The term ¿weekend warrior¿ has become all but extinct in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck series. Drivers in the three national touring series now make their living through racing, and it¿s easy to see why, with this spring¿s purse topping $6.2 million.

This year¿s Golden Corral 500 weekend awards will offer a spring event record of $6,268,978, a whopping 21 percent increase over last year¿s total prize money.

Drivers in the Golden Corral 500 will be battling for a $4.8 million purse, a record for the spring event at Atlanta Motor Speedway and quite an increase from the $39,500 awarded for the first race at Atlanta in 1960.

The NASCAR Busch Series competitors will be running for a record purse of $1,027,768 in the Aaron¿s 312, and the World Financial Group 200 will offer more than $495,082 in posted awards.

The Golden Corral 500 weekend kicks off Friday, March 18, with the new doubleheader of Georgia Power Qualifying Night and the World Financial Group 200 Craftsman Truck race. On Saturday, March 19, the NASCAR Busch Series¿ rising stars will compete in the Aaron¿s 312. The weekend culminates Sunday, March 20, with the Golden Corral 500, a showdown of 43 of the best racer¿s in the world at the fastest mile-and-a-half in the world.

Great seats are still available for all three days of intense racing action. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or from the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX.