Staying true to Georgia’s racing roots, this year’s Atlanta Motor Speedway pace car was unveiled in the city of Dawsonville, the home of original stock car racing
A crowd of nearly a thousand people filled the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, spilling out into the parking lot on Wednesday afternoon, waiting for a glimpse at the 60th anniversary AMS pace car, and of course, an opportunity to meet NASCAR’s most popular driver, Chase Elliott.
“What better backdrop than to be able to be right here at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for the unveiling of the 60th anniversary pace car. It’s an exciting time for us to be here,” said Brandon Hutchison, AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We’re glad to be up here today as we get ready for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and excited to unveil the 60th anniversary paint scheme which pays homage to Georgia racing and the history…this is where it all started.”
Surrounded by hundreds of excited fans, Hutchison and Elliott unveiled the commemorative pace car, a 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS painted red, white and gold, drawing inspiration from Bill Elliott’s No. 9 Coors Light Ford.
“The most famous person in this hall of fame, Bill Elliott…the paint scheme that he was most successful in was a No. 9 Coors Light entry and that is very much resembling in both scheme and color that No. 9 entry,” Doug Turnbull of Performance Racing Network said. “You could tell that Chase really liked it… that’s an iconic race car. That’s one that people don’t forget.”
Before signing autographs and meeting with fans, Elliott addressed the crowd, thanking them for coming out to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame and their support.
“It means a lot to have you here. I hope to see a lot of you at the race here in a few weeks,” Elliott said. “(I’m) looking forward to getting the season started. Daytona was a bit of a bummer, but we’ll try again here in Vegas and hopefully have all the right pieces together when we get back to Atlanta.”
For the local fans and officials that gathered at the GRHOF, the unveiling of the pace car meant a lot.
“This day means so much to our community,” Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore said. “Racing roots run deep in Dawsonville and we are so proud to see the tradition continue with Chase Elliott.”
For longtime fan Wesley Bearden, it was exciting just to be part of such a special event.
“It means a lot that AMS decided to unveil the pace car at the hall of fame because of our history with racing,” Bearden said. “We’ve had a long legacy in racing that is continuing with Chase and I’m excited to see our legacy continue this season.”
The pace car will be in action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 15.