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CATEGORIES (articles) > American Motorsport > Race Circuits > Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Circuit

Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Circuit

Atlanta Motor Speedway
Location Hampton, Georgia
Track length 1.54 miles (2.48 kilometres)
Track shape Quad-Oval
Banking Turns - 24°
Straights - 5°
Major events NASCAR Nextel Cup, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Capacity 125,000
Address 1500 Tara Place, Hampton, Georgia, 30228
Owner Speedway Motorsports, Inc.

Atlanta Motor Speedway is a superspeedway in Hampton, Georgia, USA, 20 miles (32 km) south of Atlanta. It is a 1.54-mile (2.48 km) quad-oval track with a seating capacity of over 125,000. It opened in 1960, and added 46 condominiums over the northeastern side of the track in 1994. The track was almost completely rebuilt in a project that was completed in 1997, becoming one of NASCAR's fastest tracks in the process.

Other highlights of the facility are a quarter-mile track between the pit road and the main track for Legends racing and a 2.5-mile (4 km) FIA-approved road course. In 1994, the speedway hosted the Countryfest concert, attracting over 200,000 fans.

For most of the 1990s and 2000s, the track has boasted the highest speeds on the NASCAR circuit, with a typical qualifying lap speed of about 193 mph (311 km/h) and a record lap speed of over 197 mph (317 km/h). In 2004 and 2005, the similarly designed Texas Motor Speedway saw slightly faster qualifying times, but as the tracks' respective racing surfaces have worn, qualifying speeds at Atlanta have again become consistently faster than at Texas (2005 and 2006). ([1] cup/) The circuit has two tracks, the longer Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway, that were once much faster than Atlanta, with lap speeds usually exceeding 200 mph (322 km/h), but restrictor plates were mandated for use on those tracks in 1988 after Bobby Allison's violent crash at Talladega the year before, reducing average lap speeds to about 190 mph (306 km/h). NASCAR does not currently require restrictor plates at Atlanta.

In early September 2004, AMS found an unexpected use: as a shelter for evacuees from Florida fleeing Hurricane Frances. While there were no indoor facilities available, visitors waited out the extremely slow-moving storm parked in their recreational vehicles, after creeping along for hours in traffic on nearby Interstate 75.

In 2005, the speedway received heavy damage on the evening of July 6, caused by an F2 tornado spawned from the remains of Hurricane Cindy. Roofs and facades were torn off buildings and the track was covered in debris from the tornado, which the National Weather Service confirmed the next day to have had winds of 120 to 150 MPH (195 to 240 km/h). A 50-foot (15-meter) scoreboard tower was knocked down, and others were leaning over, as were many tall lamp posts. Several units at the speedway condominiums were damaged. (Five of the 48 units are regularly occupied.) Everyone managed to get out safely, and there were no injuries reported, in large part because it struck late (9:30PM) on a non-race night. Officials estimate the complex suffered 40 to 50 million U.S. dollars in damage, which may or may not include the Tara Field airport next to it. Despite this, it opened in time for the next major race. ([2] 482561.html) ([3] 3744894)

The damage was severe enough for the track, however, to demolish the main Weaver and Ford Grandstand which had stood in place from its 1960 construction; a smaller (13,000 seat) grandstand on the frontstretch will been added, but the track is removing seats, as sellouts have been rarer since the track lost its prestigious championship decider.

See also: list of NASCAR race tracks

Current races

  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Golden Corral 500
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500
  • NASCAR Busch Series - Nicorette 300
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - John Deere 200
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200
  • International Race of Champions - Round Four


  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying: Geoffrey Bodine, 28.074 s (197.478 mph), 1997
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Race (500 miles): Dale Earnhardt, 3 h 3 min 3 s (163.633 mph), November 12, 1995
  • NASCAR Busch Series Qualifying: Greg Biffle, 28.830 s (192.300 mph), 2003
  • NASCAR Busch Series Race (300 miles): Mark Martin, 1 h 58 min 55 s (151.751 mph), March 8, 1997
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying: Rick Crawford, 30.339 s (182.735 mph), 2005
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race (200 miles): Ron Hornaday, 1 h 27 min 35 s (142.424 mph), March 18, 2005

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CATEGORIES (articles) > American Motorsport > Race Circuits > Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Circuit

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