AMS officials announced the news with a press release on Monday, December 13. The release confirmed Fr8Auctions’ return as the title sponsor and revealed that the Truck Series race will now be 208 miles instead of 200 as in years past. The race will also feature the new name of the Fr8 208.
“When I saw the new Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time, I knew we needed to do something special with the first race,” said Fr8Auctions founder Marcus Barela in a statement. “Partnering with our home track has been a great opportunity to generate awareness of our auctions, and we’re excited to deliver eight more miles of thrills on this all-new speedway in 2022!”
The new race will task the drivers with completing 135 laps around the new, banked configuration of the 1.54-mile track. The Fr8 208 will kick off a Saturday doubleheader on March 19, 2022, which will also feature the Nalley Cars 250 Xfinity Series race.
Speedway Motorsports Announced the Changes in July
The Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart on July 11, 2021, marked the end of an era at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch won the race after a wild battle with his brother Kyle and became the last driver to reach Victory Lane in the current configuration.
This battle at AMS took place after Speedway Motorsports announced major changes. The company revealed in a press release on July 6 that they would repave the track for the first time since 1997 and make major changes in the process. Chief among them was increasing the banking on the turns.
According to the press release, the past turns featured 24 degrees of banking. This number increases to 28 degrees as part of the reconfiguration. Additionally, the width of the turns will decrease from 55 feet to 40 feet.
Another significant change unveiled in the press release focused on the straight portions of the track. The frontstretch will now only be 52 feet wide while the backstretch will be 42 feet wide.
“As Atlanta’s racing surface has aged, we’ve challenged ourselves to reimagine what NASCAR racing at an intermediate track can be,” said Marcus Smith, Speedway Motorsports President and CEO, in a statement on July 6. “With high banks in the turns, narrower width and new pavement technology, Atlanta will be unlike any other mile-and-a-half track on the circuit. It’s all new for ’22 and this will be specifically designed for close, competitive racing.”
Crews Have Continued To Work on the Reconfiguration
The video revealing the new name of the Truck Series race is only the latest glimpse at the revamped AMS racing surface. The track’s social media team has provided a multitude of photos and videos showing the work in progress.
Some of the earlier posts showcased the construction crews as they conducted the asphalt milling (grinding away the racing surface with a special milling machine) and prepared to add the stone base. Other updates showed the first layer of asphalt going down.
The updates continued throughout the summer and fall before AMS provided a big piece of news. The track’s social media team posted a video on December 3 that showed the top layer of pavement going down. This was one of the final steps that set the stage for the national series races in March.
“I know our fans will enjoy the extra racing we’ll have on our revamped speedway thanks to Marcus Barela and Fr8Auctions,” said Atlanta Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager, Brandon Hutchison, in a statement on December 13. “Never before has an intermediate track challenged NASCAR racers with high-banks as steep as ours, so we know the action that we’ll see for the first time in March will be one-of-a-kind.”