After a stellar performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds himself back in the coveted top-12 in championship points. The news only gets better for Earnhardt Jr. as the circuit travels to what he calls one of his favorite tracks, Atlanta Motor Speedway, for the March 9 Kobalt Tools 500.

After his runner-up finish at Las Vegas, Earnhardt Jr. was recently asked how his new team at Hendrick Motorsports was stacking up to the competition.

"I feel pretty confident in our program," Earnhardt Jr. said. "This (Las Vegas) is only the third race, man. I don't think you can get a good gauge by that. We got to go to Atlanta, a real racetrack. We'll see how we do."

Earnhardt Jr. has reasons to be optimistic, he has nine top-10 finishes in 17 starts, including a win in 2004 at NASCAR's fastest track.

GRIP to Perform Free Concert Sunday Morning

NASCAR drivers are always looking for more grip at a race track, so Atlanta Motor Speedway will have GRIP, a local band from Woodstock, Ga. perform for fans at Gate 15 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday March 9, prior to the Kobalt Tools 500.

GRIP has won numerous awards including the Peoples Choice and Best Band at Killer Creek Harley Davidson in Roswell, Ga. and Copperhead Lodge Biker Resort in Blairsville, Ga. Known for their great mix of classis rock and country set lists, GRIP is famous for bringing an interactive show to the fans.

Lowe's Contest Winner to Wave Green Flag for Kobalt Tools 500

North Carolina resident Steven Scanlon will have an unforgettable race day on March 9. Scanlon was chosen through a Lowe's sponsored promotion to wave the green flag, signaling the start of the Sunday, March 9 Kobalt Tools 500.

Scanlon, a union fire sprinkler fitter, simply went online to register to win a Kobalt screwdriver and was automatically entered in the contest.

"I'm very excited to get on the race track and wave the green flag," said Scanlon. "I want to thank Lowe's and Kobalt for this great opportunity. My memory of the event will last as long as the screwdriver, maybe even longer."

Scanlon, the grand prize contest winner, won the trip to the Kobalt Tools 500 with a guest, $4,800 worth of Kobalt tools and gets to wave the green flag to start the race. Five other first place winners and their guests also won a trip to the race and $4,800 in Kobalt tools.

Tickets to the entire Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend are available by calling 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), 770-946-4211 or by visiting