NASCAR: Atlanta Motor Speedway Offers New Challenges for Drivers to Face

by Thad Mitchell

The NASCAR Cup Series is headed down south to Georgia where professional drivers will take on Atlanta Motor Speedway.

As the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series cranks up, the competition is more fierce than ever. Drivers are certainly ready for the competition. Last week’s race at Phoenix Motor Speedway was a real nail-biter all the way to the finish line. Three young drivers had a chance at their first-ever Cup Series victory in the final lap. In the end, it was Chase Briscoe holding off fellow rising racing stars Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick to win. Racing fans hope for even more excitement this weekend race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

NASCAR drivers, along with their teams, seem to be settling in nicely into the Next Gen cars. The Phoenix course provided a good deal of stability. Atlanta Motor Speedway will provide even more of a challenge as the course is new to everyone. Professional racing mechanic and pit crew member Bozi Tatarevic says drivers are beginning to figure out what their cars can and cannot do,

“We’re seeing moves now where drivers are learning the limits of the car and can comfortably make saves as Joey Logano demonstrated in qualifying by recovering from a slide,” he says. “Teams will face an entirely new challenge, though, as they head back to the East Coast and prepare to race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is an entirely new product for everyone involved.”

The surface on the track will be fast. Teams will utilize superspeedway engine and aero packages along with the lighter duty brakes. Tatarevic says shares some similarities to Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. He also expects some surprises based on the nature of the surface and unknown factors.

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The 2022 NASCAR season has been ultra-competitive and numerous drivers are eyeing a first-place finish this weekend. Tatarevic says he expects an exciting race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and gives his thoughts on what to look for.

“We can expect some big runs once cars get together in groups,” he says. “But we shouldn’t expect anyone to try the top initially until they feel the track out. The big difference between Daytona and Talladega is that drivers will likely have to lift as they get closer to the car in front of them. Otherwise, they will experience a tight condition from being so close to the car ahead. There will also be mechanical grip challenges for teams as the corners at Atlanta are tighter than the bigger tracks of Daytona and Talladega. Drivers will have speed, but they will have a challenge on corner entry as they make their way around the track.”

This weekend’s race is set to begin at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.