Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – May 30, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

The Wolves opened up the 2008 Calder Cup Finals with a 5-4 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Thursday night in Chicago. The teams will enjoy two off days before meeting for Game Two on Sunday at 4 p.m. Each of the remaining games of the Calder Cup Finals can be seen live on the NHL Network.

2008 Calder Cup Finals Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/29 Chicago 5-4 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 6/1 Chicago
3 6/4 W-B/S
4 6/6 W-B/S
5* 6/7 W-B/S
6* 6/10 Chicago
7* 6/12 Chicago

* if necessary

Game One – May 29 – Chicago 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4

The Wolves jumped out to a 3-0 advantage after 20 minutes and never trailed in the game en route to a 5-4 Game One victory against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday night. Jordan LaVallee (one goal, one assist), Kevin Doell (one goal, one assist) and Jason Krog (two assists) led the Wolves with two points apiece, while rookie center Bryan Little scored the eventual game-winner for Chicago. Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski and Jesse Schultz score one goal apiece. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec turned away 30 shots in his league-leading 13th victory of the postseason.

News and Notes:

Jason Krog has recorded at least one point in 10 straight games and has tallied 13 points (five goals, eight assists) during that span … He leads the AHL with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) and 21 assists, and ranks third with nine goals.

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec paces the AHL with 13 wins and has earned a 2.26 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage during his first professional postseason … He has held opponents to two goals or fewer in eight of 19 playoff games.

Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski tallied a power play goal for the fifth straight game in Game One of the Calder Cup Finals … He leads all league defensemen with eight goals, which sets a new franchise record, and ranks second among AHL defensemen with 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in 19 playoff games.

Darren Haydar scored the series-clinching goal in the Western Conference Finals for his 51st career playoff goal, which is tied for the most goals in AHL post-season history … Haydar has tallied at least one point in nine straight contests, recording 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in that span … The captain ranks fourth in the AHL with 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) and is tied for fourth with eight goals.

Tour De Georgia Presented By AT&T Generates $38.6M Direct Economic Impact For State Of Georgia

One month after the completion of the sixth annual Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T, a post-event evaluation has determined that the direct economic impact of the event reached $38.6 million for Georgia. This surpassed the 2007 economic impact number of $27 million by 40%.

The 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T, recognized as America’s premier, professional cycling event and rolling festival that covered over 600 miles and seven days each spring, concluded April 27 in Atlanta. Economic impact was determined using data collected by crowd intercept surveys at all start and finish host venue locations.

North Georgia College and University managed the survey development and data collection. The Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development of Georgia Southern University was responsible for data input and analysis. The regional input-output modeling program IMPLAN was used to construct a model of Georgia and models of each region by stage. A total of 1,196 completed surveys were collected between April 21-27 at the 12 host communities which staged either a Tour start or a Tour finish venue.

“We can’t tell how much of the change is due to methodology, but we believe that one of the reasons for the large increase (in economic impact) over last year is inflation, particularly in gasoline. Some of the increase is also due to the significant increase in the number of international visitors. The increase in international visitors is probably due to the devaluation of the dollar making a U.S. trip more affordable,” said Phyllis Isley, Director, Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development at Georgia Southern University.

Economic indicators included assessment of dollars spent by visitors (residents of the area not included) for meals, lodging, transportation, retail and miscellaneous recreation. Analysis of crowd sizes was determined by Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement estimates. While the attendance figures for 2008 were down 20% from last year, over 400,000 this year as compared to 515,000 in 2007 and 500,000 in 2006, spending was up significantly during the event.

"We were delighted to host the Team Time Trial stage of the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T. "For a first time event -- and on a Thursday -- we were extremely pleased with the spectator turnout and the event overall," said Road Atlanta President Geoff Lee, regarding an estimated attendance of 20,000 fans at Stage 4. “A majority of these very enthusiastic cycling fans were making their first visit to Road Atlanta and obviously had a good time. From a marketing standpoint, the Tour was very successful for us. We hope these new fans will come back for our major events like the 11th annual Petit Le Mans Oct. 1-4."

The Tour was founded in 2003 as a tourism vehicle to showcase Georgia and its communities by the marketing arm of the state, now known as the Georgia Department of Economic Development. GDEcD is responsible for developing tourism, which is Georgia’s second largest industry behind agriculture. The Tour has proven that it is indeed a strong sports property that is more than a bicycle race. In just six years since its inception, the Tour de Georgia has produced big numbers – 3.2 million spectators and over $186 million direct economic impact to the state of Georgia.

