Weather at track is focus of study

Posted: Thursday, March 06, 2003

HAMPTON, Ga. When the NASCAR Winston Cup Series moves to Atlanta Motor Speed way every spring, two things come to mind: fast speeds and weather.

Ten years ago, the race was postponed six days by a blizzard that dumped 8 inches of snow on the racetrack. Four races since have been hampered by rain.

With that in mind, the American Meteorological So ciety will send 20 members to study the way weather and racing influence each other.

Some of the things they will examine are the effect barometric pressure has on tire pressure and how temperature changes the way cars maneuver around the, high-banked speedway.

''I've always been fascinated about how wind and temperature and all of these things affect speed and drag and downforce,'' said John Wetherbee, a meteorologist at Atlanta's CBS affiliate. ''We all know it happens, but we want to understand the how and why.''

The team will focus on the ARCA Re/Max Series car of Doug Stevens. He's a three-time Legends Series champion at the speedway who's trying to move through the ranks in stock cars.

HIGH-SPEED HOOKY: The principal at Slidell Junior High in Slidell, La., will be playing hooky Thursday and Friday.

Kim Crosby will be at At lanta Motor Speedway to make her ARCA Re/Max Series debut in Saturday's ARCA 400.

''Let's not encourage them (to skip school),'' Crosby said. ''I told the kids they were welcome to bring their parents and come up Friday after school if they wanted to see me race on Saturday."

She hired NASCAR legend Dave Marcis as a consultant and mentor. He will be on pit road during the race giving her instructions.

RAP AND ROLL: Rapper Nelly will become a car owner on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

His representative said the Grammy-winning singer will buy into a team co-owned by Billy Ballew and the new team, called Vokal Racing Team, will debut Friday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

PIT STOPS: The road that connects Mooresville, N.C., with Kan napolis, N.C., has been re-named State Road 3 - Dale Earn hardt High way - by the North Carolina Department of Trans portation.

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