If the students of Slidell Junior High School in Slidell, La., are looking for a good day to play hooky, they might want consider this Thursday and Friday. Their principal probably won¿t notice, since she¿ll be behind the wheel of her No. 00 Golden Flake Chevrolet, attempting to make her first ARCA race in Saturday¿s ARCA 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. ¿Let¿s not encourage them!¿ Crosby said. ¿I told all the kids they were welcome to bring their parents and come up Friday after school if they wanted to see me race on Saturday.¿ In fact, becoming a racer has made 37-year-old Kim Crosby the most popular principal in her hometown ¿ or maybe even the world. ¿My kids think it¿s so cool that their principal does something outside of school,¿ Crosby said. ¿They come in and ask questions about racing. It¿s nice to have something besides school to talk to them about. It helps me reach a lot of the kids I might not ordinarily reach.¿ Her racing career has also been quite a conversation starter in her hometown. ¿Everyone wants to be on my pit crew,¿ Crosby said. ¿We have quite a fan base here in Slidell. As a matter of fact, they day of the race, a local restaurant, Buffalo Wildwings, is going to show the race on their big screen TV.¿ Crosby tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month, clocking competitive speeds and learning about the car for her first race attempt. A graduate of the Buck Baker Racing School, this principal began her stock car racing career later in life than many. After a decade of drag racing in the IHRA and NHRA, Crosby felt the pull of the fastest-growing sport in America. And now she¿s hooked. During her test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Crosby had the benefit of many years of racing experience helping her, as recently retired NASCAR veteran Dave Marcis acted as mentor, test driver and crew. ¿Having Mr. Marcis there is support that many new racers don¿t have,¿ Crosby said. ¿They know their stuff; I am very confident in what they do. Mr. Marcis¿ help has taken so much pressure off of me.¿ Marcis will also be at Atlanta when Crosby attempts to make her first race this weekend, guiding her from behind the scenes. That should ease Crosby¿s mind if she gets into a situation where her inexperience leaves her without answers. Not that Crosby is usually in that situation. As a junior high principal, she¿s expected to have all the answers. And even in this new situation, Crosby knows the answers: turn left, go fast. Even her students have told her that.