“The Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T is a terrific event that brings long-lasting economic impact to Georgia,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the agency that serves as a marketing arm for the state and presenting sponsor of the Tour de Georgia. “Our communities look forward each year not only to the excitement surrounding the Tour, but to the worldwide exposure they gain by hosting it. The Tour de Georgia is not only one of the world’s premiere cycling events, it is a major international tourism attraction for Georgia.”

In addition, the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T is proud to have set a record in 2008 for funds raised for its beneficiaries, the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. This was the first year the Tour engaged with helping Children’s Healthcare, and it was the sixth consecutive year partnering with the Coalition. With donations pledges from Tour sponsors and generated by ancillary events throughout race week, the Tour de Georgia was able to donate over $500,000 for its charities, doubling what had been done in the past five years.

"The Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T is an international sporting event that brings thousands of spectators and cyclists to our great state. We also worked very hard to promote healthy living and lifestyles among our citizens and guests. This year's Health & Wellness Expos were a hit at every stop, from Savannah to Atlanta. We were able to a raise a record amount of money and awareness for our beneficiary as well, Children's Healthcare," said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who serves as the Chairman of the Tour de Georgia Foundation.

The Tour de Georgia gained international stature in 2004 when Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong won the event. In 2005 the Tour de Georgia was elevated to a 2. Hors Classe (2.HC) road cycling competition by the world’s governing body of the sport, the Union Cycliste International (UCI) and expanded from six to seven days. This made the Tour de Georgia one of the highest rated stage races outside of Europe, and gained the distinction as a tune-up event for the prestigious Tour de France. Four teams in the field this year expect to race in the Tour de France in July, including American-based teams High Road and Slipstream Chipotle presented by H30, German-based Gerolsteiner, and Denmark’s Team CSC. The 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T was won by Team High Road’s Kanstantin Sivtsov of Belarus.

2008 Overall State Direct Economic Impact:
- $ 38.6 million is an increase of 40% from 2007, which generated a direct economic impact of $27.56 million
- 41% of spectators indicated they stayed more than one night during their visit to Georgia, specifically to watch the Tour
- Of those overnight visitors, 6% were International visitors (an overall increase of 5% from 2007)
- The average overnight visitor spent $380 per day at the Tour; 55% of that going to accommodations and transportation costs.

Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation - Registration Open for New Leagues

Adult Basketball
$455 per team-Men’s Open Division, 18 – up. Play at Lucky Shoals Park every Sunday for 10 weeks beginning July 20. Team registrations at, call Tony Hudson 770-822-5152, or in person at 4651 Britt Road, Norcross.

Adult Volleyball
$250 per team-Coed Intermediate Division & Coed Advanced Division, 18 - up. Play every Sunday for 10 weeks at Lucky Shoals Park beginning July 20. Team registrations at, call Dee Miller 770-822-5149 or in person at 4651 Britt Road, Norcross.

Adult Softball
$460 per team-Men's Open Division & Coed Division, 18-up. Play at Bethesda Park every Sunday for 10 beginning June 15. Team registrations at, Call Tony Hudson 770-822-5152 or in person at 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Track & Field Sends Six to NCAA East Regional Championshi

Six members of the Georgia Southern track & field team will begin competition at the NCAA East Regional Championships on Friday, May 30. Florida State University is hosting the meet at the Mike Long Track in Tallahassee, Fla.

“I am really excited for these young ladies,” said GSU track & field coach Natalie Smith. “These six individuals had a great 2007-08 season. I really hope that they will go into the championship with the confidence to do well.”

GSU seniors Demetrise Anthony (Manchester, Ga./Manchester) and Carla Ballard (Morrow, Ga./Morrow) are returning for the second straight year, but will both be competing in different events this season. Anthony will compete in the triple jump after qualifying at the Shamrock Invitational with a leap of 40’07.75”, while Ballard will participate in the 400m hurdles. Ballard, the Southern Conference 400m hurdles champion, had a season best time of 1:01.05 at the SoCon Championships.

Smith brought in two first-year coaches this season and has seen tremendous results. Former GSU phenom Nicole Brown, last year’s East Regional triple jump champion, returns to the meet as a member of the coaching staff. Brown guided Anthony, Shaunta Hamilton (Macon, Ga./Westside) and Lynndsey Hyter (Dallas, Texas/Kaiserslautern American High) to regional qualifying berths. While Brown has enjoyed a lot of success, so has first-year throwing coach Jeremy Hinton. Hinton molded senior Jennifer Charles (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Clay) into the Southern Conference shot put champion.

