Hey everyone! This is Ed Clark, President and General Manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway!
We’re excited to introduce a new way to stay in touch with our fans – The President’s Blog from Atlanta Motor Speedway! With each installment, we’ll talk some racing and also get you the latest news on what’s going on at Atlanta Motor Speedway!
During the offseason, one thing that some of us here at Atlanta Motor Speedway were asked by some fans was whether or not anyone could challenge Jimmie Johnson this year and stop him from winning a fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.
One name some tossed around during the offseason as a title contender was Denny Hamlin. But that prediction looked to be somewhat in doubt earlier this year when Hamlin announced he would undergo knee surgery. Well, let’s just say those concerns have been put to rest. With last weekend’s win at Darlington, Hamlin has now won three times this year. That’s the same amount as Johnson so far in 2010, by the way. In fact, Johnson and Hamlin are the only two drivers to win multiple races on the Sprint Cup level this season.
But while Hamlin has been hot as of late, it’s hard to say the same for the No. 48 team. They’ve been plagued by bad luck recently, failing to finish two of the past three races. Seeing Johnson experience some bad luck certainly gives other teams some hope that with the right breaks, they can dethrone Johnson as the Sprint Cup Series champion. The No. 11 team is certainly among that group.
Although it’s very early in the season, it looks as of now that the championship could come down to two drivers – Hamlin and Johnson.
The great thing is that it’s only May and so much can happen. For all we know, two drivers outside the top ten of the points standings could be battling for the championship as the season winds down.
It seems a long time away, but Labor Day will be here before we know it! And that means racing under the lights is back at Atlanta! We had an incredible fan response to the race and the events around it last year, and we look forward to building on that this year!
While they last, we have tickets for as low as $39 in the Elliott Grandstand. Although the only view of pit road here is by way of the screenworks screen in front of the grandstand, a seat here is one of the most exciting at the track! Here, you can see cars whip their way into turns three and four – after coming to the end of the backstretch at close to 200 mph! In fact, one of our fans recently told us that the Elliott Grandstand is one of the best-kept seats in racing! To get your tickets for Labor Day, you can go to www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call 877-9-AMS-TIX.
Question of the week: Do you have plans to build an NHRA Dragstrip?
This is a question that we’ve been asked a lot with the phenomenal success of Friday Night Drags. The answer to that is that at this time, there are no plans to build an NHRA dragstrip on our property.
Currently, the NHRA has a facility, which they own up in Commerce with Atlanta Dragway, so putting another facility here would really oversaturate the region.
The good news for fans of drag racing is that we’ve just started Friday Night Drags and that will continue through the summer months. We got off to a great start with the largest opening night crowd we’ve had for Friday Night Drags and an incredible number of participants. We’re very excited about what the summer holds as we move forward!
If you have not been out here in person for Friday Night Drags in person, come join us! We’ll be back on the track May 14 and 21 and the points opener is June 5.
Thanks again for all that you do to support Atlanta Motor Speedway and we hope to see you at the track! If you see me at the track, be sure to say hello and feel free to pass along any suggestions of what we can do a better job of!