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A History of Atlanta Motor Speedway

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
This weekend Clint Bowyer and the 5-hour ENERGY® Racing Team are heading south to Hampton, Georgia's Atlanta Motor Speedway for the AdvoCare 500. You can always count on an exciting race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) since it's infamous for high speeds and violent crashes. The Bleacher Report even named AMS as one of the 10 most dangerous race tracks in NASCAR! Before you tune into Sunday's race, we wanted to give you a little background on this speedy speedway.

AMS has come a long way since its early days. Walker Jackson, Lloyd Smith, Garland Bagley, Ralph Sceiano and Ike Supporter began building in 1958, but the construction was short lived. Before construction could be completed at the proposed speedway, four of the five founders abandoned the project due to insufficient funds. Dr. Warren Gremmel, Jack Black, Bill Boyd and Art Lester jumped on board with Bagley to continue building and spent $1.8 million to complete the Atlanta International Raceway. As a result of financial problems the facility ended up being patched together, with some seats so low that fans couldn't see over the retaining wall and the only bathrooms being a three-hole outhouse in the infield. The Atlanta International Raceway hosted its first race on July 31, 1960, but the financial struggles didn't end once the track was completed. In the 1970s the speedway was reorganized under Chapter 10 bankruptcy proceedings and went through many different general managers.

Despite the speedway's financial struggles, it managed to attract the attention of local figures and celebrities. One of the most prominent people that visited the speedway was former President Jimmy Carter. Did you know that Carter worked as a ticket taker at AMS in the 1960s? Later, during his run for Governor, he told the racing community that he would host a barbecue dinner for them at the Governor's Mansion if he was elected. In 1971, Carter became the governor of Georgia, kept his promise and hosted that barbecue. Taking it another step further, during his presidency in 1978, Carter even invited some of the racing community back for a cookout, but this time the meal was at the White House!

The track struggled until Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., purchased the track on October 23, 1990. The change in ownership marked the start of several changes, the first being the track’s name. Smith updated Atlanta International Raceway to its current name, Atlanta Motor Speedway. Other changes included the addition of the East Turn Grandstand which expanded the seating capacity by 25,000 and the track also began hosting the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Drag Racing, and Indy Car Racing. Expansions continued in 1994 with the addition of luxury condos, an office, a clubhouse and additional grandstands.

The biggest change to the track happened in 1997, when the entire track was completely rebuilt. Not only were the front stretch and back stretch swapped, but the track's configuration was changed from oval to quad-oval, making Atlanta Motor Speedway one of the fastest tracks in NASCAR. To give you a taste, AMS' fastest one-lap qualifying record was a whopping speed of 197.478 miles per hour by Geoffrey Bodine. The high speeds of AMS promise excitement and to top it off, Sunday's race is under the lights. We want to wish Clint Bowyer the best of luck as he takes on the Atlanta Motor Speedway!


5-hour ENERGY® Cycling Team Pedals to Victory & #RideWith5hrEnergy Winners Are Chosen

Friday, August 16, 2013
From August 6-11, the 5-hour ENERGY® presented by Kenda Racing Team competed at the multi-stage Tour of Utah. The race is one of only four internationally-sanctioned American pro cycling events and it’s not called the Toughest American Stage Race for nothing! The Tour of Utah is made up of nearly 600 miles of racing and over 40,000 feet of elevation gain across the state of Utah. In case you missed it, we wanted to fill you in on how awesome the 5-hour ENERGY® cycling team did at the 2013 Tour of Utah!

At Stage Three of the race, our own Jim Stemper was awarded the Vivint Most Aggressive Rider jersey. Riders can earn this jersey in numerous ways, from powering through a tough climb, pushing through a break, or continuing on after a crash. According to the Tour of Utah, the Vivant Most Aggressive Rider Jersey is awarded to a cyclist who demonstrates- in the face of all adversity- the greatest desire to win in that day’s stage. Way to go, Jim! We are also proud to recognize Francisco ‘Paco’ Mancebo’s first place finish in Stage Six. Mancebo, 2009’s Tour of Utah champion, bridged up to and passed stage leader Tom Danielson in the final kilometers to take the win. Mancebo also won the Vivint Most Aggressive jersey for stage six. Congratulations Paco!