“I am not only proud of the student-athletes, but I am extremely proud of my coaching staff,” said Smith. “Both of my assistants this year were first-year coaches and each of them has athletes going to the championships this weekend. Coach Brown did an outstanding job with the jumpers. The athletes really relate to Coach Brown and the impact has been tremendous as a result. Coach Hinton worked directly with Charles and after only two seasons as a member of the track & field team will be making her first East Regional appearance. I know that she is stronger and a much better athlete all around. Much of that came from her determination and drive along with the push from Coach Hinton.”

Charles earned the Southern Conference crown when she threw a career best 44’07.50”. Her mark is the fourth best in Georgia Southern history.

Hyter qualified for the East Regional’s when she registered the second best triple jump in school history at the Shamrock Invitational leaping a distance of 40’09.50”. The All-Conference performer in the triple jump earned a spot in the long jump event posting a mark of 20’00.25” at the Irwin Belk Invitational. That distance ranks third in the GSU record books. Hamilton, the SoCon long jump champion, qualified for the event at the CCU Invitational when she recorded a distance of 19’1.50”. She was invited to compete in the triple jump when she landed the third best jump in program history (40’08.75”) at the Irwin Belk Invitational.

Sophomore Melanie Trumbo (Lilburn, Ga./Brookwood), Georgia Southern’s team MVP, earned a slot in the high jump at this weekend’s East Regional Championships. Trumbo won the high jump at the Southern Conference Championships when she cleared 5’6”. The distance was a career best and ranks second in the Georgia Southern record books.

“It's going to be a really great weekend at Florida State,” said Smith. “With this being an Olympic year we are most likely going to see some amazing things in the world of track & field. Our goal as a program is to increase the number of Regional qualifiers. I would like to have 50 percent of our team competing at Regional’s next year and believe with hard work, dedication and the four returners from this group that we have a good chance to make it happen.”

Clayton State Athletic Summer Camps Begin June 2

Clayton State University’s annual Athletic Summer Camps are set to begin on Monday, June 2.

Running between June 2 and Aug. 3, Clayton State will be offering summer camps for boys and girls, ages six to 17, in basketball, soccer, tennis, speed and, for the first time, cheerleading. In addition to day camps for each of the individual sports, there will also be combination day camps for soccer and basketball, tennis and soccer, tennis and speed, tennis and basketball and soccer and speed. All of the camps are under the instruction of Clayton State varsity coaches.

There will also be a special all-day All Sports Camp from June 2 to June 6 that will provide students ages six to 14 with the basics of basketball, soccer, speed development and tennis. This camp is designed for campers who are just discovering sports or who may not have mastered sports disciplines.

For more information about the camps, or to register, go to and click on the white summer camp box at the top of the main page.

Governor to Light the Flame of Hope for Special Olympics Georgia at State Capitol Press Conference

Governor Sonny Perdue will help light the “flame of hope” for Special Olympics Georgia athletes at 9 a.m. Friday on the front steps of the state capitol on the Washington Street side.

The torch has been passed across the state by law enforcement officers for the last few weeks and will stop at State Summer Games Opening Ceremony at Emory University Friday evening at 7:30.

The torch passing is part of a press conference to announce the 2008 Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run and to accept a check from the Torch Run presenting sponsor, Publix Supermarkets.

Once the Governor and a Special Olympics Georgia athlete light the torch, they will pass it off to members of the 2008 Torch Run. The officers (represented by Atlanta Police Department, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and other agencies across the state) will take the torch and begin their final leg of the run through downtown Atlanta and make their way onto Emory’s campus.

Expected to speak at the press conference are: Governor Perdue, Marietta Police Deputy Chief Billy Grogan Law Enforcement Torch Run State Director, Brenda Reid, Vice President of Community Relations of Publix Supermarkets and a Special Olympics Georgia athlete.

The torch represents the “flame of hope” that law enforcement officers pass on to athletes before they begin competition at State Summer Games. This weekend at the games, nearly 2,000 athletes will compete in sports such as gymnastics, athletics, volleyball, soccer, tennis and others at Emory.

America Supports You: Tiger's Tournament Salutes Military

Professional golfer Tiger Woods understands the sacrifices military families make and the importance of acknowledging those sacrifices.

"I was raised in a military family," said Woods, whose late father, Earl, retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. "I know what it takes, the dedication it takes. They don't get enough thanks. And we're here to do that. We're here to say thank you."

He will say "thank you," this Fourth of July holiday when he hosts the second AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club here.

"We're trying to do whatever we can to showcase the military and basically give thanks," Woods said in an interview before the news conference.

