NASCAR Champions Participate in Day One of Goodyear Tire Test at Atlanta Motor Speedway

HAMPTON, Ga. (Dec. 11, 2007) -- On an unseasonably warm day at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 2000 NASCAR Cup champion Bobby Labonte and three-time Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. hit the pavement testing tires for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

"I love the holidays, but it is great to be back in a truck," said Hornaday Jr., the October Craftsman truck race winner at AMS. "It's awesome to come down here to a great track like Atlanta to test tires. We want to learn as much as we can so we can go fast, race side-by-side and put on another great show. We want to pack the stands here at AMS."

Hornaday Jr. tested his fully-decaled No. 2 Camping World Chevrolet Silverado, turning a fast lap of 178.723 mph (31.02 seconds).

Labonte, a six-time AMS winner, ran a gray primer car around Atlanta Motor Speedway's high banks, recording a fast lap of 184.470 mph (30.09 seconds).

The test gave Labonte and new crew chief Jeff Meendering the opportunity to work together for the first time. Meendering served as Jeff Gordon's car chief for the past two seasons at Hendrick Motorsports.

Testing continues tomorrow with Labonte and Hornaday Jr. scheduled to participate in another eight hour test.

NASCAR's elite drivers will attempt to tame the blistering speeds of Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup event on March 9. Great seats are available and can obtained by calling (877) 9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849) or by visiting

-credit: ams