HAMPTON, GA – Following the July 11 Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart, AMS will launch a landmark project to create the next generation Atlanta Motor Speedway and an all-new one-of-a-kind racing experience in 2022.
After 10 months of confidential research, development, testing and simulation with engineers and iRacing, the profile will increase the current incline from 24 degrees in Atlanta’s turns to 28 degrees, more than any other intermediate track on the current NASCAR circuit. From the outset, the bank will remain at five degrees. In addition to the new high banks, the running surface will become narrower with an overall decrease in width from 55 feet to 40 feet. The new widths will be 52 feet on the front section, 42 feet on the rear section and 40 feet in the turns.
The project will pave the way for a daring new era of NASCAR racing in Atlanta.
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“As Atlanta’s racing surface has aged, we’ve challenged ourselves to reimagine what NASCAR mid-track racing can be like,” said Marcus Smith, President and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. “With steep slopes in the corners, a narrower width and new pavement technology, Atlanta will be unlike any other mile-and-a-half track on the circuit. This is all new for ’22 and it will be specially designed for tight and competitive races. “
The reconfiguration of Atlanta Motor Speedway is the latest innovation from Speedway Motorsports, which has repeatedly redefined what is possible in NASCAR. From the ROVAL’s debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway, to the first NASCAR Cup Series held on land since 1970 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and to NASCAR’s first trip to the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year, Speedway Motorsports has been a driving force behind many many NASCAR’s most anticipated events.
Construction is expected to begin the week following the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on July 11, with the next generation Atlanta Motor Speedway debuting in 2022 in conjunction with NASCAR’s Next Gen car.
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“Our partners at Speedway Motorsports have re-profiled Atlanta Motor Speedway to optimize racing with the Next Gen car, and early simulations suggest the racing will be closer and even more competitive,” said Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president of NASCAR and Chief Racing Development Officer. “From Charlotte ROVAL to the Bristol Dirt Race and now a redesigned Atlanta, Marcus Smith and his team continue to take bold and innovative steps to deliver unique and exciting racing experiences to our fans. “
Throughout the development process, Speedway Motorsports partnered with iRacing to test and verify concepts for the future Atlanta Motor Speedway. The world-famous motorsport simulator not only provided a virtual rendering of each concept, but also provided key data on how NASCAR’s Next Gen car performed on the reconfigured 1.54 mile oval.
“Using our virtual track building capabilities to prototype Speedway Motorsport’s vision for Atlanta Motor Speedway has been a fun and exciting process,” said Steve Myers, executive vice president and executive producer of iRacing. “From concept to concept, we have seen the future of AMS take shape; all without moving a shovel of dirt in the real world.
AMS’s current asphalt is the oldest running surface the NASCAR Cup Series will visit in 2021. Since its last refurbishment in 1997, the speedway has hosted 38 NASCAR Cup Series races, 24 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, 20 Camping World races Truck Series, 10 ARCA Series Races, four IndyCar Series races on its 1.54 mile oval as well as countless US Legends and Bandolero car races on its quarter mile forward “Thunder Ring” .
AMS has hosted some of NASCAR’s most memorable moments on today’s surface, including Dale Earnhardt’s 0.010 second margin of victory over Bobby Labonte in 2000, Kevin Harvick’s emotional and record-breaking 0.006 second margin over Jeff Gordon in Richard from Earnhardt. Childress Racing car the following year, Carl Edwards overtook Jimmie Johnson on the final lap to claim his first Cup Series victory in 2005, and a legendary ladies battle between Gordon and Johnson in 2011.
“Our operations staff have gone out of their way to extend the life of our running surface and as a result the fans have had some historic moments and fantastic finishes in Atlanta,” said the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of AMS, Brandon Hutchison. “While this asphalt may not last longer than Father Time, the memories of the big race will last forever. The best of NASCAR will have one more chance to add to the legacy of this surface with a grand final at the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on July 11.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series gets its first chance on Atlanta’s slippery and abrasive track surface at the Credit Karma Money 250 on Saturday, July 10. The weekend is featured by the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on Sunday July 11 with Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and the other NASCAR Cup Series stars battling for glory.