This year that includes making 30,000 tickets available to servicemembers. Active-duty troops, reservists and National Guardsmen, retired servicemembers, and Defense Department civilian personnel are eligible for two tickets per person per day of the July 2-July 6 tournament.

The tournament also is offering a one-time 10 percent discount on merchandise, though the discount does not apply at Congressional Golf Shop adjacent to the clubhouse, however. In addition, each day will be dedicated to one of the five services.

Honoring the military and their families doesn't stop there, Woods said.

Twenty-five military children will accompany Woods to the first tee July 2, where two of them will take ceremonial first shots. But not before servicemembers deployed overseas have taken their swings.

Nike has provided drivers and golf balls that are being shipped to six military locations around the globe. A servicemember at each location will hit the ball, which will then be returned along with video of those shots.

Woods, who has a great respect for the military, said his father, and the military values he adhered to, have greatly shaped both his view of family and his direction in life. He's taken that to heart at home as well as on a global scale, hoping to be the same kind of father for his daughter, Samantha, that Earl Woods was to him.

"Family comes first," Woods said in the pre-conference interview. "My dad ... always made time for me. I'm looking back upon that, [and] that shaped me in the fact that I want to be there for Sam all the time," he said.

His dad also taught him about success, being a leader, and the responsibilities that come with that role. That lesson was the foundation upon which he and his father created the Tiger Woods Foundation in 1996.

"My dad, I won't say pushed me, but he always made sure I understood what it took to be a leader, the responsibilities you have to accept -- and sometimes it's not always easy," Woods said. "That's hard for kids to understand who have never experienced it before."

This lack of leadership and role models for children is not just a local phenomenon, he said. It's global.

"We have so many people around this world who need help, and we're going to do that," he said.

The foundation already has helped 10 million children through its character-development programs, scholarships, grants, junior golf teams, and the Tiger Woods Learning Center. And the gratitude he receives from the kids who are helped by the foundation is his greatest reward, he said.

"Golf is just what I do. It's not who I am," Woods said. "Having kids write letters and say, 'Thank you. I'm going to college. I'm doing things that I never thought I could do in my life,' gives me chills just thinking about it. That's the impact that everyone should have in life."

Proceeds from the 2008 AT&T National will benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation and its desire to expand its programs to the greater Washington area. The hope is to continue positively impacting the lives of future generations for years to come, according to a statement on the AT&T National site.

Fans can affect lives, as well. When purchasing a ticket on the AT&T National Web site, they can choose to make a donation to one of six charitable organizations benefiting military families.

Proceeds from the "Click and Donate Program" will be equally distributed among the Fisher House Foundation, Military Officers of America's Scholarship Fund, National Military Family Association, Our Military Kids, United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington, and Yellow Ribbon Fund.

All six organizations are supporters of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad. The title sponsor of the tournament, AT&T, is a corporate supporter of the Defense Department program, as well.

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Amanda McDowell Wins NCAA Singles Championship

Georgia Tech All-American Amanda McDowell completed her run through the NCAA Singles Championships by capturing a straight-set win over Baylor’s Zuzana Zemenova in the finals to become the first Yellow Jacket tennis player to earn an individual national championship.

McDowell dropped her first game of the championship match but won the next five to take the first set 6-2. She then finished off the Baylor All-American by dropping just three games in the second set to win, 6-2, 6-3.

The Yellow Jacket finished her remarkable sophomore campaign with a 45-8 singles record and has notched 84 singles wins through her first two years on the Flats.

McDowell became the first Yellow Jacket to ever advance to the semifinals when she did so this season and won her last four matches of the tournament in straight sets. Zemenova won the NCAA Singles title as a freshman in 2005.

U.S. Kids Golf European Championship: the World’s Youngest Players on the World’s Oldest Links

BUSINESS WIRE--The U.S. Kids Golf European Championship teed off today in Gullane, Scotland, with more than 480 kids aged seven through 14 from 34 countries competing in the birthplace of golf. The tournament, the first U.S. Kids Golf competition held outside the United States, runs through Friday.

Yesterdays opening ceremony in the Concorde Hanger at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian, part of the golf coast near the Scottish capitol of Edinburgh, paid tribute to the international nature of the event, with 34 representatives bearing a flag from each of their respective countries.

The tournament is spread over five courses in East Lothian, with a specific age group playing the same course throughout the event. Players are divided by age, with boys competing in brackets by ages seven through 14, and girls divided into brackets by ages eight through 14.

