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    Friday, March 6
    11:30 am - 1:00 pm NCWTS Practice

    1:30 pm -2:50 pm NCWTS Final Practice

    3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Kobalt Tools 500 NSCS Practice

    6:45 pm NSCS Qualifying (2 laps, All Positions)


    Saturday, March 7
    9:00 am Gates Open

    9:35 am NCWS Qualifying (All Positions)

    11:00 am - 11:45 am Kobalt Tools 500 NSCS Practice

    12:20 pm - 1:20 pm Kobalt Tools 500 NSCS Final Practice

    2:00 pm NCWTS American Commercial Lines 200 (130 laps)


    Sunday, March 8
    9:00 am Gates Open

    1:30 pm Kobalt Tools 500 Driver Introductions

    2:00 pm Kobalt Tools 500 (325 laps)


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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: Kobalt Tools 500

    TRACK: Atlanta Motor Speedway

    NASCAR Sprint Cup Race #4 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, March 8, 2009 in Hampton, GA

    • Title Sponsor: Lowe's / Kobalt Tools

    • Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 2:15pm/et


    Television Coverage/Re-air/TV Team

    • Television Coverage: FOX 1:30pm/et

    • SPEED's NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race Show: 11:30am/et with John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace

    • Scheduled Race Re-Air Dates/Times:
      Thursday, March 12 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED

    • Announcers: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds

    • Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Matt Yocum, Krista Voda

    • Hollywood Hotel: Chris Myers and Jeff Hammond

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


    Radio Coverage/Shows/ Team


    Practice Dates/Times/TV

    • Practices: Friday, March 6, 3:00 - 4:30pm/et, TV-SPEED
      Saturday, March 7, 11:00 - 11:45 am/et, TV-SPEED

    • Happy Hour 'Final' practice: Friday, March 7, 12:20 - 1:20pm/et, TV-SPEED


    Qualifying Information/Times/TV

    • Qualifying Draw: Friday, March 6, 2:00pm/et

    • Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-42, Friday, March 6 at 6:45pm/et, TV-SPEED, re-air on SPEED 12:00am/et;
      AND live via radio at PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio.


    RACE RUNDOWN
    news and links

    • Kurt Busch wins at Atlanta: #2-Kurt Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2009 and 19th career win. Busch dominated the race leading 234 of 330 laps and passing #99-Edwards on during the green-white-checkered finish. Busch has now won at least one race every year for eight consecutive seasons and Penske has won at least a race a year for 19 consecutive seasons. #24-Jeff Gordon finished 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #29-Harvick, #83-Vickers, #33-Bowyer, #9-Kahne, #14-Stewart, #48-Johnson and #1-Truex Jr. Pole sitter #5-Martin wrecked midway thru the race and finished 31st. There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 11 caution flags for 54 laps.
      See race results, awards, laps led, cautions, attendence and more on my Atlanta Race Results page.(3-8-2009)

    • UNOFFICAL Driver Points Standings [after Atlanta race 4 of 36]:
      1) #24Jeff Gordon 634
      2) #33-Clint Bowyer 591 -43
      3) #2-Kurt Busch 588 -46 [1 win]
      4) #99-Carl Edwards 547 -87
      5) #17-Matt Kenseth 546 -88 [2 wins]
      6) #14-Tony Stewart 521 -113
      7) #18-Kyle Busch 514 -120 [1 win]
      8) #29-Kevin Harvick 511 -123
      9) #9-Kasey Kahne 484 -150
      10) #16-Greg Biffle 480 -154
      11) #83-Brian Vickers 477 -157
      12) #00-David Reutimann 475 -159
      in running for top 12 - the chase:
      13) #48-Jimmie Johnson 457 -177
      14) #11-Denny Hamlin 456 -178
      See drivers and owners points standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page.(3-8-2009)

    • Racing Resources Says …Sprint Cup Series
      * Kurt Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after starting second. Busch posted his 19th career series victory in 296 races. His last victory came at Loudon on June 29, 2008, 23 races ago. This was his third top-10 finish in four races this season. Busch moved to 33rd on NASCAR's all-time win list, tying Davey Allison, Buddy Baker and Fonty Flock.
      * Busch posted his third victory in 79 races on 1.5-mile tracks. Busch has scored 28 top-10 finishes in 79 races on 1.5-mile tracks (35 percent).
      * This is just the second win by a Dodge at Atlanta since Richard Petty won here in March 1977. Kasey Kahne won in a Dodge in this race in 2006.
      * This was Busch's second Atlanta victory in 17 races. Crew chief Pat Tryson posted his seventh Cup career victory in 377 races. Four of his crew-chief victories have come with Busch.
      * Busch led six times for 234 laps, including the final two laps. This is the most laps that he has led in a Cup race.
      * This is the second victory for Penske Racing at Atlanta. Penske's other Atlanta win came in November 1993, with Rusty Wallace.
      * Jeff Gordon leads the series points standings by 43 over second-place Clint Bowyer. Race-winner Busch is third in points, just three points behind Bowyer. Gordon finished second, posting his fourth top-15 finish in 2009, the only driver to do so. Gordon extended his winless streak to 45 races, since October 2007 at Lowe's.
      * Carl Edwards (finished third) posted his 125th lead-lap finish in his 161 career races (78 percent).
      * Brian Vickers (fifth) scored his third straight top-10 finish. He finished 10th at California and eighth at Las Vegas. This marks just the third time in his career that he has scored three straight top-10 finishes.
      * Clint Bowyer (sixth) extended a 77-race streak of running at the finish that began at Homestead in November 2006. Bowyer's last DNF came at Phoenix on Nov. 12, 2006, when he finished 33rd due to an oil-pump failure
      * Jimmie Johnson finished ninth at Atlanta and was running at the finish. His crew chief, Chad Knaus, marked his 250th career race of running at the finish in 280 career races (89 percent).
      * #20 Joey Logano (30th) was the highest-finishing rookie contender among the two rookies in the race. Scott Speed finished 35th.
      * David Reutimann (32nd) ended a streak of three top-15 finishes.
      * The top 10 consisted of six Chevys, two Dodges, one Ford and one Toyota.(ESPN)(3-10-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Fast Facts
      . Kurt Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500, his 19th victory in 296 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
      . This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2009 – all in the past three races.
      . This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 17 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
      . Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 22nd top-10 finish in 34 races at Atlanta. It is his third top-10 finish in 2009. Gordon’s winless streak is now at 45 races – the longest of his career. He has finished in the top five 17 times in that span, including four runner-up finishes. Two of his second-place finishes have come this season.
      . Kurt and Kyle Busch posted back-to-back victories for the third time. Fontana and Richmond (2005) and Infineon and New Hampshire -2008) are the other times.
      . Carl Edwards (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 10 races at Atlanta. This is his best finish thus far in 2009.
      . Joey Logano (30th) was the highest finishing rookie.
      . Gordon leads the point standings by 43 points over Clint Bowyer.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-8-2009)

