The ‘New Atlanta’ is what NASCAR and SMI Envisioned–A Better Race!

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – JULY 10: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 10, 2022 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The ‘New Atlanta is what NASCAR and SMI envisioned–a better race! But what about the fans? This commentary gives readers fuel for thought. NOTE: Commentary delayed due to illness and recovery issues.

After the end of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR and track owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. embarked on a multi-million dollar renovation of the facility.  The worn-out surface was repaved.  More critically, the entire track was re-profiled.  The banking in the turns increased from 24 to 28 degrees, and the turns were narrowed by more than ten feet. 

Early in the 2022 season, NASCAR announced that Atlanta would use an engine power and aerodynamic package similar to Daytona and Talladega. In essence, Atlanta Motor Speedway is now NASCAR’s third superspeedway race, despite the track’s 1.5-mile length. A stark contrast to the 2.5 and 2.66-mile lengths for Daytona and Talladega respectively.

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