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HAMPTON, Ga._ Throughout the entire 500-mile even Sunday night at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Tony Stewart could not get going on the restarts. Running up front for much ... more
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Atlanta Motor Speedway runs Sunday night at 7:46 EDT for those really precise with their time. This weekend will offer an interesting test of how/if the excitement on the track has impacted the economics off the track.
Atlanta Motor Speedway lost a race this year, in large part because attendance and fan intrest was brutal. NASCAR is promoting the race as an event. Tickets are as cheap as $19; they've added a host of upgrades; Charlotte makes Memorial Day memorable. Can Atlanta do the same?
What’s strange is that for a race that has struggled drawing, fans and drivers seem to enjoy racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
For fans, the track is considered one of the best tailgating spots on tour. Most fan blogs and message boards also claim the site lines are really good compared to other spots on tour. Not to mention, Atlanta is built for speed. Even though the track doesn’t have the dimensions of Daytona or Talladega, qualifying speeds could top 200 miles an hour.
For drivers, the track is known for close quarters, side-by-side racing and a robust amount of opportunities to go three and four wide. That’s because drivers have options in terms of where to run. If you have the choice of running low, high or middle, it’s fair to expect things bunching up quickly. As always, when you run on a track where there is good grip, tire strategy will vary. A race spanning 500 miles, we’re also apt to see a fuel duel. It’s also important to mention most of this race will occur either at dusk or totally in the dark. Compare that to the March sun and the successful setups we saw in March may not totally apply Sunday night.
Now some other facts to impress your friends while eating far too much red meat this holiday weekend, courtesy of the track’s website:
- The race surface is about 50-60 feet wide. The 1.54 Mile Quad-Oval has banking of 24 degrees on the turns and five degrees on the straighaways.
- The frontstretch is 2,332 feet, and the backstretch is 1,800 feet.
- Jeff Gordon has five wins here, but only has the third best average finish among active drivers.
- Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth have the top five average finishes among active drivers.
- Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte are multiple winners at the track, along with Gordon and Johnson, and Busch.
- Labonte has the 500-mile race record on the track.
- The track is located on 870 acres in Hampton, Ga., just 25 miles south of Atlanta. Depending on traffic, it can take you three days to get there (This is a joke. Atlanta traffic stinks, and it’s a holiday weekend.)
- The track hosted its first race July 31, 1960.
- Bring your ruler. Coolers are allowed if they are 14 inches or smaller on all sides.