The payout for the 2003 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend will hit a record high $5,933,116, a 10 percent increase over last year¿s record-setting purse and almost 130 times the purse of the first NASCAR event held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the 1960 Dixie 300.

Back in that 1960 event, 45 drivers competed for a total of $39,000; this year, the winner alone will receive at least five times that amount.

The Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 NASCAR passed the $5 million mark for the first time in its 44-year history, jumping to a record $5,051,229 in prize money ¿ up more than half a million dollars from the $4,495,544 awarded just a year ago.

The Oct. 25 Aaron¿s 312 Busch Series race will also offer a record purse, totaling more than $853,087. Last year¿s event guaranteed $775,278, an increase of 10 percent.

The Bass Pro Shops MBNA weekend kicks off with Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Night and the Brawny 150 presented by Pork The Other White Meat Goody¿s Dash race on Friday, Oct. 24. The weekend continues Sat., Oct. 25, with the Aaron¿s 312 Busch race and culminates on Sunday, Oct. 26, with the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Winston Cup series race.

Great seats are still available for all three days of racing action. To order tickets, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211.