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5 Reasons a NASCAR fan should attend Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

5 Reasons a NASCAR fan should attend Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

1 - You are a race fan. You like the sounds, the smells, and the excitement that only motorsports can give you.  Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans get you more up close than you have ever dreamed.  If you like watching the Cup cars at Sonoma or Watkins Glen - you will be hooked on the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Road Atlanta after only one visit.

2 - Night racing. So you like Bristol at night.  You love Daytona under the lights.  Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta will quench your thirst for heart-stopping action at night.  The headlights and brake lights totally add something that NASCAR doesn't give us - a really different perspective of 200mph at night followed by hard braking setting up for turn one.  Night racing rocks.  It really rocks at Road Atlanta.

3 - The cars. Yea - the cars.  Chances are you have never seen anything like these machines before...and best of all...you can get right next to them in the Paddock area.  These cars are so hi-tech it's unbelievable.  You can watch them scream down that backstretch at 200mph or move to the other side of the track and watch them negotiate the esses - all the while avoiding the slower traffic.  The cars are totally awesome.

4 - NASCAR History. ·  Oh yea, many people don’t realize that three NASCAR events were held at Road Atlanta.

  • The first when Tiny Lund won both heats of the Grand Am Lanier 250 in his #55 Camaro in 1971.  The first heat top three winners: 1) Tiny Lund, 2) Buck Baker, 3) Dick Smothers (yes, that Dick Smothers).  The second heat top three winners: 1) Tiny Lund, 2) Atlanta’s own Gene Felton, 3) Bobby Allison (yes, that Bobby Allison).  Overall winners combined scores: 1) Tiny Lund, 2) Gene Felton, 3) Buck Baker.
  • The Busch Grand National Series road raced for the first time ever at Road Atlanta at the Food Giant/Big Apple 300, July 5-6, 1986.  Darrell Waltrip came out on top and many of the other legendary stars of NASCAR – including the #8 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt.
  • The Busch Grand National Series returned to Road Atlanta in 1987 for the Amoco 300 with Rusty Wallace winning the pole and Morgan Shepherd in his Buick reigning victorious.

5 - The Track. This is the best part.  You can sit in the grandstands on the front stretch near the start / finish line for a while - then you can cross the bridge to the paddock / pit area for a while (awesome closeup action) - take a walk over to turn one - head up to the esses - find Spectator Hill and watch a while from there - head up to the hairpin turns of 6 and 7 - move over and watch them scream down the backstretch at full speed - watch from 10a and 10b and then down under the bridge and back to the start / finish line.  Pick your favorite spot.  Move around.  Stay put.  It's all good.  Oh yea - Vendor Village is a must stop too!

So as a huge NASCAR fan who had never been to Petit Le Mans until last year, I can tell you without hesitation that you will love this race and you will love this track.  I've been to Bristol, Charlotte, Talladega, Daytona, and many more of the NASCAR tracks.  While I love to watch a good stock car race - I was stunned by how much I enjoyed Petit Le Mans and I have no problem recommending it to anyone.  Rest assured I’ll be there again this fall.

Guest Blog - Posted from a fan of Road Atlanta

 

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