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Atlanta To Be Stripped Of One Of Its Cup Dates

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 5 2010

Kurt Busch finishes just ahead of Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta in 2007. (File photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer

Hampton, Ga. – Atlanta Motor Speedway has confirmed RacinToday’s earlier report from Thursday that it was losing one of its two annual Sprint Cup dates.

Early this afternoon, Ed Clark, president of AMS, made the announcement.

“Atlanta Motor Speedway has provided top-quality racing entertainment to spectators from across the nation and around the world for 50 years,” said Clark in a statement. “While our schedule will change, our commitment to the racing fans who have been the heart and soul of Atlanta Motor Speedway through these years will be stronger than ever. Our entire staff will be even more driven to produce the top annual sporting event in Georgia for many years to come.”

It is expected the date will go to another of the tracks owned by AMS owner, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., was recently bought by SMI and has been seeking a date while Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been seeking a second Cup date for several years.

AMS is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

It has been hosting two Cup races a year since the track opened in 1960. Its first race was the Dixie 300 and was won by Fireball Roberts.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. holds the record for most victories with nine at AMS.

The track is a 1.5-mile tri-oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns and five degrees on the straights.

For several years, AMS hosted the final race of the Cup season.

It held one race this year, that on March 7. It’s second date in 2010 is scheduled for Sept. 5.

Its lone race next season will be on Sunday, Sept. 4.

AMS began hosting Labor Day weekend racing in 2009 when the events were moved forward on the NASCAR schedule from the speedway’s traditional October date.

“We were thrilled with the acquisition of the Labor Day date two years ago and are proud to host such a prestigious, historical date on the NASCAR schedule,”  Clark said.  “This track produces some of the greatest racing the circuit sees, it remains one of the drivers’ favorite tracks and we will continue to build a platform that sets this one date apart from the rest.”

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, August 5 2010


  • Boatski says:

    The fall of AMS continues.

    Once a great track, now a cookie-cutter with empty condos.

    The real fans who pay for the ducats get to face the sun for most of the race; although this won’t be an issue in 2011 and forward.

    The people in the ATL should be ashamed; once again living down to the rep as the America’s worst sports town.

  • Robbie Stuart says:

    This is a disturbing trend that is happening to the older tracks. I always looked forward to the March race as well as the Labor Day/Fall events. Sad day in my book.