The NASCAR Cup Series heads back down south for a second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. The track will host Sunday’s Quaker State 400, the 21st race of the 2021 season. For the first time since 2010, the Hampton, Georgia track is hosting a second race weekend in the same season. Read on for an overview, history and full Atlanta Motor Speedway weekend schedule for the track with the oldest surface on NASCAR’s circuit.
Atlanta Motor Speedway Overview
Atlanta Motor Speedway opened in 1960 in Hampton, Georgia. The 1.54-mile track has hosted races every year since then and had two different NASCAR Cup Series race dates up until 2010. In 2011, the track lost its spring race to Kentucky Speedway with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 moving up from the fall to the spring half of the annual schedule. 2021 sees Atlanta gain that second race back in the form of this weekend’s Quaker State 400. Meanwhile, Kentucky has fallen completely off the NASCAR schedule this year.
The track used to be a regular oval. That all changed after Speedway Motorsports bought layout back in 1990. Seven years later, they switched around both the front and backstretch and made the track into a quad-oval. The 1997 renovation to Atlanta Motor Speedway was also significant in that it marks the last time that the track has been paved. 2021 marks NASCAR’s 25th season of racing on the current surface. It is the oldest surface of any current track on the series circuit.
As one can imagine, the lack of recent paving spells doom for tires during races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The tires on this track wear so badly that Fox Sports NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds once took a cheese grater to a tire in a demonstration to help show just how much damage the track does to tires. Needless to say, Atlanta Motor Speedway is ready to produce another great race and the drivers are ready to try to handle it. The keyword being “try”.
Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Repave
On Tuesday, July 6, Atlanta Motor Speedway announced that they would be repaving and reprofiling the track after the Quaker Stake 400 on Sunday. This means that every current oval on the NASCAR schedule has been paved this millennium. Rumor has it that a casino might also be added to the grounds as part of the upcoming renovation.
Spring Race Recap
Back in March, Atlanta hosted the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. In a race that Kyle Larson absolutely dominated, in a surprising twist he did not get the win. Ryan Blaney would steal the win in the closing laps to get his first win of the season.
NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway | Weekend Racing Schedule
Credit Karma Money 250
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2021
Start Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
Distance: 250 miles
Quaker State 400
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2021
Start Time: 3:30 P.M. EST
Distance: 400 miles