Ron Hornaday has raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway before, but even that didn¿t prepare him for Thursday¿s in his No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevy Silverado.

¿I had heard that you could run flat-out here, but I didn¿t believe it until today,¿ Hornaday said. ¿I¿m not surprised ¿ I¿m shocked. I can¿t believe you can run these trucks like that. I held my breath for the first lap and then I got comfortable.¿

Hornaday was at Atlanta preparing for next Friday¿s World Financial Group 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race that will kick off an action-packed weekend of racing. The March 18-20 Golden Corral 500 weekend will be the first time all three of NASCAR¿s national touring series ¿ Craftsman Truck, Busch and NEXTEL Cup ¿ will compete in Atlanta on the same weekend.

With a handful of NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races under his belt at Atlanta, plus one previous Craftsman Truck test many years ago, Hornaday said he thought he had the fast track figured out. Now, he¿s glad he spent the day testing.

¿We¿re fast,¿ he said with a gleam in his eye. ¿We¿ve got the track to ourselves, and there were a lot of trucks testing the last couple days that laid down a lot of rubber. The weather is perfect, so I think we¿re going to have a very good feel for what we¿ll need next weekend.¿

Hornaday¿s fastest lap of the day session was 31.25 seconds (177.408 mph).

¿With all the banking here and the new rules NASCAR has made, this will be a good show,¿ Hornaday said. ¿Fans thought last year¿s racing was good, wait until this year.¿

Tickets are still available for the March 18 World Financial Group 200, which will take the green flag at the conclusion of Georgia Power Qualifying Night, and the rest of the Golden Corral 500 weekend. Tickets start at $30, or a limited number of three-day weekend packages remain for just $65. For more information call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.