive races, a streak that begun at Daytona in February of 1993 when he drove the #22 Maxwell House Ford for Bill Davis. He is second on the all time consecutive start list to #24-Jeff Gordon, who has started 569 straight races.(9-1-2009) Comment here

    • Furniture Row adds two more races: Furniture Row Racing driver #78-Regan Smith knows what he’s doing next season, and, in a way, that will dictate a little bit of what he’ll do the rest of the 2009 season. With the Furniture Row Racing team returning to a full-time schedule in 2010 after scaling back to a part-time schedule in 2009, the team has added next week’s race at Atlanta and Auto Club Speedway in California in October to help Smith prepare for next year. The team was at the track in Rockingham, N.C., earlier this week testing and also does some testing at Pikes Peak in Colorado, which is near its Denver base. The team will also need to build road-course cars for next year.(SceneDaily)(8-27-2009) Comment here

    • See the 2009 Team Chart and 2010 Team Chart, which has links to past news for each team and info on each team.


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