NASCAR officials will return to Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday, Oct. 20 to test a low downforce package similar to what was used in competition last month at Darlington Raceway . Drivers scheduled to take part in the test are defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 25 Chevrolet, current XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher ( Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford) and Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota). According to information provided to the teams on Wednesday, the test is to verify max and corner speeds with three different grip levels of tires. The schedule calls for individual 10- and 25-lap runs in the morning and afternoon sessions. The lower downforce package debuted at Kentucky Speedway this season before also being put into play at Darlington, where it featured a 3.5-inch spoiler, 25-inch splitter extension panel (radiator pan) and 6.63-inch by 25-inch splitter. The only change for the MIS test will be an increase in the splitter extension panel to 33 inches. Drivers and teams were pleased with the initial results of the package, particularly at Darlington where Goodyear was able to provide a specific tire based on data gained from testing there prior to the race. The MIS test will take place approximately two months after the Sprint Cup Series competed at the 2-mile facility with a high-drag aerodynamic configuration. A high-drag package was also used at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . JGR driver Matt Kenseth called the high-drag package "terrible." "You just can't pass," he said after finishing seventh in the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. "Yeah, you can run up on the straightaway a little bit, but you can't run though the corner with anything." A month later, after his driver dominated at Michigan with the same rules package, Kenseth's crew chief Jason Ratcliff said "at the end of the straightaway (cars could) gain on others two or three car-lengths. But they just couldn't do much once they got there and they got down in the corner, they were kind of helpless." The high-drag rules included a 9-inch spoiler with a 1-inch wicker bill, a rear fascia extension panel (similar to those used for superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega), a 2-inch leading edge on the splitter and a 43-inch splitter extension panel. "We know that high drag package is awful," four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon said following the Darlington race. "We know that this (lower downforce) is definitely in the right direction. … I think when you look at the less horsepower we had coming in this year it's the package that should have been with this car that we have now. You can't take that kind of power away and not do something significant to the downforce as well." Homestead Test Slated for December NASCAR and Goodyear officials have added a post-season test scheduled for Dec. 14-15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to continue preparations for the 2016 rules package. Organizations scheduled to participate in the test are Stewart-Haas Racing (Chevrolet), Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet), Richard Petty Motorsports (Ford) and Furniture Row Racing (Toyota). It is expected to be the first on-track testing for Furniture Row and driver Martin Truex Jr . with a Toyota entry. The Denver-based team is making the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota for '16. Because of the change, SHR was added to the test to replace Furniture Row for Chevrolet. "I think '16, we're not really even thinking about right now," Truex said earlier this week. "We know what we're doing next year, we'll worry about that after (the final race at) Homestead. "I think everybody in the Chase is probably in the same position -- you're worried about today and tomorrow and this coming weekend. No further ahead. Once you set your plans, it's real easy." Lineup Change for Atlanta Test The Toyota teams of Michael Waltrip Racing and BK Racing have declined to take part in the Goodyear tire test slated for Oct. 27-28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Joe Gibbs Racing has been added to the lineup to represent Toyota teams at the 1.54-mile track. MWR will not field a full-time Sprint Cup Series team next season. The two-day program is a confirmation test for Goodyear; an open team test is scheduled for Oct. 29 following the completion of the tire test. CMS Tire Info Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series teams will be running the same tire codes this weekend at Charlotte, according to Goodyear officials, and is unchanged from what was provided for the 1.5 mile track's May races. The left-side tire code has been used at CMS since 2012; the right side, which features a multi-zone tread, was used there for the first time in May.
