Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced today that the speedway has added a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to its 2004 event schedule. The inaugural 200-mile event will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2004, as part of the Golden Corral 500 weekend.

"We thought long and hard about how we could beef up our spring race schedule, and what kind of event the fans really wanted to see," said Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark. "What really convinced me is that the fans have been asking us to run a truck race for years. And after watching them test here many times, and watching a bunch of great truck races, I agree with them that this will be a great, close race with tons of action for the fans."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck series already races at Atlanta Motor Speedway¿s sister tracks, Texas Motor Speedway and Lowe¿s Motor Speedway, and many truck drivers have expressed interest in racing at Atlanta as they have tested at the high-banked track over the years.

"I love this track," Atlanta-area Craftsman Truck driver Bill Lester said during a recent test session. "It¿s so fast, and it seems so competitive. I hope one day we can race here, because it would be a whole different animal. I would really love to be able to invite all my family and friends to come watch me race at this awesome place."

Atlanta Motor Speedway will kick off its 2004 season with the March 12-14 Golden Corral 500 weekend. Great seats are available for all three days of racing action through the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211


Bill Lester, No. 8 Strauss Auto Parts/The Club Dodge

"I¿ve always said I like fast tracks, and this is definitely a fast, fast track. I would love to race in Atlanta, and I think if we did, it would be competitive, great racing, and it would be terrific for the fans. The Winston Cup races here are always great, and I think we could do the same thing with the trucks.

"I would love to be racing in my home city, since my friends and family are always asking where they could watch me race. Until this race in Atlanta, there wasn¿t anyplace real close. Now they don¿t have to drive 5 hours, and they can all come down here and see a truck race. It should be a fun one."

Ted Musgrave, No. 1 Mopar Dodge

"I love this track - it¿s big, it¿s wide, you can run high, you can run low. We would put on a pretty good show at this place.

"Having driven here a lot in the past in other series, that¿s one thing that would fall in my favor and the favor of some other veterans, like Bobby Hamilton. I¿d like to have that on my side."

Chad Chaffin, No. 18 Dickies Dodge

"We don¿t have much of a presence in this market, and we need to change that. Not only is the track extremely fast and competitive, but it just makes sense for us to be racing in this area. There are a lot of truck fans right now that have to travel too far to watch us race."

Bobby Hamilton, No. 4 Square D Dodge

"I think a race in Atlanta would be such a good race. You¿d probably see more lead changes in our 200-mile race than you¿d ever seen in a 500-mile car race - and here in Atlanta, that¿s saying a whole lot. This will be a great place to run a race. There are great fans in Atlanta - they can get a little wild, but they¿re fun."

Rick Crawford, No. 14 Circle Bar Motel/RV Park

"I really like Atlanta, and I think it will be a great venue for the truck series. I can¿t wait until the day we get to run here."

Carl Edwards, No. 99 Superchips Ford

"I had never been to Atlanta until a recent test, but I¿d heard it was fast. I watched the speedometer and was easily running in the 180-mph range. This track feels a lot faster than most of the ones the Truck series runs on."