    • Infraction Report - Atlanta Speedway
      Car#, Lap, Reason, Penalty
      #43, 2, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #47, 65, Outside half of the pit box tire violation/Team member not in contact with the outside tires, tail end
      #83, 104, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, tail end
      #7, 105, Removing equipment from assigned pit area, stop and go
      #18, 105, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, tail end
      #00, 158, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #47, 159, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #47, 184, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #77, 204, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #21, 204, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #77, 204, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, tail end
      #5, 216, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #16, 218, Car/Truck pitting out of the assigned pit box, 1 lap
      #48, 261, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, tail end
      #43, 262, Excessive speed EXITING the pits, tail end
      #55, 267, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #7, 268, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #12, 268, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #98, 271, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #55, 272, Excessive speed ENTERING pits, tail end
      #7, 322, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      #17, 322, Pitting before pit road is open, tail end
      (NASCAR Statistics)(3-8-2009)

    • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Atlanta: (and their finish)
      Caution 1: no driver down a lap
      Caution 2: no driver down a lap that is on the track
      Caution 3: #11-Hamlin, 13th
      Caution 4: #88-Earnhardt Jr., 11th
      Caution 5: #88-Earnhardt Jr.(2), 11th
      Caution 6: #9-Kahne, 7th
      Caution 7: #17-Kenseth, 12th
      Caution 8: #29-Harvick, 4th
      Caution 9: #14-Stewart, 8th
      Caution 10: #31-Burton, 14th
      Caution 11: none when there are 10 or less laps left in the race
      (3-8-2009)

    • Race Coverage of the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 8, 2009.
      TV: Fox at 2:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 1:30 pm/et
      Radio: PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
      SPEED, Thursday, March 12 at 12:00pm/et;


    NEWS, PRACTICE, QUALIFYING and RESULTS
    news and links

    • Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Pit Stall Selections

    • Happy Hour [final] practice for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the top five:
      #99-Edwards 179.522
      #9-Kahne 178.793
      #11-Hamlin 178.700
      #2-Busch 178.660
      #26-McMurray 178.459
      slowest: #21-Elliott 173.603 and #71-Gilliland 173.706
      no speed: #09-Bliss
      incidents: none
      For the best speeds, ave speeds, laps run and more, see the Atlanta Practice Speeds/News page.(3-7-2009)

    • Saturday first practice for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #16-Biffle 184.609
      #99-Edwards 183.509
      #12-Stremme 183.055
      #11-Hamlin 182.537
      #17-Kenseth 182.027
      slowest: #34-Andretti 172.974 and #09-Bliss 174.521
      practice started 35 minutes late due to fog delaying Truck Series qualifying about 45 minutes so the first practice will only run about 20 minutes
      For the best speeds, ave speeds, laps run and more, see the Atlanta Practice Speeds/News page.(3-7-2009)

    • NASCAR creates formula for setting restart zone: NASCAR has established a formula for determining the length of the restart zone on the track. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that officials will take the pit-road speed limit, double that figure and then set that as the distance in feet of the restart zone. At the start of this season, NASCAR created a zone where the leader must restart the race instead of giving the leader discretion from a certain area coming out of Turn 4 up to the starting line to restart the race. The rule is designed to create a more consistent restart at each track. Pit-road speeds typically range from 30 to 55 mph, depending on the length of the track. That means the restart zone will vary from 60-110 feet, depending on the track. "It will be twice the pit-road speed," Pemberton said. "It's a means to get variable lengths in there for the race track itself. It's something the garage area asked us to do. Is it perfect; maybe, maybe not. But, it's a start."(NASCAR Official Release)(3-7-2009) Comment here

    • Martin on pole at Atlanta: #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a lap of 187.045mph for his 1st pole since Richmond in May 2001 [257 races ago] and 42nd career pole. Martin is the 2nd oldest pole winner ever [Harry Gant was is the oldest at 54 years, 7 months]. #2-Busch will start 2nd followed by #26-McMurray, #42-Montoya, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #48-Johnson, #87-Nemechek, #18-Busch and #29-Harvick. Points leader, #24-Gordon will start 16th and #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 20th.
      The Go-or-go homers that made the race: #87-Nemechek, #14-Stewart, #28-Kvapil, #66-Blaney, #71-Gilliland, #21-Elliott, #44-Allmendinger and #09-Bliss
      Missing the race: #35-Todd Bodine, #36-Riggs, #41-Mayfield and #64-Geoff Bodine.
      See qualifying results/starting lineup on my Atlanta Starting Lineup Qualifying Page.(3-6-2009)

    • Qualifying Fast Facts - Atlanta Motor Speedway
      Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Kobalt Tool 500 with a lap of 29.640 seconds, 187.045 mph. He joined Harry Gant as the only drivers to post a pole at over 50 years of age in NASCAR premier series. Gant had three poles after turning 50. Martin's 50th birthday was Jan 9, 2009.
      This is his 42nd pole in 726 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Martin's last pole was at Richmond on May 5, 2001, 281 races ago. Martin competed in 256 of those races.
      This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2009. Martin posted six second-place starts in 2008 and has one already this season (Daytona).
      This is his second pole in 47 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Martin has multiple top-10 starts in all three national series at Atlanta.
      Kurt Busch (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2009 and his sixth in 17 races at Atlanta. Busch posted his second runner-up start in as many races. He has started second four times now since his most recent pole which came at Auto Club Speedway in September 2007.
      Jamie McMurray (third) posted his second top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second in four races this season.
      Joe Nemechek (eighth) qualified for his third race of the season and posted his best start since he was seventh at Talladega last October.
      Scott Speed (26th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(3-7-2009)

    • Coverage of Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, March 6, 2009 at 6:45pm/et.
      TV: SPEED - 6:30pm/et
      Radio: PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio
      Qualifying Re-Air: SPEED at 12:00am/et

