ATLANTA: NASCAR driver Autograph, Q&A Sessions / Appearances

THURSDAY, AUG. 30th
Brad Keselowski & Eric McClure
2:00 – 3:30pm/et
Wal-Mart store
11465 Tara Blvd.
Lovejoy, GA

Brad Keselowski
4 pm
Discount Tire store
11345 Tara Blvd.
Hampton, Ga

FRIDAY, AUG. 31st
Travis Pastrana
Boost Mobile store
Friday 4:30 p.m.– 5:30 p.m. ET
1138 W. Taylor Rd
Griffin, Ga. 30223

Travis Pastrana
6 p.m.– 7 p.m. ET
Boost Mobile store
11386 Tara Blvd. Ste. F,
Hampton, Ga. 30223

Kyle Busch
11:00am – 1:00pm
Walmart Store
135 Willow Lane
McDonough, GA

Justin Lofton, Cale Gale & Max Gresham
2:00pm/et
Scheduled to visit the Team Chevy stage located in the fan midway area at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Cale Gale
4:00pm
Todd Bodine, Timothy Peters and Parker Kligerman
6:45pm
Drivers scheduled to participate in Q&A at the Coca-Cola Fan Stage

Ty Dillon, Joey Coulter & Tim George Jr.
2:30pm/et
Q & A at the Team Chevy stage located in the fan midway area at Altanta Motor Speedway

Elliott Sadler
4:00 – 5:00pm
OneMain Financial Branch
3150 Highway 34 East, Suite 203
Newnan, GA

Richard Petty
12:00 – 1:00pm/et
Walmart store
135 Willow Lane
McDonough, GA

Cole Whitt
1:30 – 2:30pm/et
Walmart Store
135 Willow Lane
McDonough, GA

SATURDAY, SEPT. 1st
Travis Pastrana
1:15 p.m. ET
Boost Mobile Experience in the FanZone at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Jeff Burton
1:00am/et
Signing autographs at the Bad Boys Buggies display located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Austin Dillon
1:40 – 1:55pm/et
Q & A Session at the AdvoCare display in the Atlanta Motor Speedway midway area

Kyle Fowler
1:45am/et
Signing autographs at the Coca-Cola Fan Stage located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
3:00pm/et
Scheduled to appear at the Coca-Cola Fan Stage located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Jeff Gordon
1:15pm/et
Appearance at Team Chevy stage located in the fan midway area at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Elliott Sadler
11:30am/et
Signing autographs at the Bad Boys Buggies display located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Cole Whitt
12:15pm/et
Appearance at the Team Chevy stage located in the fan midway area at Atlanta Motor Speedway

No. 3 AdvoCare Pit Crew
2:00pm/et
Scheduled to appear at the Team Chevy display located in the Atlanta Motor Speedway midway

No. 3 AdvoCare Pit Crew
2:30pm/et
Scheduled to appear at the AdvoCare display located in the Atlanta Motor Speedway midway area

SUNDAY, SEPT. 2nd

Drivers scheduled to participate in Q&A Sessions at the Coca-Cola Fan Stage located in the fan midway area at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
12:00pm: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame
2:45pm: Jeff Burton, Richard Childress, AMS President Ed Clark
3:00pm: Kevin Harvick
3:15pm: David Ragan
3:45pm: Tony Stewart
4:30pm: Denny Hamlin

Kevin Harvick
4:30 – 4:45pm/et
Scheduled for Q&A Session at the Bad Boys Buggies booth located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Joey Logano
4:00pm/et
Appearance at the Sprint Experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Sprint Experience display is located next to Gate 14 along the Frontstretch.

Mark Martin
4:30pm/et
Aaron’s Display located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Richard Petty
4:15pm/et
Goody’s Fast Relief Zone located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Larry McReynolds
1:30pm/et
Sprint Experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway – The Sprint Experience display is located next to Gate 14 along the Frontstretch.

