After a three-week break, the NASCAR Truck Series returns to action at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6. The intermediate, 1.54-mile oval circuit is renowned for being one of the most fan-friendly tracks on the NASCAR calendar with excellent tailgating and good seating all around.
This weekend, race attendees will receive 200 miles of Truck racing that will surely shake up this season’s young standings. New team owner Kyle Busch, who has won three of the past four races at the Big A dating back to the end of 2007, led from pole last year and overcame mechanical issues on a frenzied final restart for the victory. Incumbent series champ Ron Hornaday will look forward to bettering his 27th place in the standings with new crew chief and former rival Doug George at the helm. Hornaday and George have history in the 1990s’ NASCAR Winston West Series, now known as the NASCAR Camping World Series West.
"It's really ironic because Ron and I were pretty fierce competitors, and now we're working on the same team for the same goal," George said.
Timothy Peters will be defending his Daytona win in the No. 17 Toyota while Nationwide driver Steve Wallace will make his Truck Series debut with Billy Ballew Motorsports. Wallace will be behind the wheel of the No.15 Toyota in place of series elder and 2004 champ Ted Musgrave and is using the Truck Series to prepare for the later Nationwide Series’ race in September.
"While running the Truck race is going to be fun, my main focus is 100 percent on putting the No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry up front and in contention for the Nationwide Series championship," said Wallace. "Atlanta is a track where we traditionally haven't run as well as we'd like in the Nationwide car, so getting some extra seat time at Atlanta will help on that side, as well."
Unfortunately, 2008 champion Johnny Benson, who will not be running the full Truck Series schedule, is conspicuously absent from Atlanta’s entry list. Despite the dearth of sponsors, rumor has it that higher powers are trying to “unretire” three-time champion Jack Sprague as well…
Tomorrow’s race is headlined by E-Z Go and scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. PST.
Images courtesy of Getty Images and NASCAR.com.