At least four NASCAR drivers have crashed hard into walls not protected by SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers this season, with two sustaining injuries that required medical treatment. Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Theriault was the most recent victim, as the Brad Keselowski Racing driver suffered a 10 percent compression fracture of the lower back after crashing during the Oct. 3 Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Theriault's No. 29 Ford struck the wall nose-first in approximately the same spot hit by Erik Jones ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) earlier this year during an XFINITY Series event. Jones was not injured as a result of his crash. Tuesday, team owner and 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski said he had not seen Theriault, "but I spoke to him and I know he's going through all those stages with the protocol you have to go through for NASCAR. Until that's done, I think it would be a little premature for me to say anything as to how he’s doing." Keselowski, whose organization fields two full-time trucks, said he is hopeful his driver will be "ready to go" when the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks. On Thursday, Talladega officials announced "significant safety enhancements ... will be in place" before the track's Oct. 23-25 race weekend. In a statement posted on the track's web site, officials said "we have installed more than 8,000 linear feet of (SAFER) Barrier in 2015. We are covering the entire outside and interior retaining walls of the 2.66-mile facility." The fact that another driver hit in an unprotected area at a track, Keselowski said, does make him cringe, "but then I get back in the race car and say 'What are my options?' "As a team owner I have no ability to affect chance on the tracks, and as a driver I'm consistently told how lucky I am to have a spot as a race car driver and I need to shut up and driver the car. "There are no options available for me to remedy the situation, so I move on to things I can affect change on." Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief racing Development Officer for NASCAR, told NASCAR.com on Monday that the installation of SAFER barriers and other safety enhancements is "something that we've been very diligent about. "We were very vocal coming out of Daytona (in February)," he said. "We've worked with each of the facilities to have an aggressive plan in place for the SAFER barriers. In this case we've already had those conversations with Las Vegas and you'll see some changes heading into the 2016 season. "It was very unfortunate ... but the tracks have made some big investments in terms of from the first race to the second and I expect that to happen again as we look at Las Vegas and heading into the Cup weekend for 2016." Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials, contacted this week, said that plans are in place to have SAFER barrier installed in the area of the Theriault and Jones crashes before next season and that those plans were in place before this most recent incident. JGR driver Kyle Busch suffered a broken right leg and fractures to his left foot when he hit the inside wall nearest to Turn 1 during the season-opening XFINITY Series event at Daytona International Speedway in February. Busch, who competes full-time in the Sprint Cup Series, missed the season's first 11 races while recuperating. DIS president Joie Chitwood said that SAFER barrier should have been in place where the Busch accident occurred, but added after the incident, "we're going to fix that" and that the energy-absorbing barrier would be installed "on every inch at this property." By the time the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series returned to the 2.5-mile track in July, additional barriers had been put in place beyond the exit of pit road (where the Busch impact took place), along the entire backstretch and at the entrance to pit road beyond Turn 4. More than 20,000 square feet of grass areas inside the track, between the racing surface and interior walls, was paved as well. "My thing about it is they do need to work faster," Busch said of additional SAFER barrier being installed at facilities. "I know there's a plan, but there's no reason why some of these race tracks -- like Bristol for instance had (SAFER barrier on) the walls on the straightaway" before this year's spring events at the track. "And at a place like (Las) Vegas, it's been eight months and ... they don't have (SAFER) walls. It's frustrating sometimes. "I've said it before and I'll say it again ... we'll figure out how to crash in the stupidest ways in the weirdest spots and get hurt. That Austin (Theriault) crash, that was so weird and never should have happened, but it did. We all need to stop playing God and protect as much as we can protect and let the rest take care of itself." Fellow Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon was not injured when he crashed at Atlanta Motor Speedway , a week after Busch's wreck, hitting a portion of the backstretch wall not covered with SAFER materials. Incidents such as Theriault's "points out how important it is to have every single wall covered at these race tracks," Gordon, a four-time Sprint Cup Series champion, said. "You know, for whatever reason, somewhere along the way somebody said 'we can put it here and we don't need it here' and that just proved that it doesn't matter what stats show. ... These incidents can happen at any time," said Gordon. According to AMS officials, additional SAFER barrier will be installed in January of 2016 along the outer wall on the front and backstretch as well as portions of the inside wall and in the turns.