    • Qualifying Order for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 47 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 #18-Busch, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #11-Hamlin. The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Riggs, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #28-Kvapil. See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(3-6-2009)

    • Qualifying Order for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 47 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 #18-Busch, the final top-35 driver scheduled is #11-Hamlin. The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #36-Riggs, the final driver scheduled to qualify is #28-Kvapil. See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(3-6-2009)

    • Friday Practice for the Kobalt Tools at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, the top 5:
      #5-Martin 183.698
      #29-Harvick 183.255
      #83-Vickers 183.218
      #12-Stremme 182.832
      #42-Montoya 182.711
      slowest: #64-GBodine 176.162 and #41-Mayfield 176.420
      For the best speeds, ave speeds, laps run and more, see the Atlanta Practice Speeds/News page.(3-6-2009)

    • Where did the non top-35 drivers practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
      if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger, 10th
      #36-Scott Riggs, 24th
      #87-Joe Nemechek, 26th
      #71-David Gilliland, 30th
      #28-Travis Kvapil, 31st
      #14-Tony Stewart [PC1], 34th
      #66-Dave Blaney, 38th
      #21-Bill Elliott [PC2], 43rd
      these drivers would miss the race if theings stayed the same:
      #09-Mike Bliss, 44th
      #35-Todd Bodine, 45th
      #41-Jeremy Mayfield, 46th
      #64-Geoff Bodine, 47th

    • Goodyear Tire Outlook for Kobalt Tools 500: After experiencing tire issues during the 2008 Kobalt Tools 500, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway with a much-improved tire design for the 2009 edition. Goodyear conducted two tire tests in Atlanta preceding the fall’s Pep Boys Auto 500 and tested once more in January to ensure a better tire for the Kobalt Tools 500. Compared to the tires from last fall provided by Goodyear, the left side tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 will feature a new compound to improve grip. Additionally, construction changes to both the left-side and right-side tires should improve handling during the Kobalt Tools 500. "I am extremely happy with the tire that Goodyear has brought here to test," said Biffle following the January tire test. "They have a new left-side compound that puts a lot of driveability into the car. The old tire [in March of 2008] lost grip running on the bottom after five to eight laps. But this tire really hooks up to the bottom of the track for an extend run and you're not sliding all over the place. It's more like the old Atlanta that all of [the drivers] like."(AMS PR)(3-5-2009) Comment here

    • Newman Looks to Speed Into AMS Record Book: Having won the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway seven times previously, #39-Ryan Newman will attempt to make history on Friday, March 6 during Georgia Power Qualifying Night when he looks to become the all-time leader in pole wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Accustomed to leading the field to the green flag in Atlanta, Newman, known as the “Rocket Man” for his qualifying prowess, will not only be chasing history, but also his mentor with whom he is tied in pole wins, Buddy Baker. "Atlanta has always been a place where I like to qualify, and it would be an honor to get the all-time pole record there,” said Newman.It would be an honor to beat Buddy Baker in all-time poles at Atlanta Motor Speedway," Newman continued. "Atlanta is a place where I enjoy qualifying and I have a great record there. I am really looking forward to trying to claim the all-time qualifying record." Newman owes much of his qualifying success in Atlanta to Baker. "Buddy and I always drove the tracks backwards because it gives you a different perspective of entry and exit points," Newman said. "It lets you know how to approach those points when you are going the right way. Its something we did at Atlanta when he was teaching me about the track and I have always qualified well there.”(AMS PR)(3-3-2009) Comment here

    • The Entry List for the Kobalt Tools at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
      Not in top 35 of 2008 owners points (top 35 locked in thru race five of 2009):
      #09-Mike Bliss (47/3 attempts 2009)
      #14-Tony Stewart [past champ 2005](8/3)
      #21-Bill Elliott [past champ 1988] (45/1)
      #28-Travis Kvapil (38/3)
      #35-Todd Bodine (none)
      #36-Scott Riggs (40/3)
      #41-Jeremy Mayfield (43/3)
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger (21/3)
      #64-Geoff Bodine (46/3)
      #66-Dave Blaney (42/3)
      #71-David Gilliland (36/3)
      #87-Joe Nemechek (44/3)
      withdrew:
      #37-Tony Raines (49/3)
      In the event qualifying is rained out or cancelled:
      the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 14,21,44,71,28,36,66,41
      missing the race would be [4]: #'s 87,64,09,35
      See the full entry list at my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(3-2/6-2009)

    • What happens if qualifying AND the qualifying races gets rained out?

      If it is the first 5 races of the season, the previous season OWNERS points are used:

      #1) - Previous season Owner Points [position 1-35][teams do NOT have have to attempt all races]
      #2) - Race winners from the previous and current season not already in the field
      #3) - Past Sprint Cup Champions not in by 1 or 2
      #4) - Current season Owner Points [Top 35][not in by rules 1-3]
      #5) - Current season race attempts ties broken by current owners points standings [not in by rules 1-4]

    • Single File Restarts with 20 laps to go: NASCAR will use single-file lineups for restarts with 20 laps remaining in all three national series this year, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said today. The previous rule called for single-file restarts with only 10 laps remaining. All other restarts had lapped cars on the inside lane. NASCAR is still allowing for the first driver one-lap down [Lucky Dog] to get back on the lead lap until there are 10 laps left in the race. Pemberton said the rule was to allow the leaders more room to race following a caution in the waning laps. “We’ve been talking to the crews, teams and drivers and we felt like it was a time to make a change,” Pemberton said. “We haven’t taken away the lucky dog and haven’t hurt anybody from getting a lap back.”(SceneDaily)(2-12-2009) Comment here

    • 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.

    • Qualifying Rules/Notes/News page

    • Jayski's - 2009 Sprint Cup Race Results Page

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

    • How to break a tie during qualifying? (same speed/time) When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers).