During all of the Tour of Utah excitement, we decided to hold a cycling contest to celebrate! We invited our fans to tweet their cycling pictures using the hashtag #RideWith5hrEnergy for the chance to win free 5-hour ENERGY® shots and a 5-hour ENERGY® podium shirt. The five lucky winners of our contest are @lisac957, @ders_50, @scasolari, @RockKlopster and @procraftinator. Check out the winning photos below! Thank you to everyone who entered and as always, stay tuned to our Social channels for upcoming contests and giveaways.


Watkins Glen International Speedway: The Trendsetting Underdog

Friday, August 9, 2013
With over 60 years of racing legend behind it, Watkins Glen International Speedway is a thrilling race location with a fascinating history and a bright future! As Clint Bowyer and the rest of the racing team head to Watkins Glen, New York for the Cheez-It™ 355 at The Glen later this week, we thought giving our fans a look back at this history of the track would be a great way to get their engines revved and ready for the race!

Watkins Glen International Speedway, nicknamed “The Glen,” was built in 1948 and designed by Cameron Argetsinger, a law student who used to spend his summers in the village of Watkins Glen. Argetsinger’s passion for European style racing, coupled with his fondness for this beautiful area on Lake Seneca was the impetus for the design of The Glen. His plan incorporated asphalt, cement and dirt roads, an exciting and challenging prospect in 1948. Initially, Argetsinger’s course was put into place as standard driving roads that wove their way throughout the village of Watkins Glen.

Racing dreams for Watkins Glen became reality on October 2, 1946; the date known as “The Day They Stopped the Trains”, this was the first road race in the United States following World War II. The top names in American racing loved coming to Watkins Glen and the course drew huge crowds to the small town for five years. In 1953, the racing was moved to a temporary track so a more permanent circuit could be built. The completed course was officially established in 1956, one year later Watkins Glen was home to a NASCAR Grand National Stock Car event, its first professional race. In 1958, the Formula Libre race was held, The Glen’s first taste of true international competition.

Drivers from the Formula 1 circuit made the trek to Watkins Glen in 1961 for the first Watkins Glen U.S. Grand Prix. After many popular crowd-gathering races, the course was expanded in 1971. Despite earlier success, in 1980 after the United States Grand Prix at The Glen, the track was dropped from the Formula 1 schedule which caused financial issues and ultimately bankruptcy for the track.

Despite the bankruptcy, Corning Enterprises bought the track in 1983, and with the partnership of International Speedway Corporation, the group formed Watkins Glen International and opened the course back up in the summer of 1984. The Glen continued to grow in popularity and in 1992 an addition to the Inner Loop made the long course 3.4 miles long (with 11 turns) and the short course 2.45 miles (with 11 turns as well). Ownership eventually went to the International Speedway Corporation in 1997.

Each year since 1993, tribute Grand Prix races have taken place at The Glen. 650 classic cars are featured (hundreds more sign up but don’t get a spot) and can be seen at the event each year which draws around 25,000 spectators. On September 6, 2013, visitors will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Grand Prix Festival by taking advantage of wine tasting, great food, live music, fireworks and more!

The Glen itself is an underdog story and has risen above many challenges to be a fan favorite! On the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, The Glen is one of two courses where the drivers have to make a right turn during the race. Being one of these two tracks makes a visit to The Glen a memorable one—a track that drivers look forward to racing and a race fans enjoy watching.

In 2012 Clint finished fourth at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen and we’ll be cheering him on again this summer. From one law student’s dreams of European style racing to a successful, booming race destination, Watkins Glen is sure to deliver racing excitement for both drivers and fans alike! The Glen brings in a greater economic impact than the Buffalo Bills football team, and we’re happy to have it on the racing schedule! Best of luck to Clint Bowyer and the rest of the racing team, hope to see you in Victory Lane at The Glen, boys!