Watch a condensed version of the Bank of America 500 as the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off, leaving several title threats under pressure after a long afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway .
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Sunday, Oct. 11 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN Monday, Oct. 12 6 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 8 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR 120, NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (tape), NBCSN 10:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN Tuesday, Oct. 13 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS12 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 2:30 a.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN Wednesday, Oct. 14 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Thursday, Oct. 15 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 7 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (tape), NBCSN 11 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (re-air), NBCSN 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FS2 Friday, Oct. 16 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN Noon, NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour: Charlotte Motor Speedway (re-air), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 7:30 p.m., Being: Stewart-Haas Racing (re-air), FS1 Saturday, Oct. 17 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 2 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Kansas Lottery 300 , NBCSN Sunday, Oct. 18 11 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 12:30 p.m., Continental SportsCar Challenge: Road Atlanta (tape), FS1 1 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN 2:15 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 , NBC 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN 8 p.m., Continental SportsCar Challenge: Road Atlanta (re-air), FS2 11:30 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap (re-air), NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 3:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
RELATED: Live weather updates from Charlotte " See the starting lineup CONCORD, N.C. -- Saturday night's scheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway , the Bank of America 500 , has been postponed due to rain. Originally scheduled for a 7:16 p.m. ET start on Saturday, the race will now go green at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. NBCSN will televise the 334-lap race, with radio coverage on PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio -- NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM will go live with pre-race coverage at noon ET. The race at Charlotte is the first event of the three-race Contender Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Prior to this race, six races had a weather delay of some kind during the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season: The Atlanta race in March, the Bristol race in April, the Richmond race in April, the Kansas race in May, the Michigan race in June and the summer race at Daytona. Only the Richmond race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, while the Michigan race was shortened by rain. Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award at Charlotte and will start out front. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch joins him on the front row. Kevin Harvick , who scored a win at Dover International Speedway last weekend to advance in the Chase, is the defending race winner at Charlotte. Twelve drivers remain in play for the championship: Kenseth, Joey Logano , Denny Hamlin , Carl Edwards , Martin Truex Jr . , Kurt Busch , Jeff Gordon , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch , Ryan Newman , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and the defending series champion, Harvick. Races at Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway are also part of the Contender Round. This story will be updated.
Take a virtual lap around Atlanta Motor Speedway with Kurt Busch.
Additional tire tests are currently on the books for Homestead-Miami Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway , according to Goodyear officials. Both tests are scheduled to take place after the completion of the 2015 season. The Homestead test is on tap for Dec. 14-15 and the Las Vegas test is slated for Jan. 12-13, 2016. Two final previously scheduled '15 tests will see Goodyear and teams travel to Phoenix International Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway next month. The AMS test replaces a test originally scheduled for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Whether an open team test will be included at Atlanta has yet to be determined. A single-day test has followed most of the Goodyear tire tests conducted this season. Because next season's Atlanta race likely would once again be held early in the season, there is a limited the window of opportunity for potential testing at the 1.5-mile track. NASCAR officials have yet to announce the 2016 race schedule for the Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. " Atlanta is a recent addition," Stu Grant, Goodyear's General Manager for Global Race Tires, told NASCAR.com this past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway . "We’ve talked to NASCAR about 