    • Determining Race Line-Ups - Top 35 Guarantee: At the start of the 2005 season, NASCAR instituted a new procedure for establishing the starting race field in the Sprint Cup Series [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 NNCS of the previous owner championship points entered in the event prior to the entry deadline will be assured one of the 42 starting positions in the field, provided they have made an attempt to qualify. From the sixth race on, the current owner championship points will be used to determine the top 35 each race week. In the event that conditions prevent qualifying from being run, starting positions will be assigned according to the respective series’ current Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)
      Simple: so the field is set by speed to where the 7th fastest non-top 35 driver is on speed. The any drivers in the top 35 of OWNERS [not drivers points] are placed to the 42nd spot. The 43rd spot is used for the most recent past Cup champion NOT already in the field from being in the top-35 in owners points or one of the seven no top-35. If their is not past champ for the 43rd spot, it goes to the next fastest [8th fastest driver]

    • Past Champions Limited To 6 Provisional Berths in Sprint Cup: NASCAR announced an update to the past champion’s provisional rule in the Sprint Cup Series for 2007. Beginning this season, a past champion’s provisional may be used by an eligible driver a maximum of six times over the course of the season. In addition, a team with a past champion eligible driver may only use this provisional a maximum of six times during a season. Previously, there was no limit on usage of the past champion’s provisional over the course of the 36-race season. The provisional gives the eligible driver the 43rd and final starting position in the race field. "As NASCAR seeks to place more emphasis on competition, we have decided the time is right to limit the number of provisionals allowed,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. “We believe this revision brings the provisional policy in line with the continued growth of the sport.”(NASCAR PR)
      This is only for a team/driver OUTSIDE the top-35 in owners points, drivers whose team is in the top-35 in owners points, would already be guaranteed in the field and not need the Past Champions Provisional.
      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 Friday’s Qualifying Night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Newman would surpass his mentor, Buddy Baker, with eight-career pole wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Currently tied with Baker at seven poles. More info about poles, records, all time pole list and 2009 poles, see my All Time Pole Wins page.(3-1-2009)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Most Wins - Active Driver: Bobby Labonte, 6

    • Most Wins - All Time: Dale Earnhardt, 9

    • Most Poles - Active Driver: Ryan Newman, 7

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

    • Most Top 5s: 26 - Dale Earnhardt

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

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

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

    • Most Cautions: 11 - 11/1993

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

    • Fewest Caution Laps: 7, 11/2/1986

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

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

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

    • Most Lead Changes: 45 - Nov 1982

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

    • Most Leaders: 17, 3/12/2000

    • Least Leaders: 3, 6/30/1963

    • Most Wins by Manufacturer: 35 - Chevrolet

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

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

    • Races won from starting pos 1: 14 [of 99]

    • Races won from starting pos 2: 10

    • 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: 56 of 99

    • Races won from the top 10: 78 of 99

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

    • By the Numbers at Atlanta Motor Speedway
      As Atlanta Motor Speedway gears up to host the Kobalt Tools 500 on March 8, a contingent of fans number in the hundreds of thousands, massive amounts of food, television production equipment and speed are among the noteworthy statistical figures used on race weekend. Below is a numerical look at some interesting historical feats, facts, and figures at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

      .006 seconds: Margin of victory for Kevin Harvick over Jeff Gordon in the Spring 2001 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the closest ever in the track’s history.

      1: Total number of drivers to win a Sprint Cup and Nationwide series race on the same weekend, which Carl Edwards did in the Spring of 2005.

      2: The fewest cautions during the running of the 1977 Atlanta 500.

      3 hours, 3 minutes, 3 seconds in the No. 3 Chevrolet: Dale Earnhardt’s record time for a 500-mile Cup race at AMS on November 12, 1995.

      6: Bobby Labonte has the most wins among active drivers at AMS. His first win came at the 1996 NAPA 500 and his most recent win at 2003 at the Bass Pro Shops MBNA in March.

      7: Most Sprint Cup division pole wins by one driver, shared by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman. Baker was Newman’s NASCAR racing mentor.

      9: Most individual wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway by Dale Earnhardt.

      20: Total length in miles of wiring used in television production of a NASCAR race.

      32: Most cars finishing on the lead lap, during the 1998 NAPA 500.

      35: Number of victories for Chevrolet, the most among any manufacturer at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

      41: Different winners in the 50-year Atlanta Motor Speedway Sprint Cup racing history.

      45: Record number of lead changes in the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 1982.

      60: The most starts by any active driver at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bill Elliott.

      66: Number of AMS starts for Richard Petty, the record for all drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dave Marcis is second with 60 starts.

      65-75: Number of HD cameras used in the average NASCAR television broadcast.

      91: Number of 500-mile races staged at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the most of any NASCAR-sanctioned track.

      133.87 mph: Pole speed for the July 31, 1960 Dixie 300, the inaugural NASCAR race at AMS. Fireball Roberts sat on the pole and won the race.

      169: Total number of ‘One-Hit Wonders’, drivers to appear only once in a Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

      197.478 mph: Track record for one-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying set by Geoffrey Bodine in November 1997.

      887: Total acreage at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

      1,320 feet: Total length of pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

      78,000 lbs.: Total weight of traveling ESPN NASCAR Countdown studio.

      $3,249,155: Career Sprint Cup winnings for Jeff Gordon at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the most among all drivers.(AMS PR)(2-22-2009)

    • 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.

      • 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 99 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 at Atlanta 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; 20 have won more than once.

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

      • Bobby Labonte heads the list of active drivers with victories with six. Labonte is tied with Richard Petty for third on the all-time Atlanta win list.

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

      • Fourteen races at Atlanta have been won from the pole.

      • Fifty-six 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.

      • There has been one green-white-checkered finish: 2007 Pep Boys Auto Parts 500 (329 laps).

      • Atlanta has produced two of the seven closest finishes since electronic timing was introduced in May 1993. Both races occurred on the new configuration.

      • Dale Earnhardt finished 0.010 seconds ahead of Bobby Labonte, which is tied for sixth-closest race (with Rockingham-2004) on March 12, 2000.

      • Kevin Harvick beat Jeff Gordon by 0.006 seconds on March 11, 2001 in the fourth-closest finish.


