Is It Raining At Atlanta Speedway? [Updated!]

I’m pretty lucky, I live in the south, so it doesn’t take long for me to find out when it’s raining. Since I moved here, I’ve only found out about a couple of times when it wasn’t raining where I was, but it was raining somewhere else. It’s a strange feeling not being able to tell whether it’s going to rain or shine because you never know which weather conditions are going to be prevalent where you live. You get used to it though, it’s something that you have to get used to.

Turn One

When I first drove the 1.5-mile (2.4km) concrete oval in May 1989, I didn’t know what to expect. As a sixteen-year-old driver, this was my first exposure to professional motorsport, and I was a little intimidated. In fact, this was the case for a lot of the people who showed up for the first race. This was also the case for a couple of the guys who were driving for Hootie Howard, who owned the track. He was a larger-than-life figure who was renowned for his orangutang costumes. After the race, Hootie came out to talk to the fans and said he was really impressed with how the drivers drove._

_It was a wet, cold, and windy day, and Hootie seemed genuinely pleased that the drivers braved the weather conditions to race. Even back then, I was determined to race every week, regardless of the weather, and that’s something I still do today. Nowadays, the track is a lot more pleasant to drive because it’s been resurfaced and has a lot more grip. Back in the day, you had to watch out for puddles and standing water on the track, but now it’s just a problem of mistaking where the wet areas are so it doesn’t affect your race too much. Even now, it’s still a race track, and there’s a lot more standing water during the summer months because it doesn’t dry off quickly like it used to. That’s part of the beauty of it, there’s always something new to learn about driving in the rain, whether you like it or not.

The Restroom

The other thing I remember about the first few races at Atlanta was the restrooms. Like the rest of the track, they were very basic with just a few seats and no dividers. I guess the idea was to keep the costs down, but back then there were no pads or towels provided, just toilet paper. You were expected to bring your own supplies for the restroom because there were no lockers available. The track didn’t even have any paper cups to give you, so you had to bring a water bottle or travel cup with you. Nowadays, there’s a little more privacy to be found in the rest rooms because there’s no longer just one small stall for the entire team. They still don’t have any lockers though, so you have to leave your motorcycle helmet hanging on the hook and remember to pack your gloves and boots when you leave the garage.


Back when I first started racing in the United States, you would often end up camping out for the night before the race. Since then, things have changed a bit, but at the Indy 500 in 1996, you still had to camp out. These days, you usually have a hotel room booked right next to the track, especially if you’re coming from out of state or out of country. It still sometimes happens that you show up at the track and there’s no room in the hotel, but you can always find camping spots on the side of the road. I guess it depends on the state of the country where you are, whether you’ll find gas stations that will let you stay or feed you, etc. If you want to camp, please remember to bring a tent and all the necessary gear because it gets cold at night and the weather can be unpredictable. You could get soaked camping, so be careful.

The Food

Another thing that I remember about the early days at Atlanta is the food. For the most part, it was unhealthy fast food, chicken tenders, and french fries. There wasn’t a whole lot of choice other than that. Once you got used to driving there, you would get a lot more variety in your food offerings, especially since the prices had come down. There would still be greasy spoons around, but there was also a lot more choice than there used to be. Nowadays, the variety is still there, but it’s limited compared to what it was back in the day. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, the price fluctuations have made it more affordable for the fans to eat what they want instead of having to settle for what was available. For those who can still remember racing at Atlanta and considering it as a possible future home, I think they’ll enjoy the changes that have been made. It’s still a concrete oval, but it’s a lot more pleasant to drive now than it was in its early days (mostly due to the resurfacing job).

The Location

One of the things I like most about Atlanta is that it’s located in the middle of nowhere. It used to be the case that if you were going to see a movie at the nearby Cobb County Center, you would normally have to pay for parking, but that’s not the case anymore. Besides, with movie theaters going digital, it’s now easier to stream movies than it is to find the physical copies in local libraries. The only people who live near the track are the ones who work there, and the odd neighbor who has a cabin nearby. It’s a peaceful place to be, and it gives you that extra boost of adrenaline when you hear the noise of motorsport engines revving at all hours of the day. It can be a perfect place to go for a drive, especially if the weather’s good and it doesn’t rain too much. Even during the summer, it gets very hot and muggy, so the air feels thick and almost steam-like, which makes it feel like it’s raining without any precipitation. That’s a beautiful thing about the location, you can’t beat being able to see the sunset while taking a drive or a walk around the neighborhood. It really is a perfect place.

The Weather

Last but not least, I want to touch on the weather, something we always seem to talk about on this board. Personally, I love running around outside in the rain. I grew up in a small town in New Zealand, and it rained every day, so I got used to running around in the rain as a kid. It’s not that I like to go bonkers and drive in the rain, it’s just that I enjoy being outside and smelling the air. The only reason I don’t do it as often as I used to is because I don’t want to get wet, so I usually wait for the sprinklers to come on before going outside. That way, I can at least walk around the house without getting wet. It’s weird, I remember when I was young and it would just pour down rain without ever stopping, and now that I’m older and wiser, I appreciate the weather patterns more. I guess I appreciate the rain more because I know what causes it and can avoid being caught out in it (mostly), which is something I think we can all relate to.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!