NASCAR Fans Sound Off, Conflicted on New Atlanta Track

Austin Hill

Getty NASCAR fans have strong opinions about the changes to Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The Xfinity Series returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 9 for a race that featured four cautions for incidents and Austin Hill leading the final 63 laps. This was the second race since Speedway Motorsports converted the track into a mini-superspeedway, and it sparked a wild number of comments.

There were dozens of fans that weighed in after the Alsco Uniforms 250 to provide their thoughts about the new version of Atlanta. Several expressed disdain for the changes and said that SMI had “ruined the track” while comparing it to Kentucky and Texas Motor Speedway. Though others countered and said that they are fans of the superspeedway-style races on the 1.5-mile track.

“Spring was kinda neat but only because it was new. Today sucked,” one AJ Allmendinger fan said after the race came to an end. Another viewer weighed in and said that the Xfinity Series race “was the worst” that they had ever watched. This particular response was a little over-the-top considering that NASCAR dates back to 1949, but it provided a look at the range of responses.

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“I gave it a chance twice I will again tomorrow but personally I’m still disappointed if it was somewhere like Texas where the racing has been lackluster I’d be more optimistic but we took a top 5 track and made it a superspeedway race with hardly and passing,” another viewer commented after watching Hill win his second race of the year.

Some Fans Expressed Appreciation for the Changes

Was it a good decision to change Atlanta Motor Speedway into a mini-superspeedway? There were several fans that weighed in with numerous opinions. Those that despise the changes were the loudest, but several others expressed appreciation for the moves.

Some fans said that they like the way Atlanta races now with some of the similarities to Daytona. One, in particular, called for similar changes at Michigan International Speedway, the two-mile oval that the Xfinity Series will visit on August 6.

One interesting twist on the discussion is that some of the fans said that they really like the changes to the track, but they dislike the horsepower and aero package that the Xfinity Series uses at Atlanta Motor Speedway. These fans called for more power or an entirely different package that will encourage passing and change how the dirty air affects the drivers.

A Cup Series Driver-Owner Also Weighed In

The fans were not the only ones that weighed in during the race. There were some drivers that had comments about the Xfinity Series action. This includes Denny Hamlin, who had a joking comment about the final laps and the overall lack of passing attempts.

The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry responded to a tweet by The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck, who said that there were 10 laps remaining in the race and that the drivers in the lead group were waiting to make a move. Hamlin responded after the race came to an end and said that they were “still waiting.”

Hamlin’s comment was the only one he made, but it started an entirely separate conversation about whether the Next Gen cars would be the same during the Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart. Some fans expressed concerns about the Cup Series race “being a snoozefest” while others pleaded with Hamlin to make moves whenever possible to liven up the event.

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