The Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, NASCAR's annual season kick-off press conference began this afternoon at Charlotte Convention Center in Downtown Charlotte, North Carolina.

The following are notes and quotes from both NASCAR and drivers in NASCAR'S Sprint Cup Series relating to Atlanta Motor Speedway and the upcoming Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend Feb. 26-March 1.

Additionally, video footage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards from Day 1 will be available on the Atlanta Motor Speedway FTP site under the file name "2015 Media Tour." To download, visit and log in with the username AMSvideo and password Sp33dw@y.


NASCAR highlighted a new rules package for 2015, whose major differences are a reduction in a car's allowable horsepower, as well as a reduction in its aerodynamic downforce.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced that there will be no changes in 2015 compared to last year's revamped Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
France also announced a ban on flared fenders side skirts on race cars during events.
Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition and Racing Development:

Speaking on NASCAR's new rules package and the first open team test in 2015 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday, Feb. 26.

"Whenever we begin a season, if there has been a significant rule change, for the first race, we're going to allow a testing session so they can get familiar with the car. In this particular case, in Atlanta, that's our first intermediate track (of the 2015 season). We've got some rule changes coming, so it will be very, very important. We want to give everybody an opportunity."

"Atlanta is a very good track. I think the package there, if it runs well there, it will run well at all the other tracks. But obviously the speedways are separate animals. Our intermediate tracks, I think that will be a good indicator. If it's good, we'll be happy. But we'll be guardedly happy. We'll have to see more."

"There's really two key elements to it. Number one, it is a much higher value-added testing, because they will actually be testing on tracks they'll race on. It will be a significant cost reduction, and it will enable a smaller team to participate, because when they're all there, they get to share the costs. I think it'll help everybody to get a fair share of testing and to get to understand the cars to make it more fair for everybody in a higher value, more cost effective way."

Carl Edwards, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver for Joe Gibbs Racing

Carl Edwards is a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway and swept both races there in 2005.
Edwards made the switch to Joe Gibbs Racing in the offseason
"Atlanta is I think one of - if not the - best oval that we go to. It's a lot of fun. To me, it's a special place. I got my first Cup Series win, my first Nationwide win on that same weekend. And it just drives great. It's a fun track, so we feel like that's a good opportunity early in the year - for me - to go out and really shine."

"I don't think the intermediate tracks are going to me much different. I think this new rules package is heading towards what I think is great, and that's less downforce, less aero-dependence. But right now, it drives about the same as it did, so it should be just fine."

"I believe that there is no team stronger than Joe Gibbs Racing. I believe there is no manufacturer that wants the title more than Toyota. I don't think there's a driver that wants to win more than me."