Rigorous maintenance extends life of 22 year old AMS racing surface
22 years have passed since Atlanta Motor Speedway was last repaved. Since then, the track has endured 22 blistering summers and 22 cool winters, all of which take a toll on the aging asphalt.
If left unchecked the combined efforts of Father Time and Mother Nature would make Atlanta Motor Speedway's surface unsuitable for racing, but from day one the AMS operations department has diligently worked to prevent that from happening.
"Each year we come in about this time of year and we take a look at the track to see what needs to be done to prolong the life of the track," AMS Executive Vice President and General Manager Brandon Hutchison said. "Without our operations staff putting in the hard work they do each fall to keep our Speedway race ready, we would've had no choice but to repave a long time ago."
Efforts to keep the track race-ready have intensified with each year the surface has aged and the Speedway is constantly seeking newer, more effective materials to aid those efforts. This year AMS has started to apply Tixophalte to the cracks in its racing surface for the first time. This newer substance, which has already been put to use at some of Atlanta's sister tracks, is expected to last longer and keep out more damaging moisture during the winter than substances used in the past.
When winter gives way to spring and NASCAR returns for its annual race in Georgia, the work that goes into preserving the slick, worn-out asphalt will perhaps be appreciated most by the racers who consider AMS to be one of the best to race.
"Atlanta Motor Speedway is definitely one of my favorite racetracks," Clint Bowyer said. "The worn out surface is the best; I hate repaves! I get excited when we go there. The speed, how the tires fall off, how you're able to run all over the racetrack make it great."
"It's definitely a handful. It definitely makes you work hard and search around constantly which is a lot of fun," added Ryan Blaney. "I look forward to going back there."
Blaney, Bowyer, and the rest of NASCAR's best drivers will take to Atlanta Motor Speedway's high banks when the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend returns with three days packed full of NASCAR action.
The Atlanta NASCAR Weekend begins with Cup Series qualifying on Friday, March 13 and continues with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series doubleheader on Saturday, March 14. All of this leads to the main event: the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, March 15.
Tickets for the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 can be purchased by contacting Atlanta Motor Speedway at 770-946-4211, 877-9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.