Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 provided a unique experience for NASCAR drivers. Ahead of the 2022 season, the Atlanta Motor Speedway received a complete remodel, including repaving and reconfiguration. With these alterations came a demand for superspeedway tactics from the drivers. In a post-race interview, NASCAR driver Chase Elliott echoed this point. Though the Atlanta Speedway isn’t in the same category as Daytona or Talladega, the No. 9 driver said the updated track reminded him of the legendary superspeedways.
What to Know:
- The Atlanta Motor Speedway was repaved and reconfigured ahead of the 2022 season
- The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 took place in Atlanta on Sunday
- Chase Elliott compares new Atlanta Motor Speedway to superspeedways like Daytona and Talladega
NASCAR’s Chase Elliott Describes Experience in Atlanta
There’s no question that the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Cup Series race was a nail-biting experience for fans and drivers alike. The updated Atlanta Motor Speedway was a mystery to drivers, even after their practice sessions. The only thing they knew for sure is that the narrowed turns of the track were going to create an absolutely chaotic race – and they were right.
Another driver has an issue while leading!— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 20, 2022
The No. 47 collects the Nos. 2, 4 and 43. pic.twitter.com/IirLVoZs1k
The Atlanta Motor Speedway is only 1.54 miles long, falling short of the 2-mile length required to be a superspeedway. However, the alterations to the track made it feel like a superspeedway, which created an unfamiliar environment for the drivers.
According to Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, the flight on the new Atlanta Motor Speedway was nothing short of a wild ride. “It was crazy, for sure,” Elliott recalled. “Hopefully it was fun to watch because I felt like it was wild from my seat. It was very much so like a Daytona or Talladega. Just trying to position yourself there at the right spot and hope it goes your way.”
NASCAR Driver Chase Elliott Talks Next-Gen Stock Cars
The updated Atlanta Motor Speedway was just the first of many challenges NASCAR drivers faced in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. In addition to the narrowed track and steeper banking on the track, drivers competed in their 2022 Next-Gen cars. Now, the QuikTrip 500 might not have marked the first time drivers sat behind the wheel of these cars, but every new track of the season provides a new experience.
NASCAR driver Chase Elliott says, however, that he’s had a great time learning the ins and outs of his new ride. “There are probably a handful of guys in the field that went through the COT change and then as the car transitioned to…the last one,” Elliott said.
“But for me, personally, this is the first time I’ve kind of gone through that. I’ve had fun with it, really. Just because it’s different. The thing does drive different. I feel like it is a little less forgiving than what we had last year. You’re not really going any faster, but it’s just less forgiving, which is interesting.”