By Jason A. Smith
Business professionals in Henry County are teaming up with Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), to give local residents a way to welcome racing fans to the area next month.
The Henry County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the raceway in Hampton, to commission a commemorative T-shirt in anticipation of the Sept. 6 Pep Boys 500 NASCAR race. The shirt, which carries the words "Henry County Welcomes Race Fans," also recognizes AMS's first full weekend of nighttime events at the track.
Chamber President Kay Pippin said the T-shirt venture continues a successful relationship between her organization and AMS.
"We have always worked with AMS to welcome race fans to Henry County," said Pippin. "But we've stepped up our efforts considerably because of the inaugural night race."
She said events at AMS have generated $100 million for the economy in Henry since 1991, by increasing sales at area businesses. According to her, the influx of racing enthusiasts to the area has also had a positive impact on tax revenue and job creation locally.
Pippin encouraged personnel at local businesses to wear the T-shirts during race week as a way to celebrate the contributions AMS has made to the community.
Ed Clark, the president and general manager of AMS, said he appreciates the Chamber's support of NASCAR.
He acknowledged that the idea for the project came from the Chamber, and said AMS has never participated in such an endeavor in the past.
"The Chamber wanted to help us highlight the importance of this event, Atlanta Motor Speedway's first Sprint Cup night race," said Clark. "Our fans bring tremendous economic impact to our county, and we're grateful this has been recognized by the Chamber."
The T-shirts are available at the Chamber Monday through Friday, at a cost of $5 each. For more details, call (770) 957-5786.