Gordon, who leads the championship point standings by 53 markers over Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, won just two weeks ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway, a track similar in design to AMS, driving chassis No. 24-387. Gordon will pull the tarp off the same car for the NEXTEL Cup race this weekend and hopes to pick up where he left off.
Gordon will have added duties when he visits AMS this weekend, serving as the Grand Marshal, giving the command for the drivers to start their engines and get the Pep Boys Auto 500 underway.
"It's an honor to give the command to start engines prior to the race at a track where my Cup Series career began 15 years ago," said Gordon, "For the first time, the entire crowd may actually cheer for something I did. "Or, then again, this may be the first time that the command is booed," Gordon joked.
NASCAR's Fastest Track and the Drivers' Favorite Track
Atlanta Motor Speedway has earned its moniker, ‘Real Racing. Real Fast.' because of its blistering fast speeds, close finishes and door-to-door racing. All of these elements have also combined to earn the reputation as being a favorite among drivers. Here is what some of NASCAR's elite drivers had to say about AMS:
"Atlanta is one of my favorite race tracks," Jeff Burton noted. "It's so much fun to race at Atlanta. It's a track with two different personalities. It has a qualifying personality and a race personality. The racing personality is really slick. You can run on the bottom, up by the wall or in the middle of the track."
"Atlanta is one of my very favorite tracks," said four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon. "I love Atlanta and I'm looking forward to going there. I think that all we can do is just approach it the way we know how and try not to make mistakes and see what happens."
"Atlanta is my kind of track," said veteran driver Mark Martin. "You have to figure out how to go fast through the corners. If you do that you'll be in good shape. It's a fast track and at times you might find yourself holding your breath, but it makes for some good racing."
"I love this race track," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said of AMS. "You can move around so much. It's the best track we run at. I love it and whether I'm first or 20th, I'm having fun. I wish they would build a lot more of them like this."
"Atlanta is an awesome track," Carl Edwards noted. "It has a wide groove so you can run nearly anywhere on the track. It is very fast, considering we run close to the same speeds on the superspeedways, but Atlanta is about 40 percent smaller. That makes it feel a lot faster."
"Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks because it's fast and has several different grooves," Kasey Kahne said. "During the race, there will be cars running the high and the low line. Atlanta puts a lot of control in the drivers' hands and there are some very exciting finishes there."
"I really like Atlanta. "It's the fastest track on the circuit and we've had some really good runs there," said Matt Kenseth. "Atlanta is high-banked and fast. I really like it because of the banking. You can get some major speed off the corner and into the straights."
"This is the coolest place to race," Dave Blaney said of AMS. "Atlanta's track has three grooves at times and it's just the kind of track I like to drive."
"I love Atlanta Motor Speedway," Robby Gordon said. "The racing is always fast and intense, which suits me just fine."
"Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of my favorite tracks on the NEXTEL Cup circuit," said David Stremme. "You can run all over the place and the tires eventually fall off making for some exciting racing."
Driver Appearances around Atlanta for the Pep Boys Auto 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Erik Darnell will be at Northern Tool and Equipment in Stockbridge, Ga. on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
NASCAR drivers Reed Sorenson, David Stremme, Sam Hornish Jr. and former Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace are scheduled to appear at Landmark Dodge in Morrow, Ga. on Thursday, Oct. 25. Appearances by Sorenson and Stremme are scheduled from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. with Hornish and Wallace scheduled from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Kasey Kahne is scheduled to appear at Racetown Atlanta, Atlanta's Racing Street Festival, at the Atlantic Station on Friday, Oct. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Kurt Busch, 2000 NEXTEL Cup champion, will be signing autographs and meeting fans in his souvenir hauler at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday is scheduled to sign autographs for fans on Friday, Oct. 26 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Chevrolet exhibit at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 07 Chevrolet in the NEXTEL Cup Series is scheduled to sign autographs at the Jack Daniel's souvenir trailer at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 10:50 a.m. - 11:05 a.m.