David Ragan
3:15pm/et
Coca-Cola Fan Stage located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Tony Stewart
3:45pm/et
Coca-Cola Fan Stage located in the Fan Zone at Atlanta Motor Speedway

No. 42 Over-the-Wall Pit Crew Members
5:00pm/et
Signing autographs at the Team Chevy stage located in the fan midway area at Atlanta Motor Speedway

ATLANTA: NASCAR Stats / Track Data / Broadcasting Info.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
The Race: AdvoCare 500
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Race: #25 of 36
Practices: Fri, Aug. 31, 2:30 – 4:30 pm on SPEED; Sat., Sept. 1, 2:30 – 3:25 pm on SPEED
Happy Hour ‘Final’ practice: Sat, Sept. 1, 5:30 – 6:20pm on SPEED
Qualifying: Fri., Aug. 31, 6:10 p.m. on SPEED
NASCAR Pre-race: ESPN – 6:30 pm
TV Race Coverage: Sun. Eve, 7:30 pm on ESPN
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:46 pm

Track Data
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: 99,000
Opened: 1960

Qualifying/Race Data
2011 pole winner: Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet (186.196 mph, 29.775 sec., 09-04-11)
2011 race winner: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet (124.623 mph, 4:00:58, 09-06-11)
Track qualifying record: Geoffrey Bodine, Ford (197.478 mph, 28.074 sec., 11-15-97)
Track race record: Bobby Labonte, Pontiac (159.904 mph, 3:07:48, 11/16/97)
Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia going into the AdvoCare 500 on Sept. 2.

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/Manheim Auctions Ford)
·         Three top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 16.1

Kurt Busch (No. 51 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet)
·         Three wins, four top fives, nine top 10s
·         Average finish of 17.4

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Wrigley Toyota)
·         One win, three top fives, three top 10s
·         Average finish of 17.7

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet)
·         One win, eight top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 12.8

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford)
·         Three wins, eight top fives, 10 top 10s
·         Average finish of 13.6

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
·         Five wins, 15 top fives, 24 top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 12.2

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota)
·         One top five, four top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 17.5

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet)
·         Three wins, 11 top fives, 13 top 10s
·         Average finish of 10.0

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet)
·         Two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 18.3

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Roush Fenway 25 Winning Years Ford)
·         Eight top fives, 13 top 10s
·         Average finish of 12.9

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
·         Three top fives, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 16.9

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)
·         Three wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.2

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Shocks and Struts Toyota)
·         Two top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 22.8

Chase Contenders
The Top 10
Following Race 24 of 36
Driver Points Wins Poles Week Rating
1. Greg Biffle 849 2 2 1 103.9
2. Jimmie Johnson 838 3 1 4 108.8
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 834 1 0 3 99.9
4. Matt Kenseth 823 1 1 2 102.8
5. Martin Truex Jr. 797 0 1 6 97.6
6. Clint Bowyer 794 1 0 7 91.8
7. Brad Keselowski 790 3 0 5 95.3
8. Denny Hamlin 774 3 2 10 99.2
9. Kevin Harvick 767 0 0 8 90.4
10. Tony Stewart 746 3 0 9 87.8

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2012 Top 12 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating
1 Greg Biffle 17 1 0 3 9 2 16.1 92.9
2 Jimmie Johnson 20 0 3 11 13 1 10.0 109.5
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 24 2 1 8 10 2 12.8 94.3
4 Matt Kenseth 23 0 0 8 13 3 12.9 96.2
5 Martin Truex Jr. 13 1 0 0 2 4 22.8 88.9
6 Clint Bowyer 11 0 0 0 5 1 17.4 83.3
7 Brad Keselowski 3 0 0 0 1 1 22.3 76.1
8 Denny Hamlin 12 1 0 1 4 1 17.5 96.2
9 Kevin Harvick 21 0 1 4 7 4 19.9 83.5
10 Tony Stewart 25 0 3 10 15 3 11.2 102.3
11 Kasey Kahne 15 2 2 6 8 3 18.3 91.0
12 Carl Edwards 14 0 3 8 10 2 13.6 101.8
* – Based on last 13 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Wild Card Standings Following: Bristol Motor Speedway
Pos. Driver Wins Pts. Pos. Points Pts. From 10th
1 Kasey Kahne 2 11 730 -16
2 Kyle Busch 1 13 707 -39
3 Jeff Gordon 1 14 691 -55
4 Ryan Newman 1 15 688 -58
5 Marcos Ambrose 1 16 679 -67
6 Joey Logano 1 18 638 -108
7 Carl Edwards 0 12 712 -34
8 Paul Menard 0 17 674 -72
9 Jamie McMurray 0 19 598 -148
10 Jeff Burton 0 20 577 -169

History
·         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.
·         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.