    PAINT SCHEME NEWS

      Car#/Driver Sponsor/Scheme/Promo Image Link
      #07-Casey Mears DiecTV none...yet
      #5-Mark Martin Kelloggs-Tony the Tiger/Carquest #5 Team Schemes Page
      #8-Aric Almirola Cub Cadet none...yet
      #11-Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground #11 Team Schemes Page
      #14-Tony Stewart Office Depot/Old Spice #14 Team Schemes Page
      #19-Elliott Sadler Best Buy #19 Team Schemes Page
      #21-Bill Elliott Motorcraft #21 Team Schemes Page
      #24-Jeff Gordon National Guard/DuPont #24 Team Schemes Page
      #28-Travis Kvapil Golden Corral #28 Team Schemes Page
      #29-Kevin Harvick Reeses #29 Team Schemes Page
      #33-Clint Bowyer BB&T #33 Team Schemes Page
      #39-Ryan Newman Haas Automation #39 Team Schemes Page
      #43-Reed Sorenson Super 8 #43 Team Schemes Page
      #44-A.J. Allmendinger Charter Communications #44 Team Schemes Page
      #48-Jimme Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools #48 Team Schemes Page
      #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. AMP Energy Drink/MtnDew #88 Team Schemes Page


    • #24 to spotlight National Guard program at Atlanta: This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jeff Gordon will trade in the bold orange, yellow and black hues that have adorned the hood of his #24 Chevy so far this season for the opportunity to spotlight one of the National Guard's community programs. Gordon will bring awareness to the National Guard's community-related initiatives this season during eight Sprint Cup Series races, starting with Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500. This weekend, the hood of his #24 DuPont/National Guard Chevy will feature the National Guard Youth Challenge program. The voluntary, 17-month program, which is funded by federal and state partnerships, is available at no cost to participants who are at-risk teens between the ages of 16-18. The program provides them with job training, life skills and the confidence to tackle life successfully, as well as a glimpse into the life of National Guard soldier. Visit ngyouthfoundation.org for more information. In addition to this weekend's Sprint Cup Series event at Atlanta, Gordon will partner with the National Guard in seven other races this season and help bring awareness to some of its special programs and benefits. These races include Texas on April 5; Darlington on May 9; Michigan on June 14; Chicagoland on July 11; Richmond Raceway on Sept. 12; New Hampshire on Sept. 20; and Martinsville on Oct. 25. "I'm really excited about having the National Guard on board this season," Gordon said. "They've been a great addition to Hendrick Motorsports, having them on the No. 88 team and seeing what they've done there. Obviously, we've gotten an introduction. The people are great to work with. I think it really ties to our fans. Obviously, (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. has a different fan base than I have, but I think both of us really have a connection with our fans and that connection can transfer over to the National Guard and be fantastic. With our sport being as patriotic as it is and all-American, I think it makes perfect sense."(HMS PR), see an image of the National Guard scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page [not sure if this will be the one run at Atlanta].(3-5-2009) Comment here

    • Kingsford colors return for Ambrose: This weekend Kingsford Charcoal is the primary sponsor of Marcos Ambrose’s #47 Toyota fielded by JTG-Daugherty Racing. Ambrose first drove the scheme last week at Las Vegas.(MWR). See images of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2009)

    • BB&T colors for Bowyer this week: Clint Bowyer’s Chevy will sport new colors this weekend when the burgundy, white and gold paint scheme of BB&T adorn the #33 for the first of 11 races [see my #33 Team News page for the BB&T race list] where the Winston-Salem, N.C. corporation will be featured as the primary sponsor (RCR PR). See images of the scheme on my #33 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2009)

    • “Along for the Ride” on the #11 car: The #11 FedEx Ground Toyota of Denny Hamlin will feature “QNEG” on the wing caps this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. QNEG is the code for the FedEx Home Delivery - New England Region and the group is being recognized for leading all FedEx Ground regions in customer service scores.(FedEx Racing PR)(3-5-2009)

    • Reese's colors for Harvick at Atlanta: Reese’s, a major associate sponsor of RCR’s #29 Chevy, kicks into high gear this weekend in Atlanta as Kevin Harvick and the #29 team transform their bright yellow-and-red Shell-Pennzoil Chevy into a bright orange Reese’s racing machine for the Kobalt Tools 500. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are peanut butter-filled chocolate cups. AMS was the site of Harvick’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. He claimed the win by .006 second over Jeff Gordon, the third-closest margin of victory at Atlanta, on March 11, 2001. Reese’s is conducting a contest to find the “Perfect Fan” for more info see the Racing Contest page. To see an image of the scheme see the #29 Team Schemes page.(RCR PR)(3-4-2009)

    • Mears car blue at Atlanta: Casey Mears’ #07 Chevy will feature a blue and white DIRECTV paint scheme this weekend in Atlanta. DIRECTV, the nation’s leading satellite television service provider, presents the finest television experience available to more than 17.3 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels. Jack Daniel’s, the team’s customary primary sponsor, will be featured on the car’s lower-rear quarter panels and deck lid.(RCR PR)(3-4-2009)

    • 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: Kelly Brown, VP Lowe's
      Command to start engines: Kelly Brown, VP Lowe's
      Honorary Starter/Wave Green Flag: ?
      Invocation: Chris Patton, Southside Church, Peachtree City, GA
      National Anthem: Richie McDonald
      Military Flyover: 4 T-38 Talons, 12th Flying Training Wing, Randolph AFB, San Antonio, TX
      for the season race officials by track, see my Race Officials page

    • Track Homepage: atlantamotorspeedway.com

    • ESPN's NASCAR Track Guide: Atlanta Motor Speedway

    • Last Year: see my March 2008 Race Info page

    • Last October: see the October 2008 Race Info page


    • AMS Offering Free Cancer Screenings This Weekend: The Georgia Chapter of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance will be conducting free cancer screenings this weekend from 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday [March 7] in the vendor area of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Lori Hamilton, widow of the late driver Bobby Hamilton, has urged fans to take advantage of the free screenings. Hamilton passed away of head and neck cancer complications in January 2007. "It is my honor to continue this effort in his name because we've made so much progress with past years' screenings,” said Mrs. Hamilton. “Bobby would want us to press forward to reach more people with our message. The screening is quick, painless and free, so we are encouraging everyone to take advantage of this opportunity that could save your life.” People interested in more details about the free screening can contact Edie R. Hapner, PhD CCC-SLP, at (404) 686-7798.(3-6-2009)

    • Flyover Announced for Kobalt Tools 500: Atlanta Motor Speedway has announced four T-38 Talons will conduct the flyover prior to the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500. Four T-38 Talons, the primary jet trainer for the United States Air Force, will conduct Sunday’s flyover for the Kobalt Tools 500. Conducted by the 12th Flying Training Wing, the T-38 Talons will be routed from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.(AMS PR)(3-6-2009)