The culmination of the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship will be the Van Horn Cup on Friday. Modeled after the famed Ryder Cup tournament that matches a team of Europeans against Americans, the Van Horn Cup pits teams of European players against teams composed of players from outside of Europe.

Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian is serving as the host course for the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship. Built in 1898, Gullane has been a qualifying venue for the British Open Championship, with a stunning view across Aberlady Bay to Edinburgh, where the first recorded game of golf was played in 1452. The beautiful Scottish countryside surrounding the courses is steeped in golf's traditions. A course in nearby North Berwick hosts the worlds oldest junior tournament, established in 1868. The U.S. Kids Golf European Championship is also being played on nearby courses in Craigielaw, Kilspindie, and Luffness New.

Although the game itself will be familiar, young players will see a few differences. The big bunkers and windy conditions on Scottish courses can be a challenge. In Scotland, golf is treated a little more formally than in the United States. Jackets and ties are required for clubhouse entry, and denim, cargo shorts, and tennis shoes are a definite no-no. Players are also expected to remove hats and caps when entering clubhouses.

The U.S. Kids Golf European Championship is the first of many planned regional championships around the world. U.S. Kids Golf is committed to growing the game and eventually hopes to reach one million youngsters across the globe.

U.S. Kids Golf is the largest producer of junior golf equipment for ages 14 and under in the world. At the time of its founding, golf clubs for smaller swings were typically adult clubs cut down and retrofitted for children. The heavier weight made the clubs more difficult to handle, hurting developing swings and discouraging budding players. U.S. Kids Golf clubs are 30 percent lighter, generating the faster club speed needed for quick improvement in young hands.

After the company was launched, it expanded from its product line into instruction and tournament sponsorship. Holding its first tournament in 2000 with 250 players, U.S. Kids Golf continued growing to more than 400 events each year, with the 2007 World Championship bringing more than 1,100 players from 34 countries.

To U.S. Kids Golf, the sport is more than a game. Golf is a metaphor for life, a way to teach patience, discipline, and how to overcome adversity. Golf also brings families together in a common pursuit that can provide opportunities to teach values like honesty and integrity. At U.S. Kids Golf events, parents and grandparents serve as caddies. Behavior standards are enforced by officials. The U.S. Kids Golf European Championship is the first step in that commitment.

For more information, visit

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Special Olympics, Fayette County, Georgia

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – May 24, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

The Wolves clinched a berth in the 2008 Calder Cup Finals with a 4-2 win against the Marlies on Friday night. Chicago won the best-of-seven series 4-1 to advance to their third Calder Cup Final in seven years since joining the American Hockey League in 2001. The Wolves won the Calder Cup in 2002 and also captured the International Hockey League’s Turner Cup Championship in 1998 and 2000. Chicago will square off against either the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins or the Portland Pirates, who are tied 3-3 with Game Seven scheduled for tonight. Game One of the Calder Cup Finals will be played on Thursday, May 29 in Chicago.

2008 AHL Western Conference Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/16 Chicago 4-1 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 5/18 Chicago 5-0 (CHI) 2-0 (CHI)
3 5/20 Toronto 4-1 (CHI) 3-0 (CHI)
4 5/21 Toronto 6-1 (TOR) 3-1 (CHI)
5 5/23 Chicago 4-2 (CHI) 4-1 (CHI WINS)

GameFive – May 23 – Chicago 4, Toronto 2

Darren Haydar broke a 2-2 deadlock with only 5:08 remaining in the third period and Kevin Doell added an empty-net tally as the Wolves came away with a 4-2 victory on Friday night to advance to the 2008 Calder Cup Finals. Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski and rookie Bryan Little added one goal apiece for the Wolves, while Jason Krog paced the team with two assists. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec turned aside 23 of 25 shots in his 12th post-season victory.

Lazers '94 Girls Premier - 2008 President's Cup Champs

SSG Note: Congratulations to our local Fayette girls for this achievement. Click on the link to read the entire story!

The Lazers ’94 Girls Premier team played strong over the May 10-11 weekend and gave their Mothers excellent appreciation gifts – a win in the Georgia Soccer President’s Cup State Championship tournament. As champions the team will represent Georgia against champions from 12 other states at the Regional President’s Cup the June 13 weekend....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Speedway Motorsports Agrees to Purchase Kentucky Speedway

SSG Note: There are a large number of speedway fans in our area so we thought you'd want to be "in the know."

BUSINESS WIRE--Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK) has agreed to purchase Kentucky Speedway from Kentucky Speedway, LLC. The agreement was announced today by O. Bruton Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008.

