Oglethorpe Speedway Park announced today that Ed Clark, president and general manager of the Atlanta Motor Speedway, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2nd Annual Coca-Cola Young Guns Shoot-Out presented by Stock Car Racing and Circle Track Magazines along with Sport Clips. The event featuring drivers 23 years of age and younger competing in dirt late models and open wheel modifieds will take place on Saturday, February 4th at the historic half mile speedway just west of downtown Savannah.
"I am excited to be a part of this event," said Clark. "What a great opportunity to see the next generation of racing at a single venue on the same night."
Currently, the driver's list is at ninety competitors from twenty-three states and one Canadian province. Defending event champions Bodine Massengill (late models) and Zak VanderBeek (modifieds) will be returning to defend their titles.
"Carl Edwards clean swept the NASCAR Nextel Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past year," added Clark. "It was only a few years ago he was behind the wheel of an open wheel modified at dirt tracks in Missouri. We may see the next star of NASCAR at the Young Guns Shoot-Out."
Clark helps develop young talent himself with the creation of the Thursday Thunder program at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The summer racing series allows drivers competing in Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Thunder Roadsters the opportunity to develop skills needed to compete at higher levels in motorsports. NASCAR Nextel Cup "Rookie of the Year" contender Reed Sorenson is a graduate of the Atlanta Motor Speedway development program. Sorenson will pilot a Dodge for Chip Ganassi this season on the Cup circuit beginning with next month's Daytona 500.
“Teams are looking for younger talent,” said Clark. “The drivers need to be good on the race track, good with the media and charismatic with the public. I am looking forward to seeing who meets the bill at Oglethorpe Speedway.”
The Coca-Cola Young Guns Shoot-Out presented by Stock Car Racing and Circle Track Magazines along with Sport Clips at Oglethorpe Speedway Park is part of a full weekend of racing activity. Open practice kicks off the action on Thursday, February 2 from 6:30pm until 9:30pm. Young Guns Seminars will be taking place on Friday, February 3 in the afternoon with racing planned for the evening in Crate Late Models, IMCA Modifieds, Championship Tour Modifieds, Mini Stock and 440. Saturday, February 4 will be the Young Guns races for both the late models and modifieds along with a second full night of racing in the same divisions that competed on Friday night.