With two NASCAR Craftsman Truck races in the history books, Atlanta Motor Speedway boasts two spectacular finishes at the 1.54-mile quad oval.
In their March debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the tough trucks of NASCAR put on a fabulous display for the fans. With just a handful of laps remaining in the inaugural race, Mike Skinner and Bobby Hamilton set the stage for an unforgettable finish, racing side-by-side and banging fenders.
On the last lap, Skinner and Hamilton were side-by-side, making contact through turns three and four. When the drivers exited turn four and headed for the checkered flag, they touched, sending Skinner sideways, giving the win to Hamilton. Had Skinner won, it would have been the first victory ever for the then newcomer, Toyota.
"Bobby made a veteran move," Skinner said. "He got up along side me and pulled the air off just enough to spin the tires. He did what he was supposed to do."
That impressive finish was a sign of what was to come in the March 2005 event. In the first night truck race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ron Hornaday, in the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and Bobby Labonte, driving the No. 47 Morgan Dollar Motorsports Chevrolet, battled furiously for the lead.
Just before taking the white flag, Rick Crawford wrecked, bringing out the caution and forcing a green-white-checkered flag finish. On the final lap, Hornaday and Labonte raced, inches apart, heading for the checkered flag. In a rare move, Hornaday edged ahead for the win. Recent photo-finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway have proved that the outside line is preferable.
Standing in Victory Lane Hornaday said, "I knew it could be a big wreck coming off the corner (Turn 4) and I got in there and hit the apron and got loose and got Labonte a little high and got him loose. I haven't seen the tape, but it must have looked pretty cool."
If history is any indication, this year's EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 Craftsman Truck race promises to be action filled.
"This will be the first time that the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been with us during the fall event weekend," said Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark. "The trucks have put on a great show for the fans during their first two outings at AMS and with our history of photo-finishes, I'm sure the fans will be out of their seats when the winner crosses the finish line."
Great seats for the entire Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 race weekend, including EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 Craftsman Truck race are still available and can be purchased by calling 770-946-4211 or 877-9AMSTIX. Fans can also order tickets 24 hours a day at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or www.ticketmaster.com