NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Kyle Busch visited Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Aug. 16 to promote the upcoming AdvoCare 500 night race on Sunday, Sept. 4.
While at AMS, Busch provided ride-alongs to select members of the media, as well as five lucky fans who won the opportunity to ride with Busch through the speedway. Busch also participated in a question and answer session with fans. Busch was so enthused with the fan turnout that he decided to sign autographs following the event.
Busch will be busy at AMS on Labor Day weekend, running all three races held at the historic 1.54-mile speedway.
"I'm excited about it," said Busch. "I like coming to Atlanta. It's always been a fun place for us to race. I've won a lot of truck races here and I've won a Cup race here. I've yet to get a Nationwide win (at AMS), so we're really looking forward to that and seeing if we can't get another weekend sweep. We're looking forward to a full weekend of racing here at Atlanta."
Busch has one Sprint Cup win and four Camping World Truck Series wins to his credit at Atlanta. With Atlanta's Labor Day weekend date positioned just prior to the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, the AdvoCare 500 stands to provide a benchmark for similar tracks during the Chase. Busch gave some insight into what it takes to get around the high banks and what he will look for in his car.
"Here at Atlanta, the speeds are so high and there's a lot of grip for about one lap, and then you're just slipping and sliding all over the place," said Busch. "The biggest thing that happens throughout a run is the lap time fall off. So you've got to make sure that your car is really good in the beginning, and that it doesn't bottom out too much, yet still stays close to the racetrack throughout the run and on the long haul. 50 laps into a run, your car is still hugging the racetrack and producing fast lap times without getting too loose. That's the biggest thing, is just making sure you can keep tires underneath you for that long."
Busch will be up on the wheel in upcoming races at Michigan and Bristol as he tries to make himself eligible for the Sprint Summer Showdown, which culminates at Atlanta. Drivers who win the August races at Indianapolis, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol are eligible to claim a $1,000,000 bonus for themselves, a lucky fan and a charity of the driver's choice if they can take the checkered flag at Atlanta on Sept. 4.
With a potential total of $3,000,000 on the line, and a Chase berth all but wrapped up, Busch said the gloves could come off in the last few laps at Atlanta.
"Being locked in the Chase, we can certainly take a little bit of risk," said Busch. "And our opportunity to win the Sprint Summer Showdown would be awesome. It's for a fan, it's for a charity, and it's for all of us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. It would certainly be really cool to win that bonus, but the first thing we've got to do is win a race before we get to Atlanta and put ourselves in position to do that. I've won here before, so we'd certainly love to bring it back into victory lane."
NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 start at $39 and $19 for students. Children 12 and under admitted free for the Great Clips 300 and the Atlanta 200 with an adult ticket. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.