Located in Georgia, USA, Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMSB) is one of the historic venues for motorsport in North America. It is best known for hosting the annual NASCAR Cup Series race every April. Nowadays, the track also hosts a variety of other races and events, including the ARCA Menards Series, Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series, and the Atlanta Classic Car Show (ACCS). Additionally, the site works with the Atlanta Bicycle Club to host the Southern Cycle Classic, which is a one-day cycling event that benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. For more than 80 years, AMSB was owned by the Ford Motor Company, but in 2017, it was purchased by Legendary Motor Sports, LLC. As a result, a lot has changed at the track, which has been reviewed in more detail below.
AMSB is a half-mile track that was designed by Eddie Skinner and built in the late 1920s. It is located in the southeast region of Atlanta, just off I-75 and a little over an hour from downtown Atlanta. The track is famous for its sweeping turns and unique blend of straightaways, slow turns, and high speeds around the entire circuit. The layout of the track is quite unique in that it features six separate grooves, which combine to form an S-shape. The curves and the S-shape provide the track with its characteristic heart-stopping and head-turning feel, which are vital for any race fan. Most of the track is banked, which means that it tilts upward, so the drivers have to work harder to maintain their traction while racing here.
The facility itself is known as the Georgia International Horse Park, due to its origins as a horse racetrack. It originally opened in 1927 and was designed by legendary American architect and engineer Alfred Giles. Since its inception, the stadium has been relatively unaltered, with the exception of the addition of the surrounding grandstands in 1956, which doubled the capacity from 20,000 to 40,000. The track is still situated in its original horseshoe configuration, but the stands have been shuffled ever so slightly to make way for additional seating. The trackside stands were renovated in 2010 and feature a unique mixture of brick and stone structures that were modeled after the English cricket stadiums of the 19th century.
The Track Shop
The shop at AMSB is one of the most famous in all of motorsport. The facility was opened in the early 1930s by legendary American car builder Carroll Shelby. It originally started as a motorcycle shop, but has since grown to encompass all areas of motorsport, including Formula One and NASCAR. The current facility is a testament to Shelby’s incredible and famous design ability. The main drag is lined with cars and motorcycles from all eras and makes, and even some aircraft and space vehicles. The building itself features an art deco design with aluminum and glass, which are the same materials used in the famous Shelby “blazing orange” Cobra cars.
Shelby’s own personal collection of vintage racecars and motorcycles is on display outside the track shop. The cars in his collection were all built before 1980, with some dating back to the 1950s. Among the cars, one can find several British icons: the DB5, the Mini Moke, and the XK150. In addition to individual cars, there is also the renowned Shelby Cobra, which was first produced in 1968 and is the result of a year-long project. The original Shelby Cobra 427 car has been completely restored and is now on display outside the track shop. Many consider the Cobra to be the ultimate expression of an American vehicle.
The garage at AMSB features another example of Alfred Giles’ amazing architecture. It was originally built in the 1930s and is one of the few remaining structures at the track that was spared the racing seasons. With its Art Deco styling and curved corners, one can understand why. The structure also incorporates several modernist designs that were quite fashionable at the time. The garage has been host to some of the greatest names in motorsport, including Jimmy Johnson, Al Bundy (father of the “Bundys” from Married With Children), Junior Johnson, and more recently, Dale Earnhardt Jr. It was originally built for heavyweight cars and still features the old engine bays from that era. There are also several restored overhead cranes that are a testament to the track’s manufacturing past. Unfortunately, one of the biggest changes here is that the building’s original function has shifted from garage to hospitality. Many of the structures at the track have now been repurposed for a variety of reasons, including weddings, birthday parties, and corporate events.
Since opening in 1927, the track has been owned by the Chicago Title and Trust Company (CTTC) and then by the Ford Motor Company. The latter company bought it in 1960 and used it as a major testing facility, which was also open to the public. The company sold the facility to a group of investors in 1967. In 1980, Carroll Shelby acquired the track and began a massive restoration project. The following year, the track was reopened and has remained open ever since. Since then, it has undergone several renovations and expansions, including the building of the current trackside amenities. The track also installed a new lighting system with a focus on LED lighting, which is both energy-saving and enhances the night racing experience. The renovations were completed in 2014.
One of the most recognizable landmarks at the track is the infamous “Zipper,” which is a pedestrian walkway that is connected to the track by a tunnel. The walkway was originally called the “Tunnel of Love” when it opened in the 1950s. In those days, fans had to walk through a tunnel to get to their seats, and the walkway was a place for couples to walk before and after the races. The tunnel was named after its designer, Ralph Snyder, who also contributed to the design of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Today, the tunnel is known as the “Zipper” because it provides an interesting shortcut from the trackside to the rest of the facility.
Since the original design of the walkway, several renovations have taken place. One of the biggest changes was the addition of lighting, which not only makes the tunnel safer but also gives it a new vibe. The latest renovation saw the removal of a lot of the concrete that was obscuring the original design and the replacement of the flooring with brick pavers. The walkway has also been closed to cars since 2005, but it will be opening as part of the next renovation project, which will include a new entranceway and a canopy above the tunnel’s entrance.
The History Of NASCAR At AMSB
The history of NASCAR at AMSB dates back to 1927, when the track first opened. Throughout the years, the track has held several different names. It was originally named Savannah Speedway and was later changed to Davis Speedway. When the Ford Motor Company purchased the track in 1960, it was named Ford Speedway. The following year, the track was renamed to its current form, Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMSB). Several races were held at the track before it became a permanent part of the NASCAR schedule. The track was a part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2014 and 2015, although the race was not part of the league’s official schedule at the time.
With its rich racing history and prominent place in American motorsport, it is not difficult to see why AMSB has become such a popular place for people to collect vintage cars and motorcycles. The track continues to host various events throughout the year and has been voted among the top five race tracks in North America by readers of roadtrip.com. It also works with a variety of organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta to host a range of community events. The track is committed to encouraging children and youth to be active and to engage with physical education and healthy eating. Through its involvement in these activities, the track hopes to reduce obesity levels in the community. On the motorsport side, the season begins in March and continues until October or November. The schedule includes five or more races a week, with some of the bigger events attracting up to 100,000 fans.