When an F2 tornado ripped through Atlanta Motor Speedway one-year ago, it left what could have been mistaken for a high-speed jig-saw puzzle. This week, the final piece of the puzzle was locked into place when the giant scoring tower that sits in Turn One was re-erected after its collapse following the twister.
Like its twin in Turn Four, the 100-foot behemoth has indicators for lap times and the number of laps completed, the top-20 cars in the running order and the ability to scroll through the entire fields running order.
The towers were constructed as part of the track reconfiguration following the March race in 1997 and hold a place in NASCAR history. The pylons flashed Geoff Bodine's non-restrictor plate NASCAR qualifying record of 197.478 mph on November 15, 1997.
Both drivers and fans look to the Turn One tower for instant race updates. Fans look to find out where their favorite driver is running and how many laps remain until they can expect a door-banging finish. Even at the high speeds they are running, drivers look at the tower when they cross the start/finish to note what position they are in.
"I used to always look at the Turn One scoring tower after each qualifying run to see if I was on the pole," said six-time AMS pole winner, Ryan Newman. "I couldn't do that the past two races, so it will be good to have it back in place."
Georgia Resident High Bidder for Winners Experience Auction
Sugar Hill, Ga. resident Randy Woody was the high-bidder in the online Ticketmaster Bass Pro Shops 500 Winners Experience auction.
Woody's winning bid for the spectacular package was $1,900 and net proceeds from the auction will be donated to Speedway Children's Charities.
Woody and a guest will receive two chairback seats in the new Winners Grandstand for all three days of door-to-door racing action, two pre-race pit passes, reserved parking, a pre-race pace car ride around the high-banked Atlanta Motor Speedway and a visit to Victory Lane to join the celebration following the Bass Pro Shops 500.
"This is pretty neat," said Woody, who will be coming to AMS for the fourth time this October. "I have done a couple Ticketmaster auctions and saw this one and knew I had to do it. It goes to a great cause, so that makes it even better."
Fans have another opportunity to bid on a Winners Experience, comprised of the same elements above or can purchase tickets to the Bass Pro Shops 500 race weekend by calling 770-946-4211 or 877-9-AMS-TIX.