Expanding racing activities for the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway has added a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race to follow Georgia Power Qualifying Night for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday, March 5.

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event will feature a 150-lap format on Atlanta Motor Speedway's quarter-mile "Thunder Ring." Distinguished by their wide bodies and large tires, the race will place 24 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified cars in close quarters for a hotly-contested clash to the checkered flag.

"We're thrilled to add a new event with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race to make a great weekend of racing even greater," said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager. "The Modified cars put on an incredible, ground-shaking show and by pairing the event with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying, Friday's action under the lights will be one of the highlights of the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend."

The event will mark the season-opening race for the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season and the first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race in Atlanta Motor Speedway's history.

Popular in the Carolinas and northeastern United States, the 650-horsepower, open-wheeled Modifieds can be traced back to NASCAR's earliest history. The sanctioning body hosted a Modified event on their first scheduled race date in February of 1948. The Modifieds quickly became known for technical innovation and former champions include NASCAR legends Red Byron, Richie Evans and Bobby Allison. In addition, other notable alumni include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Geoff Bodine and Jimmy Spencer and crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin Jr. and Greg Zipadelli, among others.

Tickets for Atlanta's NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race and Georgia Power Qualifying Night cost just $20 in advance.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race and the Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.