Rumor: Atlanta Motor Speedway to be reconfigured

As Atlanta Motor Speedway returns to two annual stops on the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021, the race expansion is tied into an ambitious future for the track that includes a repave and “reprofiling” of its 1.54-mile surface.

Speedway Motorsports president and CEO Marcus Smith said the plan remains to attract a $1 billion casino and entertainment complex that would be built adjacent to the track located in Hampton, Georgia, about 40 minutes south of downtown Atlanta.

Before its 1997 repaving and reconfiguration into a “quad-oval” layout similar to Charlotte Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, Atlanta had a more traditional oval shape a la Homestead-Miami Speedway.NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others have lobbied to return Atlanta to its original oval layout.

Since Homestead (which originally was created as a 1.5-mile version of Indianapolis Motor Speedway) was redesigned and repaved with progressive banking in 2003, the South Florida track largely has been regarded as a gold standard for intermediate track racing in NASCAR.

There has been Twitter buzz that some of AMS’ casino complex renderings indicate a return to its former layout (without swapping the front and back straightaways as in the original configuration).

There also is speculation about whether a repave could include reconfiguring Atlanta as a new NASCAR short track (as has been proposed for 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California).

See more at NBC Sports.