    • AMS Adds Ticket Agents to Assist Walk-Up Crowd: Anticipating a strong walk-up crowd due to temperatures in the mid 70s for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has hired additional ticket agents to meet walk-up demands for this weekend’s events. The Speedway is expecting a strong walk-up crowd due to exceptional weather conditions, coming just one week after snow blanketed much of the Northern Georgia area. To prevent lengthy ticket lines, the Speedway has employed a number of part-time ticketing agents to assist customers. “With sunny conditions forecasted for all three days of the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, we wanted to ensure our staff is prepared to adequately serve a large number of walk-up patrons,” said Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark. “With two outstanding racing events on the schedule, we’re encouraging race fans to come out and enjoy the first great weather weekend in the Atlanta area this year while watching NASCAR racing action this weekend.”
      With weather forecasts calling for the first spring-like weather of the season during the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend – sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s – Atlanta Motor Speedway is encouraging fans to plan to bring sunscreen or purchase theirs at the track. Atlanta Motor Speedway souvenir stands have been stocked with additional sunscreen supplies to meet the anticipated demand during the weekend. For more information or tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or 770-946-4211, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(3-6-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Declares “Georgia Peanut Famer Appreciation Day”: Atlanta Motor Speedway is declaring “Georgia Peanut Farmer Appreciation Day“ at the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500 Sprint Cup race in recognition of Georgia’s official state crop. In a show of support to Georgia-based peanut farmers in lieu of the recent difficulties facing the industry, Atlanta Motor Speedway has partnered with the Georgia Peanut Commission to promote Georgia peanuts during the Kobalt Tools 500. The Georgia Peanut Commission will have a trackside billboard advertising Georgia peanuts, sampling opportunities on race day and a role in the Kobalt Tools 500 pre-race festivities. In addition, the Commission will have a sampling location and display in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Display Lot. A number of Georgia peanut farmers will be recognized as part of the pre-race activities. “Peanuts have been a staple in the Georgia agriculture economy for a long time and Atlanta Motor Speedway is proud to show our support of the industry,” said Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark. “Many of the farmers are fans who have attended our races for years and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to show them our support during this time of need.”
      For more information or tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or 770-946-4211, or visit atlantamotorspeedway.com. For more information on Georgia peanuts and the Georgia Peanut Commission, visit www.gapeanuts.com.(AMS PR)(3-5-2009)

    • Atlanta Traffic Plan for NASCAR Weekend: Due to next week's Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the south side of Atlanta will experience especially heavy traffic flow throughout the weekend. Traffic is expected to be heaviest during the Friday evening rush hour, as fans head to the track for Georgia Power Qualifying Night. Saturday afternoon will play host to the American Commercial Lines 200 Camping World Truck Series race. The weekend will culminate with Sunday’s (March 8) Kobalt Tools 500. Fans are encouraged to leave early, on Sunday, to avoid the increased traffic flow expected after 9 a.m.
      Basic Traffic Plan for the Kobalt Tools 500 weekend (March 6-8): Fans have a choice of which major route to take, either Hwy. 19/41 or Hwy. 20 from I-75 southbound. I-75 northbound race fans can exit at either Exit 212 Hampton-Locust Grove Road or Exit 218, GA Hwy 20. Please choose which route to take based on where you would like to park on property; fans will be directed to a certain lot based on which way they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to get to their seats easily regardless of where they park on property. Be advised that the direction fans enter speedway property is the same direction they will exit.
      ENTERING THE SPEEDWAY:
      From Hwy. 19/41:
      FROM THE NORTH: Those traveling from the North (traveling southbound on Hwy. 19/41) will be directed to parking lots on the north side of the property and should utilize Speedway Blvd.
      Those traveling south on Hwy. 19/41 will turn right at Speedway Boulevard and park in the yellow, red or green parking lots off of Speedway Blvd. Those with vehicle credentials need to stay in the left lane, use the counter-flow lane as they approach the speedway and enter just south of the main entrance at entrance E or at entrance G off of Richard Petty Blvd.
      FROM THE SOUTH: Those traveling from the South (traveling northbound on Hwy. 19/41 from Griffin) will turn at the main speedway entrance and will be directed to the blue parking lot.
      From Hwy. 20: Those traveling on Hwy. 20 will be directed to the Weaver or orange parking lot on the south side of the property.
      EXITING THE SPEEDWAY:
      Fans will leave the same way they came in. If they entered from the North, they will be directed northbound. Those who enter from the South will be directed southbound. For more information about the race weekend traffic plan, please contact Marcy Scott of Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-3951. For up-to-the-minute traffic updates during race weekend, please contact the traffic command center directly at (770) 707-5015. 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 PR)(3-3-2009)

    • Fan Tips for Those Attending the Kobalt Tools 500 Race Weekend: Below are some tips that will help ensure fans have a memorable, exciting visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway during the March 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR race weekend.
      * 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: Friday (12 p.m., gates 12, 13, 14 and 15), Saturday (9:00 a.m., gates 1, 12, 13, 14 and 15), Sunday (9 a.m., all gates).
      * Important Note: For fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each grandstand.
      * 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.
      * 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.
      * ATM Machines – Bank of America will have 12 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.
      * 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.
      * Traffic Reports – Traffic information will be provided by WSB 750 AM. 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.
      * Beer Cut-Off Times – Beer sales will conclude with 50 laps left in each race. For your convenience, please be sure to make your purchases before this time.
      * Outside Food- While we pride ourselves on providing a 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.
      * 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.
      * 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.
      * Directions to Atlanta Motor Speedway: Directions to AMS, including traffic patterns and facility maps can be found by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com
      * 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.
      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 PR)

    • AMS Announces Performers for Aflac Pre-Race Show: Atlanta Motor Speedway has announced three performers – Richie McDonald, Craig Campbell and Chris Hatfield – for the Aflac Pre-Race Show prior to the running of the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday, March 8. McDonald, the former lead singer for platinum-selling band Lonestar, will sing the National Anthem, while Campbell and Hatfield will perform mini-concerts as part of the Aflac Pre-Race Show. In addition to McDonald, Campbell and Hatfield, singer Megan Peeler will perform the National Anthem prior to Saturday’s American Commercial Lines 200 and the duo The Two Timers will sing the Anthem before Friday’s Georgia Power Qualifying Night. For more information or tickets visit atlantamotorspeedway.com or call (770)-707-7904.(AMS PR)(3-2-2009)

