At 3 p.m. today, the Bruton Smith Parkway (the newly realigned GA Hwy. 20) officially opened. Named after Atlanta Motor Speedway Chairman Bruton Smith, the four-lane parkway spans approximately ten miles and runs from exit 218 off I-75 directly to the speedway.

Smith, Governor Sonny Perdue and DOT commissioner Harold Linnenkohl participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the highway to vehicular traffic.

Linnenkohl has been involved with the road construction project since its inception.

"It is not only a great day for Henry County, it is a great day for this race track and it is a great day for Georgia," said Linnenkohl. "This is a project that people have been working on for as long as 12 years. Groundbreaking and ribbon cutting are the two best days in the life of a commissioner. We love to see a project when it has been completed."

Governor Sonny Perdue realizes the impact this new road will have for race weekend traffic as well as the overall benefit for daily commuters in Henry County.

"This is a great example of the Field of Dreams. Build it and they will come," said Perdue. "You built it, they came; they just didn't have much of a way. But now they do. And this is a great way to get to this track.

"Thank you for running a great show out here," said Perdue. "We are all going to come and enjoy another wonderful event as NASCAR continues to grow. We are proud that the state of Georgia has the opportunity to host two races here at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I think it can be said that not even a tornado can stop this place out here."

Smith knows the addition of the new four-lane Georgia Highway 20 is one of the most significant improvements in the history of Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"This is a great day for me," said Smith. "The Bruton Smith Parkway is great for the county, the surrounding counties and the hundreds of thousands of race fans that come here. We have people that come to this speedway from every state in the United States and I think that once people find out they have another way in and out of here, we might get some people from some other countries as well.

"NASCAR is the fastest growing sport in the world and there is not a speedway as great as this one" said Smith. "This is the greatest speedway as far as racing is concerned that I know of in the world. If you've been here and have seen the races, you know."

The new Georgia Highway 20 joins Georgia Highway 19/41, which runs south from I-75 Exit 235, as the two main event traffic routes to Atlanta Motor Speedway.

In preparation for the new Georgia Highway 20, Atlanta Motor Speedway officials have made many improvements to entrances and parking areas, including the addition of shuttle vehicle loops around the speedway and to on-property camping areas. Fans attending the upcoming race weekend are encouraged to follow the direction of speedway parking crews to parking areas and either ride the Nationwide shuttle vehicles or walk to their seating areas via new sidewalks surrounding the speedway.