'hey do you want to make an open test for that? It's most likely that we'll end up with a different tire for the Atlanta race for 2016. … We want to test the 2016 rules package and you guys may want to have an open test.'" Grant said to his knowledge, an open team test following the Atlanta tire test had not been confirmed. Teams participating in the Goodyear tire tests at Homestead and Las Vegas have not been announced. Because Goodyear tested with the low downforce configuration being considered for 2016 at Darlington (South Carolina) Raceway, and teams raced with a similar package there earlier this month, Grant said it would be unlikely that Goodyear would return to Darlington for testing next year. "But we always have to leave that open just to kind of see how things evolve," he said. “Because the reality is in this sport you have a rules package and the car configuration and a tire setup, right? You run it and it may look good at the first event of the season; by the time you get to the second event, the cars may be a half a second faster. Things change. So I guess I'd say we’ll have to see how '16 plays out and see if there is a significant change in how the teams are approaching the car setups and things like that." NASCAR has also yet to announce its 2016 rules package, but is scheduled to meet with teams and others within the industry this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Under this year's National Series Unified Testing policy, teams are no longer allowed to conduct private tests. The bulk of the on-track testing has come during scheduled Goodyear evaluations as well as open team tests held the following day. Because of a new rules package in use for '15, and the additional work toward development of the '16 package, Goodyear conducted more tests than normal this year, but Grant said he expects the company's '16 testing program to be more line with previous seasons. "So you can probably figure that Goodyear is probably going to test about 10 times in 2016 and if NASCAR has the same policy in 2016 then that's what (teams are) looking at," he said. “But I don't know if things are going to change … or not. We don't know what the race schedule is so consequently we haven’t really laid out a test program. I'm not sure where NASCAR is going to land on that open testing side." Overall, Grant said, the move to a lower downforce package has provided Goodyear a broader range of possibilities from which to work. "It's nice to design a tire for the low downforce package because when you take the aero off and the driver and the car is relying more on the tire for grip in the corner, it makes the tire more a part of the package," he said. "We're not just designing for wear and heat and durability to handle the load … it gives us a lot more freedom, a lot bigger window to design a tire in." Live Viewing of Final Inspection at NASCAR R&D Fans can now watch teams as their cars go through final post-race inspection at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center each Tuesday, thanks to live streaming of the process each week on NASCAR.com. First- and second-place finishers from the previous weekend's Sprint Cup Series race, as well as a random selection, are taken back to the center each week for a more detailed inspection. To watch the process, which begins promptly at 8 a.m. ET, fans can go to http://www.nascar.com/inspection.html.
Officials with Richard Petty Motorsports and transportation services company J.B. Hunt have announced a five-race associate sponsorship agreement that will consist of one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this season and four for 2016. The company will serve as an associate on the No. 9 RPM Ford, currently driven by Sam Hornish Jr ., at this year's AAA Texas 500 race weekend (Nov. 6-8) as well as events next season at Atlanta Motor Speedway , Auto Club Speedway , one of two stops at Pocono Raceway and at Chicagoland Speedway . "Nobody does it better than J.B. Hunt and their thousands of employees," team owner Richard Petty said in a statement announcing the agreement. "We're proud to partner with them and I'm excited to be a part of their driver recruitment program. Our country's truck drivers are the backbone of our commerce system and I can't wait to interact with them." J.B. Hunt is based in Lowell, Ark. "There is no bigger brand in NASCAR than Petty," Craig Harper, Executive Vice President of Operations for J.B. Hunt Transport said. "All of our drivers know that name and can relate to the race team, their goals and the work and dedication that is required to safely transport the team's equipment from race to race each week." RPM fields two entries in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, featuring drivers Hornish and Aric Almirola . Petty is the sport's all-time leader in wins with 200 career victories and is one of only two drivers to capture seven premier series titles. He was one of five inaugural members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted in 2010. Almirola is currently 17th in points, the highest ranked driver not among the 16 competing in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup . Hornish is 27th in the standings. The Sprint Cup Series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., this weekend for Sunday's Sylvania 300 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR).