Notebook
·         There have been 104 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, until 2010 there has been two races per year except 1961, which had three. This year marks the second season with only one event.
·         Fireball Roberts won the pole and race for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 1960.
·         45 drivers have won a pole, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman, each with seven.
·         Six of Newman’s seven poles came in consecutive races between March 2003 and October 2005.
·         42 drivers have won a race; 22 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 six victories. Labonte is tied with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richard Petty for third on the all-time win list at Atlanta.
·         The Wood Brothers have 12 victories, more than any organization. They last won there in 1993, with Morgan Shepherd. Hendrick Motorsports has 11 wins at Atlanta and could tie the Wood Brothers this weekend.
·         14 races have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Kasey Kahne in 2006. The last two races have been won from the fifth position.
·         60 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.
·         Two drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Atlanta: Carl Edwards (3/20/2005) and Kevin Harvick (3/11/2001).
·         Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Atlanta Motor Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (03/09/2008 – 22 years, 10 months, 7 days).
·         Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Atlanta Motor Speedway winner: Morgan Shepherd (03/20/1993 – 51 years, 5 months, 8 days).

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
Race: NRA American Warrior 300
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race #: 24 of 33
Practice: 9 a.m. ET Sat. (TV: 11:30 ET) on SPEED
Qualifying: 3:30 p.m ET Sat. on SPEED
TV Race Coverage: Sat, ESPN2, 6:30 pm
Scheduled Green Flag (approx): 7:16 pm

So far in 2012, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has three wins, 13 top-five, and 17 top-ten finishes. Stenhouse is currently second in the NASCAR Nationwide point standings; 19 points behind leader Elliott Sadler.

Mike Wallace will be wheeling the No. 01 entry for JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller, as he has all season. Joining him as a teammate will be Danny Efland, back in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet, which will be his first ever start at AMS.

With six of their last finishes in the top-20, and one in the top-10, through the last seven races; the No. 01 team has utilized those finishes to move into 12th in points.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Race: Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race #: 14 of 22
TV Coverage: SPEED
Final Practice: Actual – 11:30 am – aired at 1:00 pm [tape-delayed] on SPEED
Qualifying: 4:30 pm on SPEED
Pre-race: 7:30 pm on SPEED
Race: 8:00 pm on SPEED

NCWTS Point Standings

 

NASCAR Notes: ATLANTA

So the jig is up. What did you think of the “new” old Bristol?

To me, I believe the track itself was pretty much the same with the top groove taken away – the difference to me – was just night and day. I think the night race at Bristol is always more exciting than the day race in March anyways. Maybe Bruton Smith ought to think about dropping it’s March race and focus on the summer night race.

But think about it. How about NASCAR cutting it’s schedule by dropping the NASCAR sanctioned tracks 2nd dates, this would shorten the season (which many drivers complain it’s too long anyways), and have fans develop that “Geez, I really miss NASCAR” feeling… you know, like the one you get when it’s the off season heading into Daytona in February, or when your favorite TV show goes off the air for summer break and the excitement builds up for the Fall TV viewing?

Ticket sales would certainly improve… also would give the teams a break…financially speaking, that is.

Anyways, that’s a whole other topic for discussion… moving on…..

So, once again for the second week in a row, all three NASCAR series are heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

Only four among the current top-10 drivers have victories: No. 48 Johnson, No. 14 Stewart, No. 88 Earnhardt Jr. and No. 29 Harvick. Manufacturer wise, each of the four manufacturers (Dodge, Ford, Chevy & Toyota) hold an Atlanta victory – Dodge has the most wins – three straight in 2009-10.

Last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, three competitors have clinched seeded spots in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Current points leader Greg Biffle, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all received their striped “clinched hat” that they will wear, recognizing them as being in the Chase. Earnhardt Jr. is in the Chase for the second straight year and fifth time overall. For Biffle, it’s redemption after failing to qualify a year ago. As for Biffle’s teammate – 2003 champion Matt Kenseth – he moves into the post season with at least a “wild card” entry.

Mathematically, every top-10 Chase spot could be clinched as well as the possibility that 11 of the 12 Chase spots could be clinched at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

A win would lock up at least a Wild Card spot for Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart. Depending on the final results from Sunday evening, Bowyer, Keselowski, Hamlin, Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch could clinch a Wild Card spot. It’s certainly something to watch for.

