The 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion has just provided an up-close look at the repaved Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kurt Busch filmed a video of the new track configuration as he completed a lap in a Toyota pace car at 70 miles per hour.
Busch posted the video on his social media channels, which included some narration. He started low and then moved up to the high groove, just like Cole Trickle from “Days of Thunder.” Busch added that the turns are much sharper after the significant changes that took place to prepare for the 2022 Cup Series season.
“This is not the same AMS that we raced on last summer,” Busch said as he took a lap around the Georgia track. “This is insane! Just the feel and the difference. Here’s the front straightaway, down into Turn 1. The banking is just so steep.”
Busch Joined Multiple Drivers at a Goodyear Tires Test
The 23XI Racing driver was one of the many NASCAR competitors that headed to Atlanta Motor Speedway to kick off the new year. He joined Chris Buescher of RFK Racing and Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing as the three Cup Series drivers tried to find the best tire setup for the two trips to AMS.
The Cup Series drivers were not the only ones that took part in the Goodyear tests. Multiple competitors from the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series headed to the track on Tuesday, January 4, to provide their own feedback about the best tire setup.
Justin Allgaier (JR Motorsports), Ty Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing), and Riley Herbst (Stewart-Haas Racing) all represented the Xfinity Series and their respective OEMs while taking laps around the reconfigured track. John Hunter Nemechek (Kyle Busch Motorsports), Grant Enfinger (GMS Racing), and Tanner Gray (David Gilliland Racing) all represented the Truck Series.
The Cup Series drivers have taken part in numerous tests to prepare for the 2022 season, but the trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway marked the first big session for the Xfinity Series and Truck Series OEMs. This session will play a critical part in the upcoming races as the national series adjust to a wildly different track.
The Test Sessions Marked the Debut of New Truck Bodies
The focus of the January 4 test was to find the best tire setup for the Xfinity Series and Truck Series races, but it also marked a major moment for the three OEMs. Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota showed off the new 2022 bodies that their respective vehicles will use during the Truck Series season.
All three OEMs provided some glimpses of these new vehicles late in 2021, starting with Ford. Toyota even sent Kyle Busch out onto Las Vegas Motor Speedway before a race on September 24. Rowdy drove the white Tundra TRD Pro around the desert track and showed it off for the fans.
However, the January 4 test marked the first time that all three of the new bodies made laps at speed around a track. Fans were not able to attend and see the vehicles in person, but the AMS Twitter account provided some very fast, blink and you’ll miss it, looks at the vehicles.
The new Truck Series bodies will officially make their debut during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. The drivers will first practice on Thursday, February 17, before returning to the superspeedway on Friday, February 18, for qualifying and the season-opening race.
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