HAMPTON, GA - Over 100,000 race fans will flock to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for a triple header of NASCAR racing events.
With the influx of people, the track becomes the fourth largest city in the state during the event. Sunday's Sprint Cup race, the AdvoCare 500, is the largest single-day attendance event in Georgia and has an over $200 million impact on the Henry County economy.
The race weekend kicks off Friday afternoon with the Labor Day Legends Invitational event, open to winners of feature events during the AMS Thursday Thunder series. The Thursday Thunder series is where several of today's young NASCAR stars got their start, including David Ragan, Joey Logano and Reed Sorenson.
Under the lights on Friday night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will feature NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer.
Ryan Newman will be driving for Turner Motorsports in the Truck race as a tribute to his good friend Beau Slocumb, a young driver from Macon that passed away this spring from cancer.
Slocumb began his racing career at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Legends series before graduating up to the late model ranks. In total, Slocumb earned 131 feature wins in Legends and late model competition.
Newman's truck will feature the number and paint scheme driven by Slocumb during his driving career. All money received by Turner Motorsports from the event will be donated to Slocumb's widow to assist with medical expenses.
"I look forward to driving the race that my good friend Beau Slocumb always dreamed of," said Newman. "This is his ride. I just wish he were here to drive it. This is for his family and for the dream he always wished would come true. Beau ran a camo car and it will be great to honor him with a Realtree paint scheme and the Chevy Truck. Thank you Turner Motorsports, Team Realtree, Brandt, and Chevrolet for giving us this opportunity."
"I think it's fittingly appropriate that Ryan run a tribute paint scheme to Beau here at Atlanta Motor Speedway because this is where they met," said track President and General Manager Ed Clark. "They met on pit road and bonded into great friends after that. Many of Beau's wins came here at AMS and I'm sure it will mean a lot to all of his friends and family in the area for Ryan to remember him this way, running this paint scheme in the truck race."
Newman has three career Camping World Truck Series starts, including a win at AMS in October 2008.
Saturday's Great Clips 300 Nationwide Series race will feature the introduction of new body styles for the series. The new cars will feature sportier Toyota Camrys and Chevrolet Impalas, while the Dodge Challengers and Ford Mustangs will take on a muscle-car look.
Sunday's AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup event features a pre-race concert by Southern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. But the activities don't stop when the checkered flag falls on Sunday night's race. Monday morning, track owner Bruton Smith host his annual free "Breakfast on Bruton" for fans with AdvoCare 500 tickets.