Reigning champion Tony Stewart is on the bubble after his 27th-place finish at Bristol. Kyle Busch moved ahead of Ryan Newman to claim rights to the second provisional Wild Card entry. He’s followed by Jeff Gordon, Newman, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano. Carl Edwards, 12th in the standings and 34 points out of 10th, is in must-win territory with two races remaining until the Chase field is set.

Elliott Sadler holds a 19-point lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the championship standings. Danica Patrick it marks the final tracks on the current schedule she has not competed at – as well as No. 99 Boost Mobile driver Travis Pastrana upon his final of eight 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Patrick has raced at all 22 active NASCAR Nationwide Series tracks – a total of 23. Fresh off a ninth-place finish at Bristol, Patrick sits 10th in the series championship standings.

Kurt and Kyle Busch will face off for the first time in Friday night’s Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The elder Busch will be driving the No. 51 Chevrolet owned by Billy Ballew, who last competed full-time in the series in 2010. Ironically, Kyle Busch won 16 times in Ballew’s equipment – four of them coming at Atlanta in 2005 and 2007-09. Kyle Busch will drive his own No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

James Buescher has collected three wins this season, all on a 1.5-mile track. Timothy Peters, the most recent truck series winner, has yet to collect a 1.5-mile victory in his career. Peters holds a 17-point lead over Buescher after leading all 200 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Nelson Piquet Jr. and Justin Lofton both collected their first truck series win at Michigan and Charlotte, respectively. But what about Red Horse Racing’s newest member, Parker Kligerman? Kligerman has posted two top-five finishes in the past two races, moving up two positions in the championship points standings, tied for fourth.

With 10 different winners in 13 races, the field might be looking at yet, another new contender in Victory Lane.

 Source: NASCAR Media

Jeff Gordon marks his 85th Victory at Atlanta

NASCAR President Mike Helton presents a plaque to Jeff Gordon commemorating his 85th win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6 in Hampton, Ga. Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Jeff Gordon just won the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a rain postponed misty Tuesday, making it his 85th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Gordon clinched another type of victory in the making by being third on the all-time series wins list. Only Richard Petty (200 wins) and David Pearson (105) have more.

40- year old Gordon also became the Modern Era* (1972-Present) wins leader, breaking a tie with Darrell Waltrip. During a career that began on the final race of 1992, and which was Richard Petty’s last, Gordon assembled a list of accomplishments fit for a future NASCAR Hall of Famer: Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, three Daytona 500 victories, four Brickyard 400 victories, most road-course wins all-time (nine) and most restrictor plate wins all-time (12).

His reaction:

Below is a timeline of Gordon’s notable victories on his way to 85:

1 – On May 29, 1994 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Gordon won his first race. It was in one of NASCAR’s biggest events – the Coca-Cola 600.

2 – Gordon won the inaugural NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 6, 1994. He would go on to win three other IMS races, in 1998, 2001 and 2004.

8 –Won another “crown jewel” race, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, on Sept. 3, 1995.

19 – On Sept. 29, 1996, won his only race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, the final race at the North Carolina short track.

20 – At the time, became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history at 25 years, six months, 12 days on Feb. 16, 1997. His record was later broken in 2011 by Trevor Bayne (20 years, one day). Gordon also won the Daytona 500 in 1999 and 2005.

28 – On Aug. 31, 1997, won his second Southern 500, capturing a $1 million bonus in what was known as The Winston Million. The Winston Million was given to any driver to win three of the following four races: the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600, the Southern 500 and the first Talladega race.

42 – In the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Nov. 8, 1998, won his 13th race of the season, tying a Modern Era record first set by Richard Petty in 1975.

74 – On June 25, 2006, won at Infineon Raceway, his record ninth victory at a road course.

76 – With a win at Phoenix International Raceway on April 21, 2007, Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt for sixth on the all-time wins list. Gordon memorably took a victory lap with a massive No. 3 flag waving out his driver-side window, a tribute to his long-time rival.

80 – On Oct. 7, 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway, Gordon captured his record 12th restrictor-plate victory.

85 – In a race delayed two days because of inclement weather, Gordon captures historic win No. 85 on Sept. 6, 2011 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Congratulations, Jeff, on achieving such a great milestone!!

(*Note: “Modern Era” refers to the period in NASCAR Sprint Cup history when NASCAR shortened the schedule from as many as 62 races in 1964 to the 31-race schedule of 1972. Race numbers fluctuated between 28 and 36 since 1972.)