Track is the latest to announce safety enhancements Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Atlanta Motor Speedway announced Tuesday morning that it will expand its use of impact-absorbing barriers ahead of this weekend's on-track activity. The move comes three days after Kyle Busch was injured in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway , his car slamming into a concrete retaining wall without the benefit of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers. "As promised, we expedited a review of potential safety advancements at each of our racing venues," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We're pleased with the additional safety enhancements Atlanta Motor Speedway will be making leading into our events this weekend. As we've stated, NASCAR and its track partners remain steadfastly committed to safety." According to the statement, the Atlanta track -- which has hosted NASCAR's top series since its 1960 opening -- will add 130 linear feet of protective barrier for this weekend, extending coverage of the protective wall at the exit of pit road near Turn 1 and an additional tire barrier along the inside wall of Turn 4. All three NASCAR national series will be racing at the 1.54-mile Georgia track this weekend, culminating with Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX), the second race of the year for the Sprint Cup Series. Officials at the speedway said they would conduct a further review of additional SAFER barriers after Sunday's race. Hours after Busch's injury, Daytona track president Joie Chitwood III said the 2.5-mile track would take every measure to ring its facility with the SAFER technology. Atlanta's decision comes one day after similar announcements by officials at 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway and 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway to expand their coverage with protective walls. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Track president: 'We've got history and experience doing March races' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live For the first time since 2004, NASCAR teams won't load up and head west for the season's second stop following the Daytona 500. Instead, Week No. 2 will find teams from all three national series -- Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck -- headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway . Coming on the heels of the season’s premier race has its challenges, AMS president Ed Clark told NASCAR.com, and weather is always a concern with an early March date in the area. RELATED: Atlanta plans SAFER barrier additions But, Clark said, "We've got history and experience doing March races. "The thing that's different about this one is that in the past, the Daytona 500 kicked the season off, we came home and had two to three weeks of outstanding interest in the sport. The day after the 500 was always your biggest ticket sales day of the year. "In this case, the Daytona 500 is over Sunday afternoon and we’re into Atlanta's race week right then." AMS hosted a Labor Day weekend race from 2010 through this past season. Up until 2010, it hosted two annual Sprint Cup weekends, the first typically falling in early to mid-March. From '82 through 2004, the second Sprint Cup race of the season was held at either Richmond International Raceway or North Carolina Motor Speedway (Rockingham). California's Auto Club Speedway hosted the second stop from '05 through '10 and Phoenix International Raceway had been the host since '11. "It's a plus and a minus," Clark said of being No. 2 on the schedule. "We all remember the year that Cale (Yarborough) and Bobby and Donnie (Allison) got in a fight (at Daytona in '79). The printing press couldn't have printed enough tickets for the next race. … That's a bonus when it happens. The world is watching what goes on at Daytona, there's a lot of focus on the sport. Everything is new. So it's a plus from that standpoint." Weather issues early in the year aren't uncommon for the Atlanta region, however. And the long-range forecast for this year's race weekend didn't look promising. But it has since changed (and will likely again), going from a chance of snow to a 40 percent chance of rain to a 20 percent chance of rain in the span of a week, according to www.NOAA.gov. Clark is more concerned about those things his group can control instead of those it can't. "I haven't even looked at (the weather forecast) in about a day and a half," he said. "No need to. It changes. "That's the approach we've taken all along. We know how to promote races; we've done it for years. Have your plan; work your plan. When you get to race time, you don't want to look back and say there was something you could have done that you didn't do." Part of that plan included an appearance by reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick on Monday. Prior to Thursday's scheduled test session, Atlanta Motor Speedway Day will be celebrated at the state capitol. Three-time premier series champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Darrell Waltrip is expected to join active native Georgia drivers from all three series for a visit with the governor as well as stops as the Senate and House chambers. "The long and short of it," Clark said, "is we've done things we typically do, no matter when the race is." In addition to normal race-weekend preparations, AMS announced Tuesday upgrades to its current SAFER barrier system will be put in place in time for this weekend's events. Camping World Truck Series teams, which haven't competed at AMS since 2012, will share top billing on Saturday with the XFINITY Series in a double-header race day that features the Hisense 250 XFINITY Series race (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) and the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 Truck Series event (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series event is scheduled for Sunday, March 1 with TV coverage on FOX. "We know we'll have a good race; we always have a good race at Atlanta ," Clark said. "If we can get that first one done and all be positive, we have a whole year to work on ('16). I think that's when we will find out what the potential is for the future." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule