The MotorSportsNews[dot]Net(work)’s own photographer, Steve Langley, is at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, and checks in with this article….

langley-atlanta-1Crews were busy today getting ready for the big weekend race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Paint crews were painting sponsor logos in the infield grass and the walls around the big 1.54 super fast oval speedway were bright white with their newly painted surfaces.

Fire crews were busy on pit road going over the ins and outs on safety procedures during the always frantic pit stops that sometimes involves three wide, in the grass, beating and banging for that race off for the best possible track position. One point I overheard, from what I figure was a very experienced safety worker, was to watch standing too close to the wall during those hectic stops to not get tangled up in an air hose. They were told that the pit crew member could get hurt if they were to accidentally be standing on the hose when the tire changer jumped over the wall. The men were in small groups of eight to ten members with several groups spread out up and down pit road. A very serious aspect of racing we tend to take for granted, and often don’t think about.

The media center was full of workers cleaning and shining the place up for the small army of media personnel that will descend upon the speedway from all over the world. Walking through the center, I saw the names of some very famous TV, print, and web based personalities from the world of racing attached to the very spot reserved for them to do their work. The piece of paper, taped to the desk, had the name of the person and what affiliation they were with. The spot where they will be creating the many articles we will read this weekend and in the coming week of NASCAR news.

There was a constant stream of campers poring into the many campgrounds spread all around the fine facility. Fans looking forward to a weekend of racing and fellowship with their families and friends. I stopped and talked to a few of the folks camping in the infield, trying to make a deal to climb up on top of their homemade platforms attached to a converted school bus that will be high above the crowds, so I could get some good photographs during the race. They were reluctant to make such a deal because they had heard it before from photographers that promised to send them photos via email but never heard from them again. I managed to strike a couple of deals only because I thought enough ahead of time to bring some photos I had printed up earlier in the year from the Sound and Speed festival back in January from the Nashville event. I wasn’t surprised that the most asked for photo was of, none other than, Dale Jr. (Thanks, again to the folks in the #3 black school bus. I know I’ve seen them on TV before.)

So here we go, a racing weekend with the Camping World Truck Series and the Sprint Cup Series cars that should be wild and crazy at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weather looks great for the weekend, after a brutal cold spell the last week or so, with highs in the 70’s and predicted sunny skies. If you are lucky enough to get to come to the track, be safe and have fun, if not, sit back, put your feet up, and and enjoy some of the best racing of the season.