In racing, momentum is very important. A good finish or two in a row can get one race team on a string of success...
A couple of bad races in a row, however, can doom a team's hopes of accomplishing it's go als such as contending for a championship of qualifying for the Chase for the Championship.
And momentum can be especially key early in the season. For some teams, the way the first four-to-five races of a year go can set the tone for the rest of the season.
That is where the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, March 5-7, 2010, comes into play. It'll be the fourth Sprint Cup Series race of the season. A good run at AMS could set some teams up nicely for the rest of the season.
Let's take Kurt Busch, for example. After his dominant win at Atlanta this past March, he noted that the success gave his team a good boost moving forward into the rest of the season.
We'll be qualifying under the lights on Friday, March 5 with Sprint Cup Series drivers taking to the track in Georgia Power Qualifying Night.
On Saturday, March 6 we'll have Sprint Cup practice followed by the Camping World Truck Series race. If you're into the truck series or a fan of guys like Ron Hornaday Jr. or Mike Skinner, then this will be right up your alley!
And then on Sunday, it's the Kobalt Tools 500! Can Kurt Busch repeat as the race winner? Perhaps Jimmie Johnson will collect another victory. Or maybe we'll see a first-time winner visit Victory Lane. You never know what'll happen. Be sure to get your tickets to be here in person to see it first-hand!
Make plans to be at Atlanta Motor Speedway for another exciting weekend of racing! Tickets start at $39, student tickets are $19 and frontstretch tickets are $59 - while supplies last!
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Oct. 14.
The inductees include Dale Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Junior Johnson and Richard Petty.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 29 others representing NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, major race track ownership groups, retired drivers, owners and crew chiefs along with motorsports media representatives, met in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C. to vote on the induction class of 2010.
The class was determined by the 51 votes cast by the panel and the nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
The Class of 2010 will be officially inducted in a ceremony on May 23, 2010 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
The results of the voting for the final five chosen in this inaugural class proved competitive. Also receiving votes were David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison.
As part of the inclusive voting process, more than 670,000 NASCAR fans submitted votes online at NASCAR.COM as part of the fan voting process. This remarkable fan feedback once again demonstrates fans' passion and knowledge of the sport and its heritage. The fans voted Petty, Earnhardt, Bill France Sr., Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison as their top five.
The nominees included many of the sport's legendary names:
Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Jr., Bill France Sr., Rick Hendrick, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood and Cale Yarborough.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame broke ground in Charlotte on Jan. 25, 2007 and will open May 11, 2010. The facility honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of NASCAR.
Highlighting the Class of 2010:
Earnhardt co-holds the record for most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships (seven) with Richard Petty. In only his second full season, 1980, Earnhardt nabbed his first championship. He won consecutive titles on three separate occasions (1986-87, '90-91 and '93-94). Earnhardt's 76 victories rank seventh all-time.
He is the all-time leader in race victories at Daytona International Speedway with 34, though the most prominent of them was a while in the making.
In 1998, Earnhardt won his most coveted race - the Daytona 500. The scene was a memorable one, forever etched in the minds of race fans. As Earnhardt's black No. 3 rolled down pit road, a Daytona 500 winner at last, every crew member from every team lined up to congratulate one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history.
Bill France Sr.
Called "Big Bill," only partly because of his 6-foot-5 stature, France spearheaded NASCAR from its beginning and directed it to its present status as the world's largest stock-car racing organization. In 1936, he helped lay out the first beach/road course in Daytona Beach; in the first race on the course he finished fifth. Starting in 1938, he helped promote races on the sands of Daytona Beach. In 1947, France became the driving force behind the establishment of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR, it was called, resulting from a famous meeting at the Streamline Hotel on State Road A1A in Daytona Beach - a structure that stands to this day, as a racing landmark. "Big Bill" France passed away in June 1992. He left behind a lasting legacy.
Bill France Jr.
William Clifton France is remembered - and revered - as the man who followed his visionary father at NASCAR's helm, in the process becoming a visionary himself, as he guided NASCAR to unprecedented levels of popularity.
France became NASCAR's president in January 1972, replacing his father and becoming only the second president of the world's largest auto racing sanctioning body. His emergence coincided with the sport's emergence, and its eventual ascent to become America's No. 1 form of motorsports and the nation's second-most popular sport overall.
France, often referred to as "Bill Jr.," remained president until November 2000. At that time, France announced the formation of a NASCAR Board of Directors on which he served as chairman and CEO until October 2003 when he was replaced by his son, Brian Z. France. After that, he continued to serve the sport for the remainder of his life as NASCAR Vice Chairman.
Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson is unique in NASCAR history, with tremendous success both as a driver and a car owner.
Johnson won the second annual Daytona 500 in 1960 and in the process, became credited with the discovery of "drafting" on the massive superspeedways. He won 50 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series then surprised many people by retiring from driving to become an owner. As an owner, Johnson never missed a beat; through the years, his drivers won 132 races. There also were six series championships produced with Cale Yarborough (1976-78) and Darrell Waltrip (1981-82, '85).
Named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers" in 1998, Johnson resides in Wilkesboro, N.C., and remains one of the sport's most enduring - and endearing - personalities, at the age of 78.
Known as "the King", Richard Petty's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series records are staggering: Most wins (200), most poles (123), tied for most championships (seven), most wins in a season (27), most Daytona 500 wins (seven), most consecutive wins (10) and most starts (1,185).
Petty's success continued even after his retirement from driving in 1992. He would still hold the top spot in the family business - Petty Enterprises, and now, Richard Petty Motorsports. In all, Petty Enterprises totaled 268 victories before merging with Gillett Evernham Motorsports for the 2009 season to become Richard Petty Motorsports.
- Courtesy of NASCAR
Tired of wondering what time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race starts each week? Well, that wait is now over.
NASCAR has announced consistent and earlier starting times for all of next season's races. With the exception of the Coca-Cola 600, all races will start at either 1 p.m., 3 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. That means that the Kobalt Tools 500 on March 7, 2010 will start at 1 p.m. with the Labor Day weekend Cup race starting at 7:30 p.m.
The invocation will be at the scheduled start time for each race with the green flag dropping approximately 15-to-20 minutes later. For example, the green flag for a 1 p.m. start time would drop at 1:20 p.m.
This is a huge boost for many of you fans of NASCAR. I still remember back when I first became a race fan and would want to hurry up and get home from church just in time to see the race start. You knew, back then, what time the race was each week for the most part. Knowing when the race starts will greatly simplify the racing, making it easier for fans to keep up with the races each week.
"It's become clear to us that traditional, early Sunday afternoon, start times are favored by NASCAR fans who both attend races and watch on television," said FOX Sports Chairman David Hill. "NASCAR, perhaps more than any other sport, belongs to the generations of fans who have passed on their passion, father to son, mother to daughter, so whatever we can do to make them feel better connected to the sport they love should be done."
A big tip of the hat has to go to other track owners, NASCAR and the TV networks for working this deal out and making racing better for the fans, which is what we always strive to do here at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"NASCAR fans have been asking for earlier and more consistent start times, and we are making this change for our fans, beginning with the Daytona 500 next February," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "We are revisiting our sport's tradition of earlier green flags, and the added consistency will make it easier for fans to know exactly when the races are being televised. Additionally, the new start times will help track operators get fans in and out of the track earlier in the evening. Many fans heading home from the race earlier will be able to eliminate the costs of an extra travel day."
Here's the race start time schedule for all of next year's Sprint Cup Series races:
Date Day RaceSite Network Start Time
Feb 14 Sun. Daytona 500 FOX 1:00 PM
Feb 21 Sun. Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:00 PM
Feb 28 Sun. Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:00 PM
Mar 7 Sun. Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 1:00 PM
Mar 21 Sun. Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 1:00 PM
Mar 28 Sun. Martinsville Speedway FOX 1:00 PM
Apr 10 Sat. Phoenix International Raceway FOX 7:30 PM
Apr 18 Sun. Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:00 PM
Apr 25 Sun. Talladega Superspeedway FOX 1:00 PM
May 1 Sat. Richmond International Raceway FOX 7:30 PM
May 8 Sat. Darlington Raceway FOX 7:30 PM
May 16 Sun. Dover International Speedway FOX 1:00 PM
May 30 Sun. Lowe's Motor Speedway FOX 5:45 PM
Jun 6 Sun. Pocono Raceway TNT 1:00 PM
Jun 13 Sun. Michigan International Speedway TNT 1:00 PM
Jun 20 Sun. Infineon Raceway TNT 3:00 PM
Jun 27 Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway TNT 1:00 PM
Jul 3 Sat. Daytona International Speedway TNT 7:30 PM
Jul 10 Sat. Chicagoland Speedway TNT 7:30 PM
Jul 25 Sun. Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 1 Sun. Pocono Raceway ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 8 Sun. Watkins Glen International ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 15 Sun. Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1:00 PM
Aug 21 Sat. Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 PM
Sep 5 Sun. Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 PM
Sep 11 Sat. Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 PM
Sep 19 Sun. New Hampshire Motor Speedway ABC 1:00 PM
Sep 26 Sun. Dover International Speedway ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 3 Sun. Kansas Speedway ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 10 Sun. Auto Club Speedway ABC 3:00 PM
Oct 16 Sat. Lowe's Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 PM
Oct 24 Sun. Martinsville Speedway ABC 1:00 PM
Oct 31 Sun. Talladega Superspeedway ABC 1:00 PM
Nov 7 Sun. Texas Motor Speedway ABC 1:00 PM
Nov 14 Sun. Phoenix International Raceway ABC 3:00 PM
Nov 21 Sun. Homestead-Miami Speedway ABC 1:00 PM