The rule would be similar to Daytona and Talladega
Next week, NASCAR returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, both the track and the cars have been changed completely since the last trip to the Atlanta, Georgia track.
Last year, the corners at Atlanta Motor Speedway were 24 degrees. This year, it’s much steeper at 28 degrees. That makes it the steepest intermediate track on the NASCAR schedule.
The old transition apron was just 4 degrees. For 2022, the new transition is 18 degrees.
The turns were previously 55 feet wide. This year, the turn width is reduced to just 40 feet.
The length of the track sits at 1.54-miles. That remains consistent from the old configuration.
What to expect?
Multiple layouts were put to the test via the digital world of iRacing. With the new design, track officials are hoping to make Atlanta Motor Speedway a pack racing event. They’re looking to turn their intermediate track into a superspeedway style race, a first of it’s kind.
That could happen. And it will be aided by a tapered spacer. The high banking would have increased speeds drastically at the track, a spacer will be used to taper horsepower.
Like Daytona, cars will be fitted with just 510-horsepower, much lower than typical 1.5-mile tracks. At the same time, cars will run a very tall 7-inch spoiler to increase drag.
Pack racing at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway each feature a unique set of rules. Those tracks have a double-yellow line.
During the recent test at AMS, the track featured a single white line to separate the racing surface from the apron.
With a double-yellow line, drivers are unable to move below it an make a pass. If a pass is made, most cases allow the driver to slow down and give the position back, without bringing further penalties.
That’s unique to the other tracks. A single yellow or white line isn’t an out of bounds marker. It’s essentially there for reference. Atlanta was previously a track with just a single line, meaning drivers could race on the apron, if they wanted.
The double-yellow line rule is a safety issue for pack racing tracks.
Steve O’Donnell talks Atlanta Motor Speedway
“Each race has been a bit of a challenge because it’s all new,” Steve O’Donnell stated on Thursday.
“I think you’ll see some things. We’ve had some really good dialog with the drivers coming out of the [Atlanta] test.”
“You’re going to probably see us institute the double-yellow line, similar to what we have at Daytona and Talladega.”
O’Donnell added, “The dialog we’ve had with the drivers, the expectations going in, work with Goodyear, we feel like we’re in a good place for that race. I think the fans will be in for a really good race.”