In the wake of the F-2 tornado that passed through Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 6, speedway officials have taken the opportunity to make numerous improvements as part of the extensive rebuilding process.

"We are accentuating all the positives as we rebuild," said Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark. "Our goal is to make our facility an industry leader in terms of fan-friendliness and accessibility. Through this misfortune, we will come through it with an even better speedway than before."

Sidewalks have been installed around the speedway's perimeter, to give fans a walking area out of the roadways, which will ease the traffic flow around the speedway.

Shuttle stops have also been added around the perimeter of the speedway. Trams and buses have been added to transport fans from camping and parking areas to their grandstands.

In addition, a new Gate One ticket booth has also been added to expedite fans entry into the main grandstand area of the speedway and several other gates have been widened and made more accessible.

Over 49 acres of unreserved camping has been added to the speedway's inventory for the October race weekend. The new spaces have been graded with campers needs in mind and offer a tree-lined backdrop.

The largest difference fans will notice is the addition of the Georgia Highway 20 extension, a four-lane divided highway that runs from the speedway to I-75, scheduled to open in early October.

"The Georgia Highway 20 extension will provide a second primary traffic route to the speedway and will add significant capacity for both incoming and outgoing traffic," Clark noted.

To coincide with the Highway 20 addition, parking areas around the speedway have been improved with better access, drainage and spectator and vehicular flow.

"We are proud of our fan-friendly additions and are even more proud of the job everyone has done here with reconstruction efforts to ensure a successful race weekend in October," Clark said.

With just over one month remaining until the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 race weekend, the list of items that still need attention is growing shorter by the day.

The suite level of the Champions and Earnhardt grandstands is on schedule and the remaining glass in the Earnhardt suites will be replaced this week. The roof is complete and all of the roof top air conditioning units are in place. The interiors of the suites will be the main focus in the closing weeks.

The East Turn suites sustained minimal water damage and the roof was partially damaged. The roof has been repaired and carpet is being installed. The East Turn suite level will be completed by September 16.

Over 9,000 seats in the Weaver grandstand were damaged and approximately 6,500 will be repaired in time for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.

The major buildings in the infield will be ready for the September 17-18 NOPI Nationals Motorsports Supershow. All other buildings will be repaired prior to the October NASCAR race weekend.

Interesting facts:

  • · As many as 460 workers have been on property in a single day. · Construction crews are working 18-hour days to complete projects. · Over 25,000 meals have been served to construction workers on property since the storm. · 47 days until race weekend.
  • Great seats are still available for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 race weekend and are available by calling 770-946-4211 or 877-9AMSTIX. Fans can also visit the AMS ticket office to place their orders and get a sneak peek at the reconstruction efforts. In addition to working with an AMS ticket agent, fans can also order tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.

    Video images are available through NASCAR's weekly video news release on Wednesday, September 7 from 4:00pm - 4:30pm ET. SATELLITE COORDINATES: Intelsat A-6 (C-band), Transponder 16, Downlink Frequency - 4020-Horizontal Audio 6.2, 6.8. For technical information, contact NASCAR Images (704) 527-4152.

    Before and after photos are available upon request. Please contact Dave Mullison at davem@atlantamotorspeedway.com or 770-707-7980.