    • Drivers to Conduct Fan Forums at Speedway Motorsports Races: NASCAR drivers and Speedway Motorsports are teaming up to bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before. The new "PRN Up To SPEED" program will bring NASCAR's top names out for fan forums at the SPEED Stage during each of the 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends at Speedway Motorsports' seven speedways across the country. The Performance Racing Network's on-air personalities will emcee question-and-answer sessions with some of the sport's biggest personalities at the SPEED Stage leading up to SPEED's regularly scheduled weekend programming.
      "PRN Up To SPEED" will kick off Sunday at 9:30am/et, at the SPEED Stage located in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway midway. The stellar lineup will include Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch, legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, and four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. Each Speedway Motorsports track [Atlanta, Bristol, Infineon, Las Vegas, Lowe's, New Hampshire, Texas] that hosts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will hold "PRN Up To SPEED" sessions during their respective race weekend. The location of the SPEED Stage may vary from track to track, but at all Speedway Motorsports facilities, the stage is always located in an area where access is free of charge for fans.(SMI PR)(3-1-2009) Comment here

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway Renovating Infield Hospitality Village: Atlanta Motor Speedway is conducting a two-phased renovation of the facility’s unique infield hospitality area with the first phase slated for completion prior to the Speedway’s March 8 Kobalt Tools 500 race date. The renovation, which will include an extension of the current hospitality area, the paving of gravel lots and infrastructure improvements, will allow the Speedway to better serve its corporate clients through the use of the improved hospitality facilities. The first phase is set for completion before the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race date at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 8. Phase one will include the paving of gravel lots used for the infield hospitality area and the development of a new entrance into the hospitality area. The renovation’s second phase, slated to begin after the March race date and be completed before Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Labor Day weekend race date, will extend the current hospitality space and provide finishing touches to the infield hospitality area. In addition to the current hospitality renovations, the motorsports and multi-use facility also renovated its luxury suites in 2005. In 2006, the Speedway added Club One, a premier 704-seat public luxury suite with theatre-style seating and rooftop-viewing access.(AMS PR)(2-22-2009)

    • First 1,000 Atlanta Motor Speedway Racing Roulette Tix Gone in 15 Mins.: After arriving Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and camping overnight, Amber Lee of McDonough was the first in line for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Racing Roulette promotion that began at 9:00am on Monday. For the Racing Roulette promotion, the first 1,000 tickets sold Monday for the Kobalt Tools 500 were sold at $17 to commemorate Matt Kenseth’s win in the Daytona 500. All 1,000 tickets were sold in approximately 15 minutes. Lee was the first in a long line of enthusiastic fans, many of which stayed at the Speedway overnight, to ensure their $17 tickets to the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Racing Roulette promotion continues through 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday with a buy one regular-priced $95 ticket, get the second for $17 deal. Fans can continue to purchase Racing Roulette tickets by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(2-17-2009)

    • Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Racing Roulette Returns for 2009: After tremendous response a year ago, Racing Roulette returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway in what could result in the lowest-ever ticket prices for the March 8 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase Kobalt Tools 500 tickets for the price of the winning car number of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Regularly priced at $95, the first 1,000 tickets will be sold with a limit of two per customer at the discounted rate starting at 9am on Monday, Feb. 16. While the 2008 Roulette promotion featured just 1,000 tickets, the 2009 Racing Roulette contest will be available to all fans wishing to buy tickets through 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17 or until all of the Speedway’s $95 tickets are sold. For those who miss out on the initial 1,000 tickets sold, fans can purchase additional tickets at a discount of buy one regularly-priced ticket, get the second ticket for the price of the winning Daytona 500 car number. Atlanta Motor Speedway introduced the Racing Roulette program a year ago and quickly sold 1,000 $12 tickets following Ryan Newman’s victory in the 2008 Daytona 500. Adding to the intrigue of the 2009 Racing Roulette promotion, the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet of Martin Truex Jr. and the #5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet of Mark Martin hold the front row starting spots for Sunday’s Daytona 500. In the race’s history, the winner has come from the front row more than 30 percent of the time. For more information or to purchase Racing Roulette tickets following the Daytona 500, fans can visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, call 1-877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849).(AMS PR)(2-11-2009)

    • AMS partners with local hotels to cap rates: In an ongoing effort to make attending Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR events more economically feasible for its fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway has partnered with local hotels to offer fans discounted room rates for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway is working with more than 20 area hotels to provide NASCAR fans with rooms priced at $125 or less. Each cooperating hotel will not require multiple-night stays and will provide locked-in rates for fans using promotion code, “AMS Discount.”
      “As a part of our ongoing commitment to providing fans the best race experience at a reasonable price, we have partnered with local hotels to provide acceptable rates to our fans,” said Ed Clark, president and general manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway. “We are already offering a number of special ticket prices and providing these hotel rates can only help to make attending the Kobalt Tools 500 even more affordable for the fans who have supported us throughout the years.” A complete list of participating hotels is including with this release and fans can visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com to view the list as additional hotels are added.(AMS PR)(2-10-2009)

    • Kobalt Tools Buy 1 Ticket Get 1 Free at AMS: As a special discount for Lowe’s customers, Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe’s have partnered to offer a buy one ticket, get one free deal to racing fans who spend $25 or more at Lowe’s. After making a purchase of $25 or more at Lowe’s, racing fans can call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office and use the sales number on their Lowe’s receipt to receive their buy one ticket, get one free special. To contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office, call 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or 770-946-4211.(AMS PR)(1-31-2009)

    • Labor Day Start Times at AMS announced: NASCAR announced the start times for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first Sprint Cup night race to be held on Labor Day weekend and the accompany Nationwide Series race. The Labor Day Weekend Sprint Cup Series night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Sept. 6, while the Nationwide Series race will start at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5.(AMS PR)(1-29-2009)

    • Calling All Collectors - The Search for Missing Atlanta Programs: As Atlanta Motor Speedway is celebrating its 100th race at the Kobalt Tools 500, the track is turning to its fans for help in an effort to fill in three gaps in the track’s program archives. Atlanta Motor Speedway will offer two Kobalt Tools 500 frontstretch tickets to any fan willing to donate one of the three missing programs to the track. The missing programs are from: the 1960 Dixie 300, the 1960 Atlanta 500, and the 1970 Atlanta 500. Fans interested in redeeming one of the three missing programs for two frontstretch tickets should contact Monica Donaldson in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at 770-946-3946. Only the first fan to donate each missing program will receive tickets.(AMS PR)(1-28-2009)

