Atlanta a Critical Date For the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Standings

E-Z-GO 200 will likely play a role in determining the NCTS points champion

With his win in Martinsville on Saturday, Johnny Benson passed rival Ron Hornaday Jr. for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points lead. A strong performance in the E-Z-GO 200 could help ensure a points championship for the veteran who has finished second and third, respectively, in the last two seasons' points standings.

Benson has three-career third-place finishes at Atlanta, but Hornaday should prove a formidable foe, having had significant success in Atlanta; the reigning points champion won in 2005 and claimed second a year ago. In the incredibly competitive NCTS, the points lead has swapped hands nine times in 2008 and could happen again in Atlanta, with Benson holding just a 65-point lead over Hornaday.


Pep Boys Auto 500 a Homecoming for Earnhardt Crew Member

Chris Golder, Alpharetta native, comes home for seventh Chase race

Racing in Atlanta has special meaning for, Chris Golder, crew member for the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet. The 27-year-old shock specialist was born in Alpharetta, north of Atlanta.

After graduating from Alpharetta High School in 1999, he raced in a pro-truck series at Lanier National Speedway in nearby Braselton. Golder went on to earn a degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech and has worked at Hendrick Motorsports since June 2004.


Dave Blaney to Record 300th Start in Pep Boys Auto 500

Veteran driver Dave Blaney is set to make his 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 26. Blaney, whose first start came at Rockingham in 1992, has two career top-10 finishes in Atlanta.


Atlanta's GRIP to Perform Following E-Z-GO 200

Local artist GRIP will perform a free concert sponsored by following the conclusion of the E-Z-GO 200 on Saturday, Oct. 25.

GRIP, a Full Throttle Magazine favorite, will perform at 6 p.m. in the bus parking lot closest to the East Turn and Legends campgrounds. Playing a set that includes high-energy covers and originals, GRIP draws from varied musical genres and has opened for Mother's Finest, Molly Hatchet and the Atlanta Rhythm Section, among others.


Quotables - NASCAR drivers on racing in Atlanta


Travis Kvapil on racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"Atlanta is a really fun race track. It's one of the most fun tracks we go to. You can run anywhere, up to the wall or down around the bottom of the track. It's a rough track, it doesn't have a lot of grip so the trucks slide around a lot and handling is very important. Drafting will also play an important part in this race since it's another high-speed track. It really makes for an exciting race," said Kvapil.


Todd Bodine, fourth in the NCTS standings, on cornering in Atlanta:

"Atlanta Motor Speedway is a lot different because it has so much momentum because the corners are so long. It's all about keeping the momentum going. It's definitely a handling track, but as a driver you've really got to get up on top of the wheel and drive hard every lap. I've always liked Atlanta, in the old configuration and this one. It suits my style and it's the kind of track where Germain Racing seems to excel. I look forward to getting the Lumber Liquidators truck on track for the E-Z-GO 200 this weekend," said Bodine.


Mike Wallace, NNS competitor, on his daughter Chrissy racing in Atlanta:

"I'm very excited for Chrissy to be racing at Atlanta. The track was one of my first big tracks I raced when I came out of the short-track ranks. I love Atlanta Motor Speedway. I've talked to Jason Overstreet, who will be her crew chief this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting updates on how her weekend is going while I'm in Memphis with our special tribute to St. Jude's on the GEICO car," said Mike Wallace.


Kevin Harvick, sixth in the Chase standings, on claiming his first win in Atlanta by a track-record finish of .006 seconds:

"I don't think that day will ever really sink in because that part of the season was just so strange. That whole year was just strange. None of us really wanted to be in that position. I know that was the first race that I won and you can only win your first race once and I remember that every time I come back to Atlanta. You go back and you still remember that day. Just something strange about the way the whole year went and I don't know if it really ever sunk in."

"The move that won the race was the three-wide move coming off of turn two and Dale Jarrett and Jerry Nadeau were side-by-side. Jeff Gordon and I were able to get by them off of turn two. A lot of people don't go back that far in the race but that was the move that put me in the position to win. It's actually a pretty fun race to go back and watch," said Harvick.