HAMPTON, GA - Pit Notes from AMS on Friday:
New Thunder Ring Track Record: A new track record was set Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway on the quarter-mile Thunder Ring during qualifying for Tim Smith's CLIMAX Moonshine Sprint Car Shootout.
Brian Gingras of Lakeland, Fla., set the new quarter-mile track record at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a time of 13.7 seconds. The new mark eclipsed the previous record of 14.9 seconds set last year by Mason Massey in a Legends car.
The Tim Smith's CLIMAX Moonshine Sprint Car Shootout will feature drivers from 10 states in the first winged sprint car feature in the 54-year history of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The main event is scheduled to begin following NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying, at approximately 9 p.m., and is scheduled to go 50 laps.
LARSON NAMED NO. 42 DRIVER FOR 2014: Silly season was in full swing Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as young racing standout Kyle Larson was named to drive the No. 42 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for the 2014 season.
A full-time racer in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, Larson has quickly proven himself a fierce competitor, picking up 13 top-10 finishes in 23 races this season.
TOO HOT FOR TIM SMITH: It's not too often that a shirtless man in overalls is welcomed into the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center, but an exception was made for Tim Smith Friday afternoon.
A generational moonshiner from Climax, Va., and the star of a popular reality television series, Smith's outfit wasn't a shock for regular viewers of his show. In fact, it's his standard uniform. And he wasn't about to deviate from the standard on this special day, when his company will make its first foray into racing sponsorship.
CLIMAX Moonshine is the title sponsor for Friday night's Sprint Car Shootout, the first winged sprint car feature in speedway history.
"Well, it's pretty hot right now," Smith added with a chuckle Friday in the media center when asked why he donned his standard attire.
Smith and CLIMAX Moonshine are turning an authentic illegal backwoods recipe into a legal spirit for the public. Georgia and South Carolina are the first states to get a taste of Smith's illegal-gone-legal CLIMAX Moonshine.
"Moonshine and racing go together, and I like the competition of the Sprint Cars," Smith said. "The guys don't have a whole lot of money, they like the competition, and maybe they can move up to the next stage; that's what we're trying to do."