Atlanta Motor Speedway begins new era in NASCAR

  • Hampton, Ga.

NASCAR officially broke in the repaved Atlanta Motor Speedway surface Tuesday with the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series cars taking to the track to test various tire compounds for Goodyear, after 20-years racing on the old asphalt surface.

On Wednesday and Thursday, it was the Cup Series’ turn to turn some fast laps, with Kurt Busch (Toyota), Ross Chastain (Chevrolet) and Chris Buescher (Ford) taking their turns on the track.

Far from an ordinary repave, Atlanta Motor Speedway underwent significant changes to shake up the annual racing circuit. The 1.64-mile speedway has increased its banking in the turns from 24 degrees to 28 degrees, while also changing the D-shaped front-stretch significantly.

Many critics, including NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch, doubted Speedway Motorsports’ ability to turn the iconic old asphalt surface into a track that was still challenging and exciting to race after the repave.

Although several drivers had voiced their frustrations with losing the ‘Old Atlanta’, it became a general consensus of the series that Speedway Motorsports got everything out of the old track it could when a chunk of asphalt came out out of the ground during the Quaker State 400.

That’s where Atlanta decided to get bold and create a brand-new racetrack that is the first of its kind, hoping to bring fans back in droves to an iconic destination.

After five months of paving, the narrative on this new Atlanta Motor Speedway track seems to have quickly shifted in a positive direction from when first announced. Veteran driver Kurt Busch (23XI Racing) and Ross Chastain (Trackhouse Racing) both spoke highly of the new surface when meeting with members of the media briefly on Thursday after taking their cars for a spin.

For many race fans, this may be “just what the doctor ordered,” as MRN Radio legend Mike Bagley said in a tweet Thursday morning.

Atlanta is expected to race like a ‘baby Daytona’ with superspeedway-style pack racing on a 1.54-mile track. This newly repaved oval is now one-of-a-kind, as there is not another 1.5-mile oval on the circuit with this steep of banking.

In addition to serving as a ‘baby Daytona,’ fans can expect to see blazing-fast speed and plenty of competitive racing on the new surface when all three touring series take to the track in March.

Tickets are now available to see a Saturday doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series in the Fr8 208 and the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the Nalley Cars 250 races on March 19th.

In addition, the NASCAR Cup Series will return in the annual Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 on Sunday, March 20th.

For tickets to the Saturday (3/19) doubleheader, click here:

Tickets to the Sunday (3/20) Cup Series race, click here:

For more information on the Alsco Uniforms 250 Xfinity Series race in July, click here:

More information on the Quaker State 400 Cup Series race in July, click here:

Tickets are going fast, so grab your friends and head on down to Atlanta Motor Speedway to witness history.

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