A three-day test is scheduled for NASCAR’s newest reconfigured track
Atlanta Motor Speedway is hosted a tire test from January 4-6, 2022. The text will include the NASCAR Truck Series, Xfinity Series on Tuesday. The new Next Gen car for the NASCAR Cup Series will run on the track Wednesday and Thursday.
Work began to repave the track just hours after the checkered flag last year. The new paving was completed on December 22nd, 2021.
Cup drivers in the test: Ross Chastain (Chevy), Chris Buescher (Ford) & Kurt Busch (Toyota).
Track changes: The banking has been increased from 24 to 28 degrees. The racing surface has been narrowed somewhat drastically. It’s marks the first major reconfiguration of the track since 1997.
It’s also a new car making it’s debut at the track. The Next Gen car is a spec machine with wider tires. It’s a cost saving measure that also makes every car in the field, identical.
NASCAR is going into the event with a plan to use the superspeedway rules package. The higher banking is expected to increase speeds at the track, significantly. Officials are planning to use the engine spacer to reduce horsepower.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is hoping their new 1.54-mile track produces pack racing. They’re looking for a slightly smaller version of Daytona and Talladega.
Steve O’Donnell on the new Atlanta Motor Speedway
“Certainly a lot of hard work’s gone into the reconfiguration of the track,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer.
“We got a little bit behind with some of the paving issues, but luckily the weather’s been really, really good for us in terms of getting the track ready for this next test. So, all three series will be there. We’ll spend one day where you’ll have Xfinity and Trucks on the track, same day, and then Cup, we’ll look at multiple days of testing as well.”
“So really with any new configuration, it’s making sure that the tire matches the car in terms of the aero package we put together and the engine’s also obviously part of that. So, making sure all those three are dialed in for the package that we want for Atlanta and then we’ll go race.”
Only two more tests with the Next Gen car are scheduled. The car will be on track Jan. 11-12 at Daytona International Speedway and Jan. 25-26 at Phoenix Raceway. The first race is scheduled for Feb. 6 in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.
Atlanta Motor Speedway hosts two NASCAR Cup Series events in 2022. The first is set for March 19-20. Their second race will be run on July 9-10.