Affordable tickets still available for this weekend's race

jmorehouse@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 5, 2009 

If you’ve ever thought about attending a NASCAR race in person, but thought you couldn’t afford it, this could be your chance.

Tickets start at just $39 for this weekend’s Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500 and the Camping World Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200.

Atlanta Motor Speedway, like other tracks that host NASCAR races, has cut ticket prices and is offering special deals to help race fans afford a weekend at the races. AMS President and General Manager Ed Clark said NASCAR and the local tracks are showing their appreciation for fans’ loyalty.

“I don’t think there’s been a time that you could get a better value for your dollar,” Clark said. “And, with the weather forecast, we expect this to be a great weekend.”

The action begins Friday with practice sessions, then Sprint Cup drivers will qualify under the lights for Sunday’s race. Saturday, the Cup cars practice and the Trucks will qualify and race. Sunday is the Kobalt Tools 500, which is the 100th NASCAR race at AMS.

Forecasts are showing highs in the mid 70s, lows in the 50s and partly cloudy skies for the race weekend — good for making horsepower and for fans in the stands.

Deals start at $39 for adult seats in the Bill Elliott Grandstand overlooking turn three. Even better, students with a valid ID and children younger than 12 can get seats for just $19.

Want to show you’re an Earnhardt fan (Dale or Dale Jr.)? Buy tickets in the Earnhardt Grandstand — where Turn 4 meets the front straightaway — for the price of Junior’s car number, $88.

And with a $25 purchase at Lowe’s, you can buy one ticket and get one free in the Petty Grandstand.

With any purchase of a Sunday ticket, you can get a Friday and Saturday frontstretch ticket for $39 to take in all the action.

A Family Four-Pack special gets you four tickets, four hot dogs and four Cokes for a total of $159.

You also can bring food and drinks, but coolers are limited to 14x14x14 inches — one per person. Don’t bring anything in glass.

More deals and upgrades are available. And if you’d prefer, you can ask for tickets in sections with no smoking and no alcohol allowed.

Clark said response has been good to the deals and, now that Mother Nature appears to be smiling on AMS, he hopes the walk-up sales will be brisk.

“We got the forecast we need every year,” Clark said.

Gates open at noon Friday, and 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free shuttles and trams will get fans from the parking lots to the grandstands.

And AMS has perfected the race-day traffic pattern, so no sitting in the parking lot for hours after the race. Then again, you always could just pitch a tent and stay for the night and party with several thousand new best friends.

As AMS marks its 100th race, it also is getting ready to start its next 100 Labor Day weekend with the first race to start under the lights Sept. 6. Fans can reserve their seats now for $20 and make two more payments for this history-making weekend.

For links to more details on tickets, camping, race-day traffic and directions to AMS (I’ll give you my favorite back-roads route), go to

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