Source: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

Fast Cars & Guitars featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd at Atlanta Motor Speedway

SIMPLE MAN TRIBUTE VIDEO – Lynyrd Skynyrd

REMINDER: Get your stagefront passes for only $59 to be up-close and personal with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Fast Cars & Guitars featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd will get fans primed for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 4th!

Upgrade your tickets to the race with a stagefront pass and be there as the band rocks out to hits like Simple Man, Gimme Three Steps, Sweet Home Alabama, Free Bird and more!

A grandstand ticket or infield wristband must accompany your stagefront pass.

NASCAR driver stats heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race # 25 of 36

Track Size: 1.54 miles

Race Length: 325 laps/500.5 miles

Banking/Corners: 24 degrees

Banking/Straights: 5 degrees

Frontstretch: 2,332 feet

Backstretch: 1,800 feet

Qualifying/Race Data

2010 pole winner: Denny Hamlin (187.38 mph, 29.587 seconds)

2010 race winner: Tony Stewart (129.041 mph, 9-5-10)

Track qualifying record: Geoffrey Bodine (197.478 mph, 28.074 seconds,

11-15-97)

Race record: Dale Earnhardt (163.633 mph, 11-16-97)

ATLANTA-SPECIFIC STATISTICS

Marcos Ambrose (No. 9 Kwikset Ford)

·         One top 10
·         Average finish of 22.2

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
·         Six top fives, 11 top 10s
·         Average finish of 10.6

Kurt Busch (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge)
·         Five wins, six top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 12.7

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Pedigree Toyota)
·         Five wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
·         Average finish of 8.7

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Military Intelligence/AMP Energy Chevrolet)
·         One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.5

Carl Edwards (No. 99 AFLAC Ford)
·         Two wins, four top fives, six top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 12.5

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)
·         Five wins, 14 top fives, 20 top 10s; five poles
·         Average finish of 11.7

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Charter Communications Toyota)
·         Three top fives, five top 10s
·         Average finish of 16.3

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)
·         One win, nine top fives, 12 top 10s
·         Average finish of 12.0

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
·         One win, five top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 15.4

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Ford)
·         Two wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 12.2

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
·         Average finish of 30.5
·         Average Running Position of 21.4, 22nd-best

Mark Martin (No. 5 CARQUEST Auto Parts/GoDaddy.com Chevrolet)
·         Two wins, 16 top fives, 23 top 10s; nine poles
·         Average finish of 13.1

Paul Menard (No. 27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet)
·         One top five, 2 top 10s
·         Average finish of 22.0

Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Reserve Chevrolet)
·         One top five, 11 top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 17.2

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobile 1 Chevrolet)
·         One win, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 17.0

History

·         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.

·         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.

Notebook

·         There have been 103 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, two races per year except 1961, which had three. This year marks the first season with only one.

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

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

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

• 42 drivers have won a race; 22 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 six victories. Labonte is tied with Richard Petty for third on the all-time win list at Atlanta.

• The Wood Brothers have 12 victories, more than any organization. They last won there in 1993, with Morgan Shepherd.

• 14 races have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Kasey Kahne in 2006. Both races last season were won from the second starting position.

• 59 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.

Source: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

Labor Day weekend means a lot of racin’, Wildcard Clinchin’ at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Ooops! In case you noticed, Kevin Harvick’s name wasn’t included among those who will compete for the Sprint Cup championship in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday night at Bristol. However, NASCAR’s subsequent review of the points standings showed that Harvick’s three victories and 782 points, ties him with Jeff Gordon for fifth in the Cup standings. Harvick is 110 points ahead of one-time winner Denny Hamlin, who currently occupies the second wild-card position behind three-time winner Brad Keselowski. Even if Harvick finishes last in the next two races (scoring two points) and Hamlin wins both and leads the most laps (scoring 96 points), Harvick will get the wild card because of his higher finish in the standings. And don’t rule out that Harvick will likely cement a top-10 berth in this Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

So we are down to two races before the complete 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, seedings and all. After race No. 26 at Richmond International Raceway, the top-10 drivers in points will fill out the first portion of the 12-driver Chase. Spots 11 and 12 go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most victories, provided they are in the top 20. The Wild Card tiebreaker is points position.

Here are the clinch scenarios going into the weekend…

Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon: Both 93 points ahead of 11th, Harvick and Gordon can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 40th; or 41st and at least one lap led; or 42nd and the most laps led.

