I love night racing. I love Atlanta Motor Speedway. And like chocolate and peanut butter together the night race at Atlanta is the perfect combination.
I still remember standing on pit road the first time they ran under the lights in Atlanta. I was a little sad because my favorite track was losing a race, but mostly in awe of the electricity the fading track seemed to gain under the lights. Three years later, the excitement still seems to surround AMS.
“I love Atlanta," said Martin Truex, Jr. "It is one of my top-five favorite tracks. I always look forward to going there."
And Truex is not alone in his love of Atlanta.
"I love coming to Atlanta," said Matt Kenseth. "It's probably not been my best track over the last few years, but it's a great race track. It's really wide. The cars that handle good really show a lot of strength as the run goes on and the tires drop off with slick pavement and all that stuff."
I instantly think of two drivers when NASCAR heads to Atlanta, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards. Though both of them had success racing in Atlanta in the day time, Edwards last of three wins came in 2008, Johnson's last of three in 2007.
"We tested there, it went very well; it’s one of my favorite race tracks and I’ve got a lot of great memories from there," said Edwards. "We’ve got two more races before the chase starts so we’re just having fun and going for wins."
When it comes to finishes at a mile and half tracks, AMS has has some of the best. Edwards' first win in 2005 over Johnson is one that comes to mind. Kevin Harvick's first win in 2001 is another. Harvick will be among the drivers to watch this weekend.
“Atlanta (Motor Speedway) has been a great race track for us the last few years," said Harvick. "The asphalt is really worn out, and the speed of the car changes a lot from the start of a run to the finish of the run. It makes for some good racing as the cars start moving around and sliding around the track.”
Other drivers with AMS wins include the injured Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon. Kurt and Kyle Busch have also visited victory lane in Georgia.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun