The Atlanta Motor Speedway is a permanent sports and entertainment venue located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It is best known for its annual racing season, which runs from April through October. The complex has been host to NASCAR racing events since it opened in 1960, and it currently hosts a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race each year.
The track was originally built for the 1940 Summer Olympics as a part of the Woodruff Park area. Later that year, it was renamed after legendary Atlanta Braves baseball player Warren Spahn. In 2007, the complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The original design of the track called for it to be a 4.916 mile long oval with a standard bank of seating for 105,000 spectators. However, construction was halted in 1942 due to World War II. When the war ended, the track was only 3.9 miles long, and no seating was provided. In 1960, the track was redesigned to its present shape and capacity of 150,000 spectators. The complex also has a museum, known as the Hall of Fame Plaza, that houses the offices of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Atlanta History Center. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Building is one of the city’s most historic buildings.
In 2018, the track was recognized as one of the most successful sports complexes in the U.S. by being named to the Top 50 Most Influential Sports Venues in North America by VenueIQ.
Future Of The Track
In recent years, the track has undergone several renovations, including the addition of a second ticket window on the concourse side and new signage on the wall outside of the grandstand. Future projects that have been proposed for the venue include upgrading the lighting inside the track, adding more modern bathrooms and expanding the menu at the concession stands.
In 2021, construction will begin on a major renovation of the track that will include widening the walkway from the press box to the top deck and adding a new scoreboard and advertising panels. More details about the renovations will be released in the future.
In 2022, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series racing will become an annual event at the track, held in the spring. This will mark the first time that either of those two series have run at the track since 2016.
Most Attended Races
Since its inception, the track has hosted a number of high-profile NASCAR races, including the:
- World 600
- Southern 500
- Gulf Coast Classic
- Carolina Coast 300
- Aaron’s 499
- Coca-Cola 600
- Great American Race
- Halo World Challenge
- Sprint Cup
- Super Bowl
- Darren Carter’s Summer Sprint Tour
- Rocking the Cradle
- Nissan GT 300 Series
- Camping World Truck Series
- Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb
- Nationwide Series
- Kenny Logwood’s Legends Tour
- Nashville Winter Music Festival
- Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame induction ceremonies
- Racing for Relief
- Futuresight Vision Zero Initiative Racing
The Atlanta Motor Speedway celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 2020. To mark the occasion, the track held a special four-race weekend, featuring two Sprint Cup Series races and two Xfinity Series races. The first three races were part of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. The final race of the weekend was the Whelen Champions Club Challenge Cup, an annual exhibition race between drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series. This year’s event was won by Michael Waltrip in his Xfinity Series car.
In 2021, the Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series. The three series will make up the first-ever Triple Crown season for NASCAR. In addition, the speedway will host two-out-of-three races in the NASCAR Whelen Champions Club Challenger Cup, a season-ending event that will crown the NASCAR champion. After 17 years, the NASCAR Cup Series will not return to the track for a standalone race, making the Triple Crown the only chance for drivers to take the checkered flag there. The season opener will be the Southern 500, a famous NASCAR race that is considered the third-largest track event in the U.S. The day before the Southern 500, the Camping World Truck Series will make a one-off stop at the speedway for the annual Ford 300. This will be followed by the Xfinity Series race on Saturday evening and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday.
In 2022, the Atlanta Motor Speedway will continue to host the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series. In addition, it will host four NASCAR Whelen Champions Club Challenger Cup races, bringing the number of standalone races at the track to 12 on the season calendar. The speedway will also host the ARCA Menards Series race on Saturday night, followed by the Sunday afternoon Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. The week after the race, the Xfinity Series will visit for the annual GMC Supersport Photo Shootout, an exhibition-style racing event that allows photographers to get close-ups of the drivers and cars. The final event of the week will be the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, followed by the Sunday afternoon Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
In 2023, the Atlanta Motor Speedway will continue to host the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series. In addition, it will host five NASCAR Whelen Champions Club Challenger Cup races, making the single-day event a six-race card. The speedway will also host one NASCAR ARCA Racing Series race and the Food Truck Series on Friday night, followed by the Sunday afternoon Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Most Liked And Least Liked Races
Since 2010, the speedway has ranked No. 2 on the National Register of Historic Places’ list of Most Influential Sports Venues. According to a 2019 Sports Venue Analytics study, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is the second-most successful sports venue in North America, based on average ticket prices.
Here is a breakdown of the top ten most-liked and least-liked races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, based on social media sentiment gathered from fans across the site.
- Most Liked
- Southern 500 (2020)
- Darren Carter’s Summer Sprint Tour (2020)
- Nashville Winter Music Festival (2020)
- Camping World Truck Series (2020)
- Super Bowl (2020)
- Halo World Challenge (2020)
- Nationwide Series (2020)
- Kenny Logwood’s Legends Tour (2020)
- Nissan GT 300 Series (2020)
- Rocking the Cradle (2020)
- Least Liked
- Aaron’s 499 (2019)
- Halo World Challenge (2018)
- Nashville Winter Music Festival (2019)
- NASCAR Cup Series (2019)
- Sprint Cup (2019)
- Rocking the Cradle (2019)
- Darren Carter’s Summer Sprint Tour (2019)
- Super Bowl (2019)
The fan-favorite races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway include the: