After Mark Martin’s scary crash into an opening on pit road two weeks ago at Michigan, Atlanta Motor Speedway has beefed up its safety barriers in similar pit road openings for this weekend’s races.AMS President and General Manager Ed Clark said the track had added concrete barriers and barrels filled with river sand in X pit-road openings.

“It’s simple, but it will do the job,” Clark said. “I don’t know if that’s the long-term solution, but it will work for this weekend.”

The barriers not only need to protect the driver in the event of another unlikely hit, but also keep the pit crews and officials behind the wall safe, and at the same time allow enough room for wreckers to pull in and out.

BUSCH WINS NRA AMERICAN WARRIOR 300 POLE - Kyle Busch didn’t make a perfect qualifying lap, but it was still plenty to take the top spot for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series NRA American Warrior 300.Busch said the car felt loose as he took the green flag but disregarded it after he made it cleanly through turns one and two. But as he got back into the gas in turn three, the car went sideways.

“I had to catch it a few times and try to stay as much in the gas as I could to get back to the stripe; it wasn’t pretty, but it certainly was the fastest,” Busch said. “I figured once I made that mistake I wasn’t even going to be on the pole to start with. I figured I didn’t run faster than the guys who were ahead of me, but I had enough built up that I could give it away. If I didn’t slip it probably would have been real ugly for the competition.”

PATRIOTIC NIGHT – The National Rifle Association is honoring those who work to protect the freedoms of US citizens by naming tonight’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race the NRA American Warrior 300. That has brought a large contingent of military honorees to the speedway this weekend. And the response to the many men and women serving our country has been heartwarming.

At the gates that separate the drivers’ motorhome lot and the garage area, a location where fans camp out for the weekend just waiting for a photo or autograph from their favorite driver, a large contingent of military members paraded past at midday. As they walked past, the crowd broke into a rousing ovation, complete with a few shouts of, “Thank you!”