Atlanta Motor Speedway Bass Pro Shops 500 Daily Notes: Thursday, October 26, 2006
Nemechek, MB2 to Mark Third Anniversary in Atlanta
This weekend's Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark the third anniversary for Joe Nemechek and MB2 Motorsports. It was at the Atlanta 2003 fall race that Nemechek took over the MB2-owned U.S. Army Chevrolet.
In his debut with the No. 01 team, Nemechek had a strong performance, starting eighth and finishing 10th.
"It's been a great relationship with MB2 and I know it's going to get better," offered Nemechek. "We slipped this year after picking up momentum the first two seasons. But I feel we're coming out of this slump."
Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 could be the breakthrough event Nemechek has been waiting for. Atlanta Motor Speedway is a fast track, just the way he and the No. 01 Army team like it. Two of Nemechek's best performances at the 1.54-mile track have come at the fall races scoring a second-place finish in 2002 and fourth in 2004.
"You need the whole package in Atlanta -- aero, handling and engine," said Nemechek. "It's a race track that is very fast and you need to have the right balance so you can hammer down on the gas. And if you can hold the gas wide open, you're going to be fine."
Nemechek will perform double duty in Atlanta. He will compete in Saturday's NASCAR EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200, driving the No. 46 Silverado for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports.
"Big Roar" Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider Trophy to be
Awarded to Winner of Bass Pro Shops 500
The winner of the Bass Pro Shops 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday, October 29 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be going home with a championship trophy that is truly a unique work of art.
Bass Pro Shops will once again dedicate Sunday's race to the sportsmen of America and their efforts in conservation. Appropriately named "Big Roar", the striking trophy features a bronze grizzly bear originally sculpted by Raymond Gibby. The Bronze, a rare remake from the original mold, weighs over 280 pounds and on its base stands an imposing eight-feet-tall. A heavy original bronze casting of President Teddy Roosevelt is also featured on the trophy's base and symbolizes the outdoor spirit and conservation legacy of Roosevelt.
The trophy will be presented by individuals who represent the outdoor spirit and conservation ethics of outdoorsmen. The presenters are Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops; Rob Keck, chief executive officer of the National Wild Turkey Federation; and legendary fisherman Bill Dance.
Bird's Eye View
This weekend, renowned photographer James Blakeway will commandeer a helicopter to fly over the Atlanta Motor Speedway to shoot one of his world famous panoramas, the 21st in a series of 22 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series venues he's been licensed to photograph.
Blakeway, who launched his career in the panoramic photography business in 1989, currently shoots and markets the panoramic photographs of city skylines, major events and other special attractions in the United States and throughout the world.
"In addition to city skylines, we also photograph lighthouses and national parks," said Blakeway. "This year we've been licensed to shoot all of the NASCAR sanctioned tracks, which we're very excited about. It's a big project involving a race every weekend from February until the season ends in late November. It'll take all year to complete, but I'm hopeful that the photographs will be well received by the entire NASCAR fan base. "
Acclaimed Author to Sign Copies of His New Book
Neal Thompson, award winning journalist, author and teacher will be on hand as a part of this weekend's Bass Pro Shops 500 weekend. Thompson is the author of the new book "Driving With the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR".
Thompson will sign copies of "Driving with the Devil" on Friday October 27 at 5 pm in the Atlanta Motor Speedway gift shop.
"Driving with the Devil" examines how moonshine whiskey came to America, how it helped pay for the Revolutionary War and even led to the creation of the IRS.
Beyond painting a historical portrait of the South in the 1930s and '40s, Thompson delves into the lives of NASCAR's founding fathers. Unlike baseball and football, which celebrate their pioneers, most of the dirt-poor southerners who founded stock-car racing have died or retired into obscurity. Thompson sheds light on their stories for the first time, detailing the lives of the men who created NASCAR and whose lives shaped the sport itself.
Fans interested in exploring camping options or purchasing tickets to the Bass Pro Shops 500 race weekend can call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211 or (877) 9-AMS-TIX, by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, or through an authorized Ticketmaster retail outlet.