One thing about NASCAR is that the sport is constantly evolving, and one such evolution was the reconfiguration of the mile and a half Atlanta Motor Speedway into a high banked superspeedway. The best way to think of the action we saw at Atlanta this weekend was to think of it as diet restrictor plate racing. The high speeds of plate tracks were still present with just enough carnage and chaos to satiate casual fans.
Going into the race there were mixed opinions on Atlanta Motor Speedway being completely reconfigured. Some drivers were receptive to the change. Many others, however, were completely opposed to the idea. As for the on-track product, the action saw plenty of speed, side-by-side action, and crashes. All of which are ingredients for a compelling race weekend.
After this weekend, it may be fair to wonder if other superspeedways may follow Atlanta’s lead and undergo radical reconfigurations of their own. Auto Club Speedway, which is a bigger facility, is rumored to be completely changing their track from a two-mile high-speed oval into a half mile short track. Charlotte Motor Speedway has turned their superspeedway into a roval for their October date. Could another track or two be willing to change things up as well?
At the end of the day, however, the biggest drive for change and upheaval in NASCAR has been to give fans something to sink their teeth into. It’s safe to say that Atlanta Motor Speedway more than delivered in their first test of their new look. The roval in Charlotte has also been a hit with fans. If I was a promoter of a mile and a half facility like Texas Motor Speedway or even the currently dormant Kentucky Motor Speedway, I would certainly take a long look at something outside the box to make my race track stand out from other “cookie-cutter” type of facilities.