    • Limited Infield Camping Spaces Remain for Kobalt Tools 500 at AMS: Adding to the excitement of attending the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR race weekend, camping at Atlanta Motor Speedway can supplement the thrilling race action and make a trip to one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks even more memorable. Atlanta Motor Speedway offers numerous camping options for NASCAR fans, including a limited number of infield High Speed Corral camping spaces for the March 6-8 Kobalt Tools 500. In addition to infield camping opportunities, racing fans can still secure outside reserved camping in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s larger campgrounds. Due to quantities available, those attending the Kobalt Tools 500 are encouraged to secure spots now in the Family Campground, as well as Legends, East Turn, First Turn and Speedway Boulevard. In addition to reserved camping opportunities at AMS, unreserved camping will also be available during the race weekend for just $60 payable upon arrival. Camping spaces, as well as tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, can be purchased by calling the AMS ticket office at 770-946-4211, 877-9-AMS-TIX (1-877-926-7849), or online at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS PR)(1-17-2009)

    • Tix on Sale for Labor Day Race at Atlanta: Due to requests for Labor Day NASCAR race weekend tickets, the general on-sale date for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Labor Day weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race has been moved up to Jan. 7. Beginning at 9am on Jan. 7, fans can purchase their tickets to Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first-ever Sprint Cup night race by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office, visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, or through an authorized Ticketmaster retailer. For the first-time ever, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering fans a payment plan to purchase tickets. Race fans can reserve their Labor Day weekend Sprint Cup race ticket for just $20. They will then pay half of the purchase balance by April 5, with the remaining balance due on June 5. In addition to the payment plan, Atlanta Motor Speedway has introduced ticket specials for the Labor Day weekend NASCAR events. Among the offered deals, fans can purchase a $39 adult ticket or $19 student ticket in the Elliott Grandstand or an $88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fan section ticket in the Earnhardt Grandstand.(AMS PR)(1-7-2009)

    • 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-4242; Right-side -- D-4244

      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 50-55 laps, based on fuel mileage (Sprint Cup).

      Notes: This will be the first time that NASCAR Sprint Cup teams will be running this particular set-up of left- and right-side tires . . . this set-up came out of a tire test with Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sam Hornish and Scott Speed at Atlanta in January . . . compared to the tire recommendation at Atlanta last fall, Goodyear has made construction changes on both sides of the car for improved handling . . . the other change is to the left-side compound, which is softer for improved grip . . . the right-side compound is the same one used last fall, after already having been softened after the spring race at Atlanta . . . 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.


    DRIVER/TEAM/TESTING NEWS

    • Gunselman, Bodine's start new Cup team: Journeyman driver Larry Gunselman is the latest to make an attempt at the Cup Series dream in 2009 as the Washington native has formed a team for himself and a pair of veteran brothers, Geoff and Todd Bodine. Gunselman, who won races in the old Winston West Series and its most popular driver award in 1996 before traveling east in 2000 to seek his racing fortunes, is the principal in the team that will field #64 Toyotas. He said Wednesday morning he's backed by a group of investors who are new to the sport and is still seeking primary sponsorship. "Right now we're looking at running for purse money while we try to come up with sponsorship dollars," Gunselman said. "The more sponsor dollars you get, the harder you can run. I tell people all the time, if you don't have money, you've got to race smart, and you can race hard if you do have money." If a team had been able to make all 36 Cup races last season and finish in the least-paying position, it would have won $2,880,640 in purse money. Gunselman has six Camrys -- three each that were purchased from Bill Davis Racing and Red Bull Racing -- and Wednesday he'd just come from the NASCAR R&D Center with his crew chief "for as long as I can keep him," former champion Doug Richert, and the second chassis they'd had certified. Gunselman, who has previous Cup team ownership experience from when he fielded the #98 Mach 1 Motorsports cars in 2004 with Chris Edwards, made 26 of 36 races and finished 39th in the owner standings, said to start the season attempting the races was critical. "There are so many people out of work out there right now that I believe the whole industry is going through a major correction factor -- the whole economy of the United States is going through a correction factor at the moment," Gunselman said. "There's an opportunity for a guy who's willing to go out there and take advantage of an opportunity and find a good group of people who really want to race, and we've got that. I think the current economic conditions are going to weed a lot of people out of our sport that didn't get in it for the right reason to begin with, and the real racers are going to figure out a way to survive and come out of this economic situation still involved in the sport."
      While the team wasn't sure who'd be in its car for Speedweeks, when the #64 will attempt to make the Daytona 500 as a "go-or-go-home" car, Gunselman said Todd Bodine would definitely drive at Fontana and Las Vegas, the second and third races on the schedule. Bodine is the 2006 Truck Series champion, who also has 15 wins in the Nationwide Series and 228 Cup starts, with five poles, seven top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Geoff Bodine, who won the 1986 Daytona 500, 18 Cup races, six in the Nationwide Series and hundreds of Modified races -- but who hasn't made a NASCAR national touring start since 2005, when he made eight starts in the Nationwide Series, may run at Daytona. Gunselman, 48, most recently made spot starts in all of NASCAR's national tours -- including 20 in the '08 Nationwide and Truck series.(NASCAR.com)(1-29-2009) Comment here

    • Kvapil to run at least first five races..then: Yates Racing is committed to running the first five Sprint Cup races with #28-Travis Kvapil, with any races of the season beyond that still to be determined, team general manager Max Jones said Thursday. Jones said he hopes that sponsorship can be found, much like the team did last year when it ran an unsponsored car in several races and had several occasional primary sponsors. While optimistic that recent talks with potential sponsors will come through, Jones said the team doesn’t intend to run the team unsponsored the entire year. Kvapil’s crew chief will be Ben Leslie, who will also continue in his position as Ford Racing’s NASCAR field manager. Todd Parrott was going to be Kvapil’s crew chief, but he – and his entire team – is going to work with #96-Bobby Labonte, whose Hall of Fame Racing team will be operated by Yates Racing in a deal announced last week. Kvapil will have no points to fall back on in getting into the first five races. His points from 2008, when he finished 23rd in the driver standings, went to #98-Paul Menard, who brought sponsorship to the team.(SceneDaily)(1-23-2009) Comment here

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


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