Atlanta Motor Speedway Daily Notes Package for March 7- 9 Kobalt Tools 500 Race Weekend
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Run First Atlanta Motor Speedway Nationwide Race in Nearly a Decade
Will Make 100th Nationwide Start
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will race in the Saturday, March 8 Nicorette 300, the first Nationwide race he has entered at AMS since he drove the AC Delco Chevrolet to a third-place finish in 1999. Earnhardt Jr.'s first Nationwide Series start at AMS in 1998 resulted in a runner-up finish. He will make his 100th career Nationwide Series start this weekend.
Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet in the event, owned by his company, JR Motorsports. Last weekend, Mark Martin piloted the No. 5 Chevrolet to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, scoring JR Motorsports its first-ever Nationwide Series win.
"We always look forward to Atlanta, it is the best track we race at," Earnhardt Jr. said. "It's bad-fast, fun to drive, and we seem to find ourselves near the front most of the time."
Nicorette 300 Nationwide Race to Feature 14 Sprint Cup Regulars
There will be 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars in the starting field for Saturday's Nicorette 300, including Peachtree City Ga.'s Reed Sorenson in the No. 40 Fastenal car as well as Unadilla, Ga.'s David Ragan in the No. 6 Discount Tire car.
Kasey Kahne is also scheduled to start the March 8 race and brings an impressive AMS Nationwide Series record with him, scoring five top-10 finishes in six starts.
"Atlanta is one my favorite stops on the schedule," Kahne said. "It's wide and fast. The multiple grooves that it offers allow you move around on the track, searching for the best and fastest line. It's a huge advantage to have those kinds of options as a driver."
Also entered in the Nicorette 300 are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Bobby Labonte, defending race winner Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and David Reutimann.
Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark Reads to Students at Hampton Elementary
During a busy week preparing for the March 7-9 Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark took time out of his hectic schedule to read to fourth grade students at Hampton Elementary school in Hampton, Ga.
Clark read If I Ran the Zoo, a Dr. Seuss classic, to approximately 45 students Tuesday morning as part of the school's Read Across America program.
"My mother was a reading teacher, so growing up the importance of reading was stressed to me," Clark said. "I loved reading when I was a kid and I still do."
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 http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/.