Ryan Newman: Currently 73 points ahead of 11th, Newman can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 20th; or 21st and at least one lap led; or 22nd and the most laps led.

Kurt Busch: Currently 60 points ahead of 11th, Busch can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of seventh; or eighth and at least one lap led; or ninth and the most laps led.

Both Dale Earnhardt Jr. (39 points ahead of 11th) and Tony Stewart (21 points ahead) can both mathematically reach that 49-point threshold. No specific finish guarantees a spot.

These are Wild Card clinching possibilities for this weekend, but all depends on finishes from various competitors on Sunday.

All three of NASCAR’s national series and six of its seven touring series will race this weekend.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR

• Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson sit in a points tie for the number one spot, a points lead that officially goes to Busch because of his series-leading four wins.

• Ryan Newman, known for his qualifying prowess, is looking to win his eighth career pole. Currently, Newman is tied with NASCAR great Buddy Baker, a driver for whom Newman has great admiration.

• The two-time champion finished 28th at Bristol after starting 42nd. Clearly, it wasn’t one of Stewart’s best races. But last year’s race at Atlanta was – he ‘smoked’ the field, leading 176 laps. Could Atlanta be Stewart’s first win of 2011, knocking out the Sprint Summer Showdown contenders at their shot of winning $3 Million?

• Sprint’s unique bonus program comes to an end this weekend, and it sets up to be an intriguing finale. The winners of Indianapolis (Paul Menard), Pocono (Brad Keselowski), Watkins Glen (Marcos Ambrose), Michigan (Kyle Busch) and Bristol (Keselowski again) are all eligible to win the $3 million bonus at Atlanta.

If one of those drivers wins Sunday’s race, a million dollars will be split evenly between the driver, the driver’s charity and one lucky fan. If Keselowski wins, the $1 million will be split evenly among two fans.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has led for the last four weeks, but his advantage has slowly trickled down during that span. He was 12 points in front of Peachtree City’s favorite son Reed Sorenson four races ago; Stenhouse now has a precarious five-point lead over second-place Elliott Sadler. Sorenson is 10 points back in third.

Stenhouse holds 21 bonus points – for leading a lap and leading the most laps in a race.

Reed Sorenson, a huge Atlanta Falcons fan, is ready for some football. He’ll be at practice Tuesday afternoon and will attend their game against the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night with his No. 32 crew chief Trent Owens and car chief Shannon Rursch. The group will be guests of Falcons’ GM Thomas Dimitroff and have the opportunity to join the team on the field for pre-game warm-ups. The No. 32 team will return the favor on Saturday, hosting three Falcon Pro-Bowlers – fullback Ovie Mughelli, running back Michael Turner and wide receiver Roddy White – for the race.

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

Ryan Newman will return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition for the first time since 2009 Atlanta to honor the life of his friend – Beau Slocumb. Newman and Turner Motorsports will honor the life of Slocumb, a former TMS employee, with a special paint scheme featuring the No. 08, Slocumb’s car number during his racing career.

Slocumb began his career racing Legends cars and climbed the professional ladder through the late model ranks, earning 131 feature wins in Legends and late model competition, eventually making his mark in the ARCA series.

Slocumb lost his battle with cancer last spring. He was 26. All the money received by Turner Motorsports from the NCWTS event will be donated to Slocumb’s widow (Jessica) to assist with medical expenses.

Timothy Peters finds himself in the mix for the NCWTS title, only 15 points behind current leader Johnny Sauter. In the last month, Peters has rebounded from six consecutive finishes outside the top-10 to five finishes inside the top-10, including a victory at Lucas Oil Raceway and a second place finish at Michigan.

In the meantime, Todd Bodine remains the only driver currently competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series who won during the 2010 season still searching for a victory in 2011.

Source: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

Sprint Summer Showdown field set for Atlanta Motor Speedway

So what’s the best way to bring the summer to a close over Labor Day weekend? Well, by locking in the eligible drivers for the Sprint Summer Showdown.

Brad Keselowski claimed his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2011 in victory lane at Bristol Saturday night and closed the door for the last spot for another driver to join the ranks of those who will compete in the Sprint Summer Showdown Presented by HTC EVO 3D $3 Million bonus at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sept. 4th.

