Tha Sports Junkies 101

Goodbye Atlanta, For Now.

Atlanta 2016 NASCARMedia


Atlanta is about to become your generic 1.5 Mile cookie cutter.

Following Sunday’s race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the track is set to be repaved. This will be the first time in twenty years that one of NASCAR’s best tracks will undergo a repave. The storied race track has put on great races over the past twenty years in NASCAR’s top three series. In these races include some of NASCAR’s all-time great finishes. How could a long time fan of the sport ever possibly forget about the surreal moment that the track provided in the year 2001. Just three weeks after the tragic passing of Dale Earnhardt, his replacement Kevin Harvick driving the #29 Goodwrench Chevy wheeled the car to an emotional victory by beating legend of the sport, Jeff Gordon to the line by just .006 seconds. Or how could anybody forget the final corner pass that Carl Edwards made on Jimmie Johnson to earn his first career victory.

As the track aged it did not hurt the racing, in fact, it only got better. While the finishes may not have been as close, the track provided no shortage of entertainment. In 2011 on a race that was delayed until Tuesday fans that stuck around in the Atlanta area were given an unbelievable late race showdown between two of NASCAR’s greats Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Both cars sliding around looking for grip anywhere on the racetrack that they could find it. Jeff Gordon ended up winning the race which was his 85th career win which cemented him third all-time in wins. It was a duel that you just have to appreciate as a fan of the sport. The track just has a knack for providing great moments.

A lot of the great moments have to do with the tracks worn surface. When the cars are sliding around and hard to drive it’s entertaining for the fans. With the upcoming repave we may not see that type of racing for several years. On a worn out track drivers search for grip from the apron of the track to all the way up next to the wall. On the other hand that just doesn’t happen on tracks that have a new racing surface.

Just look at Kansas before and after its repave. Before it had several grooves from the bottom of the track all the way up to the wall. Now that just isn’t the case for Kansas, with much of the racing taking place in one groove. NASCAR fans saw the same thing when Michigan was repaved. Once a track where drivers could run anywhere, but now seemingly forced to run one groove to be fast. With all things considered Atlanta may just become your generic 1.5-mile oval. So everyone must be ready to say goodbye to the Atlanta they knew and loved… For now.