Kentucky Speedway, which opened in 2000, hosts one NASCAR Nationwide Series event, one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, one IndyCar Series event and other racing events each year. The speedway is located in Sparta, Ky., approximately one-half hour south of Cincinnati, Ohio. The speedway is easily accessible via modern highways.

Located on approximately 820 acres, Kentucky Speedway features a 1.5-mile tri-oval speedway, with chair-back grandstand seating for 66,089 spectators, 50 luxury suites with seats for approximately 2,000, 100 private RV spaces, 200 reserved camping spaces and 1,000 unreserved camping spaces. Kentucky Speedway regularly hosts near capacity crowds for its Nationwide Series events.

This is a wonderful opportunity for our company to grow into a new market in a modern speedway facility. We continue to be committed to investing in the motorsports industry, said Smith.

Smith added that he has offered Jerry Carroll, who was instrumental in the development of Kentucky Speedway, the opportunity to remain involved in its future operations.

Kentucky Speedway will join an outstanding lineup of SMI facilities. The company also owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway; Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.; Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.; Las Vegas Motor Speedway; Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.; New Hampshire Motor Speedway, in Loudon, N.H.; and Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas.

With this acquisition, the company will own race tracks in the West, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and Southwest, including four of the nations top-10 designated market areas.

The breakdown includes: the fifth-largest market (Texas/Dallas-Ft. Worth); the sixth-largest market (Infineon/San Francisco); the seventh-largest market (New Hampshire/Boston); the eighth-largest market (Atlanta); the 25th-largest market (Lowes/Charlotte); the 33rd-largest market (Kentucky/Cincinnati): the 43rd-largest market (Las Vegas); and the 91st-largest market (Bristol/Tri-Cities).


Thrashers Agree to Terms with Draft Picks Rylan Kaip and Arturs Kulda

The Atlanta Thrashers have agreed to terms with forward Rylan Kaip (KIPE), the team’s ninth round selection (269th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and defenseman Arturs Kulda, who was selected in the seventh round (200th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Kaip, 24, recently completed his senior season at the University of North Dakota where he tallied 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) and 230 penalty minutes in 143 career games over four seasons with the Fighting Sioux (NCAA).

The 6-1, 190-pound center served as team captain for the 2007-08 campaign after serving as an alternate captain during his junior year. The native of Wilcox, Saskatchewan registered his highest goal (eight) and point (15) totals of his collegiate career and tied a career-high with seven assists in 42 games last season.

Kulda, 19, is currently competing in the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup Playoffs with the Chicago Wolves, who signed him to an Amateur Try Out on March 30. In five regular season games with the Wolves, Kulda recorded one assist and has added three points (one goal, two assists) in 14 post-season contests.

The 6-2, 200-pound defenseman played this past season with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, where he ranked second among team defensemen with 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists), along with a team-high plus-nine rating in 55 games. He added four points (one goal, three assists) in five post-season contests.

Kulda appeared in the 2008 World Junior Championships (Division I) with Latvia, recording five points (one goal, four assists) in four games. He also represented Latvia in the 2007 World Junior Championship (Division I), where he tallied two assists in five games.

The native of Riga, Latvia has appeared in 113 career OHL games over two seasons with the Petes, registering 45 points (nine goals, 36 assists).

Atlanta Thrashers Season Tickets start as low as $10 per game and are on sale now for the 2008-09 season by visiting or calling (866) 715-1500.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – May 22, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

The Wolves came up short in a bid for their first sweep of the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night, dropping Game Four of the Western Conference Finals by a 6-1 score against the Toronto Marlies. The Wolves will have another shot at advancing to the Calder Cup Finals tomorrow night as the series shifts back to Chicago for Game Five.

Game Four – May 21 – Toronto 6, Chicago 1

Chicago fell into a 2-0 hole early in the first period on Wednesday night and was never able to recover as they fell to the Marlies by a 6-1 score. The loss marked the first in six games for the Wolves, who own a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series. Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski scored the lone goal for Chicago with Darren Haydar and Jason Krog picking up the assists. Ondrej Pavelec allowed five goals on 33 shots before being relieved by Robert Gherson at the 10:35 mark of the third period.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – May 21, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

Chicago secured its fifth straight playoff win with a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Marlies in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night. The Wolves now lead the best-of-seven series 3-0 and are one win shy of making their sixth finals appearance in 13 post-season tries. The teams will meet again tonight for Game Four in Toronto.

