Our geographic clocks — we do live in the South — are synchronized to Sept. 5, which is the first big Saturday of the college football season. Georgia’s at Oklahoma State that day for a game the Bulldogs may or may not lose 387-24. Georgia Tech opens at home against Jacksonville State at 1 p.m. and seven hours later Alabama plays Virginia Tech underneath the Dome. But you know all this already.
What I’m wondering now is if we Atlantans know, or care, that a major NASCAR development will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6. This installment of the Pep Boys 500 will be the first night Cup race in track history, and Ed Clark and the AMS folks have huge hopes for this event.
You know me: I’d rather be wrong than wishy-washy. (Explains a lot, huh?) But I could see this one going either way. I could see it become a holiday weekend staple — night racing in the A-T-L on Labor Day eve — and I could also see it getting lost amid the Saturday tailgating and the Monday cookouts. So I’m asking: What do you folks think?
Will you go? Do you have your tickets already? Is this something you’ve circled on the ol’ calendar? Are you pumped to see three-wide racin’ not on a sunny afternoon but in the slightly spooky darkness? (I know: AMS will turn the lights on. I’m just trying to raise an evocative image here.)
Or will football distract you? (The NFL doesn’t open full-force until the next weekend, FYI.) Will baseball? (The Braves play an afternoon game at Turner Field on Sept. 6.) Is there just too much going on in the big city for NASCAR to stand out?
This is uncharted territory for NASCAR in Atlanta. We’re used to having our two races — one in the spring and one in the fall. But Clark was more than willing to yield his track’s spot in the Chase for a chance to build something big on a holiday weekend. I hope it happens that way, but I’m a bit skeptical.
Maybe that’s just me, though. I’m interested in your thoughts. Thanks in advance.