Atlanta's surface has seen laps upon laps
Since its last repave in 1997, there have been 32 Sprint Cup Series races, 18 XFINITY Series races and 14 Camping World Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, for a total of 64 races from all three NASCAR national touring series. In those 64 races, a total of 581,438 laps have been driven by drivers on the now 19-year-old racing surface, a total of 895,414.52 collective miles driven.
Seven different drivers hailing from Georgia will be right at home in the Peach State when they take the track this weekend. Chase Elliott of Dawsonville and David Ragan of Unadilla will drive in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500; Garrett Smithley of Peachtree City, Chris Cockrum of Conyers and Brandon Jones of Atlanta will drive in Saturday's Heads Up Georgia 250; and John Wes Townley of Watkinsville and Korbin Forrister of Cedartown will drive in Saturday's Great Clips 200.
AMS Legends alumni:
The Legends racing program at Atlanta Motor Speedway has produced its fair share of eventual NASCAR drivers. Here's a list of drivers racing this weekend who once drove on AMS's quarter-mile Thunder Ring:
Sprint Cup Series: Chase Elliott, David Ragan, Austin Dillon, Chris Beuscher
XFINITY Series: Ty Dillon, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Garrett Smithley, Brennan Poole
Camping World Truck Series: Austin Hill, Grant Enfinger, William Byron; John Wes Townley, Jordan Anderson, Daniel Hemric
Eight drivers will pull double duty, driving in two of the three NASCAR races at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Here's the lineup:
Brad Keselowski: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Kyle Larson: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Paul Menard: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Kyle Busch: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Kevin Harvick: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Ty Dillon: Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series
Daniel Suarez: XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series
Garrett Smithley: XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series
Don't call it a comeback:
Both Kurt and Kyle Busch were absent from last year's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, but both will return to racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. Combined, the brothers have five Sprint Cup Series victories at Atlanta. Kyle has notched four career Camping World Truck Series wins at Atlanta in his career, and with a win in Saturday's Heads Up Georgia, he can become just the second driver to own victories in all three national NASCAR series at Atlanta, Kevin Harvick being the first.
Saturday's XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series doubleheader is the only same-day twinbill on the NASCAR schedule for the second year in a row.
Kevin Harvick will try to add to his AMS record three straight XFINITY Series victories in Saturday's Heads Up Georgia 250. The only closer record is Mark Martin, who won three XFINITY Series races in four years from 1997 to 2000. Kyle Busch also won three Camping World Truck Series races in four tries from 2007 to 2009.
Victory Lane variety:
In the past seven Sprint Cup Series races at AMS, there have been seven different winners:
2010: Kurt Busch
2010: Tony Stewart
2011: Jeff Gordon
2012: Denny Hamlin
2013: Kyle Busch
2014: Kasey Kahne
2015: Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Newman is tied with Buddy Baker for the most Sprint Cup Series poles won at Atlanta Motor Speedway with seven, including six straight from 2003 to 2005.
Most 500-mile races:
Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be the 101st 500-mile race run at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the 94th in a row. No other track on the NASCAR circuit has hosted more 500-mile races. The first 500-mile race at Atlanta was held in 1960. Since then, 15 drivers have won their first 500-mile race at Atlanta.
Refurbed scoring pylons:
AMS will debut its newly refurbished twin scoring pylons in Turns 1 and 4 this weekend, complete with top-of-the-line LED readouts.
The annual Sprint Cup Series hauler parade will take place tomorrow evening, beginning at 5:30 p.m., as the race car transporters arrive and settle into their parking spot on the AMS infield for race weekend. The parade will follow the City of Hampton's Speedway Lane Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which this year includes Jeff Gordon and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. chairman Bruton Smith. The parade route will proceed northward on East Main Street through downtown Hampton, towards Highway 81 and then back to AMS via Highway 19/41. There is no charge to see the hauler parade, and fans and media are invited.
AMS Day at the Capitol:
Georgia drivers David Ragan, John Wes Townley, Garrett Smithly and Chris Cockrum, as well as Denny Hamlin, 2016 Daytona 500 winner, will visit the Georgia State Capitol and Gov. Nathan Deal tomorrow at 10 a.m. Media availability with the drivers will take place at 9:45 a.m.
Perfect weather, guaranteed:
This year's all-new Perfect Race Weather Guarantee was accurate, with a clear and sunny weekend forecast for all three days of race weekend, culminating with a projected high of 68 degrees and sunny skies for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Calling all fun-havers:
This year's hot ticket off the track is the brand new Saturday night party, AMS Fest. Dueling mechanical bulls, tailgating games, a live DJ and a free s'mores station highlight the AMS nightlife beginning at 8 p.m. following the conclusion of the Great Clips 200. Admission is free to any Sunday ticket holder, and coolers are permitted. Fans can also purchase beer and snacks at AMS Fest.
Win a ride with Chase Elliott:
Fans can bid on a Ride of a Lifetime with Chase Elliott following driver introductions on Sunday ahead of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in an auction to benefit the Atlanta chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. The winning bidder will climb into the back of a Chevrolet truck with Chase and make one lap around AMS before the 40-car lineup takes the green flag and Chase makes his Sprint Cup Series debut. Other Ride of a Lifetime opportunities up for bid include rides with Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano. Bids may be submitted online now by visiting http://magic2016.auction-bid.org/micro2.php. Bids must be submitted before 10 p.m. this Friday night.
The AMS gift shop has just received a massive new shipment of spiffy new Atlanta Motor Speedway duds for purchase. Items include OGIO backpacks, ladies tote bags and Under Armor clothing for both men and women, as well as AMS jackets, hats and dress shirts, plus driver hats, tees and diecast cars. AMS gift shot hours this week are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, including weekend schedules or ticket details, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX.