Busy month begins at AMS

By Anthony Rhoads

It's definitely a busy month for Atlanta Motor Speedway.

With the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 race weekend coming up Oct. 29-30, several drivers are testing at the speedway in final preparations for the event.

Kenny Wallace was at the track Tuesday afternoon testing even though it was under less than ideal conditions.

"Hurricane Jeanne set us back a day-and-a-half," Wallace said. "We were supposed to get here yesterday and test all day today but because of the hurricane, we're just testing in the afternoon. We're going to run in race mode until about 2:30 and then try some qualifying runs."

Wallace has not run well at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the past. He has run several Nextel Cup races at the speedway since 1993 but has only one top-10, a seventh-place finish in the spring of 1998.

"This is one of my worst tracks," he said. "I'm happy to be here testing."

Wallace is competing in both the Aaron's 312 Busch race and the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Nextel Cup race this fall at AMS.

Wallace has raced full-time on the Busch circuit this season and is coming off a 20th-place finish at Dover on Saturday.

He led for 77 laps but ran out of gas at the end of the race.

"Even though it was very disappointing, my confidence is sky high," he said.

Wallace is racing in limited Nextel Cup events this year for Michael Waltrip.

"It really is a great deal for me," Wallace said. "These are good guys and we're putting a lot of effort into it. I'm happy to be here to help Michael with his Cup team."

Wallace, the younger brother of Rusty and Mike Wallace, has raced in Nextel Cup since 1990 with 27 top-10s and six top-fives.

He was the 1989 Busch Series Rookie of the Year and was runner-up for the Busch points championship in 1991.

Other drivers who will be testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the next few weeks include Bill Elliott, Jeff Green, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.

The General Motors and Ford NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams will also be testing this month to prepare for the spring 2005 race at AMS.

All test sessions are closed to the public.