NASCAR: Here’s an Up-Close Look at the Changes Made To Atlanta Motor Speedway

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

With NASCAR roaring to life on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, maybe it’s a good time to look at some track changes. Adjustments have been made. There are some specifics that will matter as Chase Bledsoe leads the NASCAR drivers into Turn 1 in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. So, the track itself went through re-pavement and even more adjustments were done there, too.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Changes Will Affect NASCAR Drivers

As you can tell, the transition apron went from 4 degrees to 18 degrees and the track banking went from 24 degrees to 28 degrees. That will factor into some of the teams’ efforts on Sunday, too.

Meanwhile, the track width went through some changes too. The front stretch was 55 feet but now it’s 61 feet, 6 inches. The backstretch was 55 feet; now it’s 42 feet. Turns were 55 feet; now they are 40 feet. If you watch the NASCAR race on FOX, then you will see how these adjustments at Atlanta Motor Speedway will affect drivers.

Weather, too, also might be a factor in the race. Friday’s qualifying was a wash due to rain and it puts Bledsoe in the pole position. He won last Sunday’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.

Take note of these changes. It’s going to make Atlanta Motor Speedway one whale of an experience for NASCAR drivers. Will there be more tight contests between cars? What will the strategy be as teams look to take advantage of the changes?

Driver Speeds, Styles Will Be Worth Watching for Sunday’s Race

Watch out for driver speeds and styles on Sunday. These changes have been done to improve the track.

Back in January, a tire test session did take place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It turns out that cars were really smoking on the new track. Last year, laps were around the 32-34 second area. Ooh boy, look for drivers breaking 30 seconds thanks to their Next-Gen Cup Series cars.

Denny Hamlin, who drives the No. 11 car for his team, 23XI Racing, had some words to say about the track. He’s been around for a bit so his wisdom is worth paying attention to in the NASCAR world.

“I don’t know if we are going to be drafting,” Hamlin said. “I don’t think we are going to be tight-pack racing. It’s not going to be Daytona or Talladega, but are they going to be grouped together? How are you going to build your car? All of those things are going to be a question mark, and I have no clue what I’m going into.” Questions will be answered on Sunday at the NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.