Here’s an updated look; New comments from the NASCAR track
Hours after the race, track officials went to work. Before the day was over, they started taking the walls down.
“It’s just taking something that’s great, like Atlanta Motor Speedway is, and perfecting it. And it’s to adjust to the future; it’s to adjust to the Next Gen car. I believe that’s what’s happening and it’s the right timing,” Kurt Busch said after his win in Atlanta.
However, he’s one of the few drivers with positive thoughts.
On the Monday following the race, they were cracking the pavement. With the asphalt removed, the track is now being totally reshaped.
The old racing surface will be crushed and repurposed as the base layer for the new layout. The new top layer will be designed to wear quickly and appear as an older surface. (Which won’t create superspeedway racing).
The new asphalt is expected to start going down in four weeks.The project is expected to be completed in October.
The banking is being increased from 24 degrees to 28 degrees. At the same time, the racing grooves on the track are being narrowed from 55 feet wide to just 45 feet wide.
An iRacing video was released months ago with the announcement. It showed cars pack racing, like Daytona or Talladega.
“Three-wide racing is something that we’ve grown accustomed to at Atlanta Motor Speedway and we certainly don’t want to change that,” said Hutchison. “What we’re going to have is closer, more competitive racing for our fans to enjoy starting in 2022.”
Previous comments from NASCAR drivers
It’s a bold change from the group at Speedway Motorsports Inc for their Atlanta Motor Speedway property. We haven’t seen pack racing on a 1.5-mile track. This design is expected to change the playing field.
However, while that’s the plan, it might or might not work. So, far, they’ve gotten it to work in iRacing. The NASCAR Next Gen car is an unknown as well.
Many drivers say they weren’t approached about the plan for Atlanta Motor Speedway. The announcement was a surprise for pretty much everyone, but ironically, Kurt Busch.
Denny Hamlin previously stated, “Do you want speedway racing here? Okay. We don’t like it, but here’s what you need to do to get there. We’ll help you accomplish that, just tell us the goal.”
“Don’t mix the message by saying you’re going to see something you’ve never seen and they show a clip of iRacing cars racing in a pack, but yet you want your surface to match the old.”
“That’s counter-intuitive, you can’t make it narrower and a superspeedway. Those two things don’t match up.”
“Again, I think we can help, we’re an asset. We are the biggest asset that NASCAR and these tracks can have, just tell us your goals. We may not agree with the goal, but we can help them get to where they want to go.”
The cry from fans for short tracks has been heard. Sometimes, they listen as is the case for the upcoming transformation of Auto Club Speedway. That track will be changed from a 2.0-mile to a 0.5-mile.
“I don’t think it’s very good. I think the proper thing do to would probably to build a short track,” Harvick told Frontstretch.