Source: Night race planned for Atlanta

Published 10:26 pm Monday, August 18, 2008

ATLANTA – NASCAR will run under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2009, The Associated Press has learned.

There’s more: The new night race is expected to be run on Labor Day weekend.

Atlanta Motor Speedway and NASCAR officials are planning to announce a schedule change Tuesday that will include the night race announcement, said a racing official who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the change had not been made public.

Atlanta’s place on the racing calendar also could move. There has been speculation Atlanta Motor Speedway will be part of a three-way trade of race dates for next year’s Sprint Cup schedule that also involves the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and Talladega Superspeedway.

Atlanta would receive the 2009 Labor Day weekend race that’s happening this season in California. Fontana would receive Talladega’s fall race, while Talladega would receive Atlanta’s fall race, set for late October this year.

Fontana has struggled with overwhelming heat at its race on Labor Day weekend. The change would give the California track a spot in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Meanwhile, there also is speculation the Iowa Speedway will gain a spot in the Nationwide Series schedule and the Chicagoland Speedway will add a Craftsman Truck Series date.