NEW NASCAR TRADITION: Labor Day racing in the South is a tradition just about as old as NASCAR itself. So when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series came to Atlanta Motor Speedway last year after a five-year hiatus from the land of sweet tea and barbecue,...
NEW NASCAR TRADITION: Labor Day racing in the South is a tradition just about as old as NASCAR itself. So when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series came to Atlanta Motor Speedway last year after a five-year hiatus from the land of sweet tea and barbecue, it immediately felt like a perfect fit.
From the excitement of racing under the lights, to the beautiful weather and festival atmosphere, fans, drivers and media alike embraced the return of racing to the South.
Atlanta Motor Speedway officials are building on last year's enthusiastic debut by adding even more events, including a pre-race concert by Foreigner and a free "Breakfast on Bruton" on Monday morning.
Track president Ed Clark said ticket sales have been brisk in recent weeks, and he expects an enormous walk-up crowd Sunday. Extra ticket sellers have been added to accommodate the anticipated crowd, which will enjoy one of the best race weekend forecasts possible. Forecasts call for partly cloudy skies and a high of 85 degrees Sunday.
Tickets start at $19 for students and $39 for adult tickets in the Elliott Grandstand. Tickets for the Emory Healthcare 500 are available from the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX, or www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
BONDING TIME: Ella Gordon is only three, but she's already gotten her artwork on a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. And although nepotism probably secured her the gig, that hasn't made it any less exciting for the daughter of four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, who will pilot the colorful paint scheme during Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500.
Making the weekend even more special, Gordon brought just Ella to the track this weekend for a little daddy-daughter time.
"We're having a really fun weekend," Gordon said. "She can't wait to see the car. She's been talking about this a long time."
The special paint scheme, entitled "My Papa's Car," will raise awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month for the Jeff Gordon Foundation.
Gordon said the creative process was a fun one to watch, as his daughter experimented with the paint and brushes at licensed-NASCAR artist Sam Bass' Charlotte shop.
"The guys at the shop were telling me I'd better be really fast with this car, because it's got a lot of colors and it's really bright and it's going to stand out a lot," Gordon said. "But on the flip side, I can't wreck this. I've got a lot of pressure on me this weekend."
It comes at a good track for Gordon, a four-time winner at Atlanta.
"What I love about Atlanta is how wide the groove is," Gordon said. "It's really fast and hard to get a hold of. We've run here so well so many times."