Following are the eligible drivers, along with their charities and one fan chosen to win $1 Million, each:

Brad Keselowski
Won: Pocono and Bristol
Charity: Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation
*Fan (Pocono): Helene Cross
*Fan (Bristol): TBA

Paul Menard
Won: Indianpolis Motor Speedway
Charity: Habitat for Humanity
Fan: Andrea Gay

Marcos Ambrose
Won: Watkins Glen
Charity: Victory Junction
Fan: Ron Rempinski

Kyle Busch
Won: Michigan
Charity: Kyle Busch Foundation
Fan: Dana Hardie

Should any of those drivers win the race, they’ll earn $1 million for themselves, $1 million for charity and $1 million for a fan. As a two-time winner in Showdown qualifying races, Keselowski’s will race for two fans, who will split $1 million if he wins.*

THE CHASE

The following drivers have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. Kyle Busch clinched at least a Wild Card Spot last week, has now clinched a top-10 spot.

BRISTOL RACE RE-AIRS

For those of you who were unable to watch the race due to Hurricane Irene coverage, ESPN2 will be re-airing the race TODAY at 5pm/est. and SPEED will re-air on Wednesday, Aug. 31st at 12pm/est.

SHR captures first win of 2010 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Tony Stewart puts the blame on himself for spinning the tires on the restarts, but puts full credit on the pit crew for bailing him out and putting him up front to win the race.

For those of you who missed the final laps, right along with Kasey Kahne’s little nudge to Ryan Newman, here’s a recap:

NASCAR Nationwide tid-bits for Atlanta

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway  

(1.54 Mile Banked Paved) 
Saturday, September 4
300.3 miles/195 laps 
ESPN2, 6:30 p.m. ET
2009 Winner: Kevin Harvick 
2009 Polesitter: Dale Earnhardt Jr.  
Pole:  QUALIFYING LIVE NOW ON SPEED. WILL ANNOUNCE WHO GETS POLE LATER. STAY TUNED!

Penske Racing continues to develop Young Stars 

In a time when everyone keeps asking who is going to be the next best thing. Roger Penske has de- 
cided he will not only seek them out, but use the NASCAR Nationwide Series to develop their talents.  
Penske Racing teammates Justin Allgaier (No. 12 Verizon Wireless Dodge), and series standings 
leader Brad Keselowski (No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge) yielded to 20-year-old Parker Kligerman’s (No. 42 GetMoreVacations.com Dodge) talent last weekend in Montreal, where Kligerman made his seventh series start at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In an impressive run, he started 21st and finished eighth, joining his teammates Keselowski (fourth) and Allgaier (ninth) in the top 10. It was his second top 10 of the season. 
Kligerman is one of Roger Penske’s developmental drivers who also drives for owner Eddie Smith. He competed in the ARCA RE/MAX Series last season, amassing nine wins and finishing the season second in the standings.
 

Double-dippin’ drivers this weekend

Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray will join 10 other drivers pulling double duty this weekend: 
Kyle Busch (No. 18 NOS Energy Toyota)
Joey Logano (No. 20 GameStop Toyota)
Clint Bowyer (No. 21 ZAXBY’S Chevrolet)
Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne ( No. 38 Great Clips Toyota)
Carl Edwards, David Gilliland (No. 91 D’Hondt Humphrey Chevrolet)
Paul Menard (No. 98 TARKETT/Menards Ford) 
Ryan Newman (No. 1 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet)

RCR Partners With Shepherd 

 Richard Childress Racing and Morgan Shepherd’s (No. 89 Victory in Jesus Chevroet) Racing for Jesus have formed Shepherd Racing Ventures, a partnership to run the No. 21 for the remainder of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
  

Notable Competition Facts For Atlanta 

 
• Atlanta Motor Speedway held its first NASCAR Nationwide Series event in 1992. The winner was Jeff Gordon.  
• Since 1992 Atlanta has held 18 series events, producing 14 different winners.  
• Mark Martin is the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ all-time winningest driver at Atlanta.  
• Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Dick Trickle all are tied for the most series poles at Atlanta with two each.  
• Matt Kenseth leads the series at Atlanta in top fives (seven), and top 10s (eight).  
• Of the 18 series races run at Atlanta, only three have been won from the pole:  
 - Jeff Gordon — 1992 
 - Greg Biffle — 2003 
 - Carl Edwards — 2005
 

Next NASCAR Nationwide race:

Friday Night, Sept. 10th 
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 
Richmond International Raceway