2008 AHL Western Conference Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/16 Chicago 4-1 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 5/18 Chicago 5-0 (CHI) 2-0 (CHI)
3 5/20 Toronto 4-1 (CHI) 3-0 (CHI)
4 5/21 Toronto
5* 5/23 Chicago
6* 5/25 Toronto
7* 5/27 Chicago

* if necessary

Game Three – May 20 – Chicago 4, Toronto 1
The Wolves moved to within one win of the Calder Cup Finals with a 4-1 win in Game Three on Tuesday night. Darren Haydar led the Wolves with three assists, while Joel Kwiatkowski also recorded a multiple-point effort with one goal and one assist. Nathan Oystrick, Steve Martins and Jordan LaVallee recorded one goal each as Chicago marched to victory. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 30 of 31 shots for his fifth straight win and his league-leading 11th of the post season.

Game Two – May 18 – Chicago 5, Toronto 0
Chicago opened up a 2-0 series lead with a convincing 5-0 victory against Toronto in Game Two on Sunday. The Wolves opened up a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game and Ondrej Pavelec turned away all 24 shots he faced for his second shutout of the playoffs; tying a Wolves team record. Jason Krog recorded two goals in the first 3:08 and has scored five goals in the first two games of the series. Joel Kwiatkowski, Bryan Little and Joey Crabb all recorded one goal each for the Wolves in the win.

Game One – May 16 – Chicago 4, Toronto 1
AHL regular season MVP Jason Krog earned the ninth hat trick in Chicago Wolves playoffs history and added an assist in a 4-1 victory against the Marlies in Game One of the Western Conference Finals. Darren Haydar netted his seventh goal of the postseason and recorded one assist as well. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec turned away 26 of 27 shots for his ninth win of the playoffs. It marked the sixth time in 14 playoff games that Pavelec has allowed one or fewer goals.

News and Notes:

Jason Krog has recorded a point in seven straight games and has tallied eight points (five goals, three assists) in the first three games of the Western Conference Finals … Krog has scored the game-winning goal in four of Chicago’s last five games … He leads the AHL with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) and 16 assists, and ranks second with nine goals.

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec tied a franchise record with his second shutout of the playoffs in Game Two … Pavelec leads the AHL with 11 wins and leads all active league goaltenders with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage … He has held opponents to one goal of fewer in eight of 16 playoff games and as allowed only two goals during the first three games of the Western Conference Finals.

Defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski tallied a goal and an assist in Chicago’s Game Three victory on Tuesday for his sixth multiple-point game of the postseason … He leads all league defensemen with five goals, which ties a franchise record, and ranks second among AHL defensemen with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 16 playoff games.

Darren Haydar has recorded a point in six straight games and has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in that span … Haydar has tallied one goal and six assists in the first three games of the Western Conference Finals … Haydar ranks second on the Wolves and is tied for third in the league with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 16 playoff games.

Atlanta Motor Speedway – Make plans to attend some fun events!

Street Warriorz
May 30

Drag racing, car show, stereo showdown, swimsuit contest, vendors, music and more! Tickets are $15 or $20 to drag race, show or compete.

Thursday Thunder Series
Thursday Nights June 5 through August 7

Short track racing action with a full night of Legends Cars, Bandolero Cars and Thunder Roadsters. NASCAR stars of tomorrow today! Family activities, specialty races and lots of fun promotions! Tickets are only $5 for adults while kids 6-12 are only a buck! Check out the schedule at

Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine ‘Season Opener’
June 6

The first night for the 2008 Friday Night Drags and Show-N-Shine will be full of drag racing, car showing, chrome shining, trash talking fun! Get ready for a season of points races with the final opportunity to test your competition in a non-points showdown on the strip! Awards to the top entries in each Show-N-Shine class and the winners of each Drags division. Tickets are $20 to drag race or show-n-shine and $7 for spectators! Open parking in the infield pit area! More info at

Goodguys Rod & Custom Show
June 13, 14 and 15

The nation’s number one producer of classic car shows visits Atlanta Motor Speedway for a spectacular display of vintage steel over Father’s Day weekend. Nearly 2,000 custom, classic, street machines and trucks from prior to 1972. Specialty areas for homebuilt hot rods, pro picks, fins for fifties and young guys. Plus, vendors, exhibitors, swap meet, cars for sale corral, model car show, pedal car show, NASCAR rides and the always popular track cruise! Tickets are $17, children 7-12 are $6 with six and under free. Parking is free. Gates are open 8am to 5pm each day. Check out all the information at

Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine ‘Points Opener’
Friday Nights June 20 through August 22 (10 consecutive weeks)

The first night of points for the drag racing divisions. Points will be accumulated through the August 22 championship event. The top drivers will be invited to come back during our NASCAR event (Saturday afternoon – better conditions for drag racing) and compete is our Challenge race! Top entries in the Show-N-Shine will also be invited to come back for a special show prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this October (more details coming soon). Tickets are $20 to drag race or enter the Show-N-Shine. Spectator tickets are $7. Parking will be allowed in the drag race competitors area for tailgating.

