Tornado hits Atlanta Motor Speedway

UPDATE #2 Nearly one week after receiving a direct hit from an F2 tornado, Atlanta Motor Speedway president and general manager Ed Clark offered his assurance that this fall's NASCAR Nextel Cup event will proceed as planned.

"I'm here to tell you we're going to run that race weekend without a hitch," Clark said. "I talked to NASCAR president Mike Helton (Wednesday), and we will go forth."

As a BMW turned laps around the track, Clark reported that the condominiums and administrative offices that overlook Turn 4 have been deemed structurally sound by engineers. But the suites and some grandstand seats were not so fortunate. "The entire Champions and Earnhardt suite level (on the frontstretch) is pretty much going to have to be demolished and rebuilt," Clark said. "That's one of our biggest challenges." More at The Times Leader

07/07/05 Here are photos from the tornado destruction at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was more extensive than first thought. 07/07/05 At least one tornado spun off from the remnants of tropical storm Cindy and hit Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, causing damage estimated in the $25 to $40 million range.

According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, two of the track’s scoring pylons were toppled, the Weaver grandstand was torn in pieces and the building at start/finish line — housing several condominiums and the speedway’s administrative offices — suffered severe damage.

“We’ll pull together and make it happen," speedway president Ed Clark told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, with the track expected to be ready for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 on October 30.

According to other reports, the speedway’s fifth floor offices have been destroyed and the elevator banks are 80 percent destroyed. In addition, the front straight suites were destroyed the back straight suites badly damaged and the property was heavily littered with debris. RacingOne

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