Dukes Fest ’08 and Hazzard County Fair
June 28 and 29

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Dukes of Hazzard television program with a festival of fun for the whole family. This is your only opportunity to meet and greet all the surviving cast members in one location this year. Bo and Luke Duke. Daisy Duke. Enos. Cooter. The guys who did the stunts. Plus, hundreds of General Lee cars, Hazzard County police cars, Atlanta police cars, Daisy jeeps and more! Carnival midway, petting zoo, childrens bouncers, vendors, food, musical entertainment, lawn mower races, redneck games and the Hollywood Stunt Show rounds out a weekend full of fun…YeeeeHawwwww! Tickets are available in advance for $15 with children twelve and under admitted for free. Day of show tickets will be $5 more. Tickets and weekend passes are available at

Thursday Thunder ‘Fireworks’ Night – July 3

One of the largest displays of FIREWORKS in the Atlanta area! Plus a full night of racing action and family fun! Tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for children age 6-12.

Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine ‘Fireworks’ Night – July 4

Another of the area’s largest displays of FIREWORKS along with special drag racing action, a full points night, Show-N-Shine, 4th of July specials and lots, lots more! Tickets are $7 for spectators. Drag race and Show-N-Shine entry is $20 per vehicle/driver combination.

Major League of Monster Trucks
July 6

Sixteen of the nation’s hottest monster trucks will be pitted against one another in side by side racing on one of the largest tracks in the history of monster truck events. A current field of 29 trucks will be narrowed down to the top 16 from afternoon qualifying. Those trucks will compete at speeds nearing 70 miles per hour before the ultimate destruction of freestyle. Bigger than the dome shows. Bigger than the arena shows. You gotta see it to believe it! Tickets start at $15 for adults and $5 for kids. Pit party passes are free with advance sale purchases through the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office. Call 770-946-4211.

President Lisa Borders participates with Atlanta's newest professional athletes in 37th Annual Inman Park Spring Festival

From L to R: Camille Little, Ann Strother, Carla Thomas, Lisa Borders, Dalila Eshe, Katie Feenstra, Ivory Latta, Kristin Haynie

Atlantans got a close up look at the players of the city’s newest professional sports team Saturday during the 37th Annual Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes.

Held during the last full weekend in April each year, the Inman Park Festival is widely regarded one of as Atlanta’s most spirited and eclectic. This year’s Inman Park Festival featured the city’s quirkiest and most colorful Parade, led by the Inman Park Butterfly followed by floats, bands, art cars, drill teams, clowns, jugglers, and many more.

The appearance of the Atlanta Dream was the highlight of the day for many festival goers and Atlanta Dream fans alike.

Led by City Council President Lisa M. Borders, the players were greeted by thousands Saturday during the neighborhood parade where they handed out schedules for the upcoming inaugural season that begins May 3rd with a preseason game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Philips Arena, and their first home game May 23rd at Philips against the defending Eastern Conference Champions, the Detroit Shock.

“We are thrilled to be home to the WNBA’s newest team,” said Borders. “The Atlanta Dream’s roster is filled with some of the most formidable and talented players in the entire league. We are looking forward to an exciting season in Atlanta. There’s no doubt that basketball will now be played at a new level.”

The Inman Park community was extremely welcoming and energetic, said Atlanta Dream Executive Vice President, Danielle Donehew. “It was a perfect experience to introduce our players to such a prestigious community. We look forward to seeing them at our games, and we look forward to continuing to build relationships throughout the Atlanta community.”

The WNBA, a women's pro-basketball league launched by the NBA, began play in the summer of 1997. Three TV networks carried their games to 50 million viewers that season. By 1999, WNBA games were broadcast in 125 countries.

The league enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in 2007 with increased regular season attendance, a new postseason attendance record and Finals viewership on ESPN2 that was up 12 percent vs. 2006. Spectacular performances from the world's best women's basketball players highlighted the WNBA's 11th season.

The WNBA will feature 14 teams in 2008, with the Eastern and Western Conferences comprised of seven teams each. Atlanta will join the Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Detroit Shock, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference, while the Houston Comets, Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs, San Antonio Silver Stars and Seattle Storm will continue to comprise the Western Conference.

Tickets can be purchased by calling, 404.604.2626. More information may be found @