Atlanta Gets Back On Track

HAMPTON, Ga. - Only one week after suffering damage from an F2 tornado, Atlanta Motor Speedway is officially back in business.

Today, Performance Friction Brakes will be using the 1.54-mile oval to test their brake upgrade kit for BMW M3's by performing repeated stops. The test was scheduled prior to last week's storm and is one track rental among many that use the speedway facility approximately 265 days per year.

In addition, Ed Clark, president and general manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway addressed the media with a construction progress update. The track property encompasses 870 acres and the following list of projects will be completed before the Bass Pro Shops MBNA race weekend held October 28-30:

Fencing: Approximately 15 to 20 miles of ornamental and chain link fencing will need to be replaced. The track lost approximately 85 per cent of their chain link fencing.

East Turn Grandstands: The grandstands are in good condition with limited seat damage. Approximately 12 to 14 suites sustained roof damage and are in need of an interior remodeling.

Frontstrech area: This area encompasses the Champion, Earnhardt and Petty Grandstands. The entire suite level will need to be remodeled but the grandstands are in good condition with limited seat damage. The entrance gates will need to be rebuilt.

Weaver Grandstands: The Weaver Grandstand is located on the backstretch. The area is still being evaluated. The suites will be taken down as well as much of the concession area will be demolitioned. A significant amount of seat damage exists.

Condominium and administrative office building: The building was surveyed by structural engineers and deemed sound. The building suffered considerable damage to the roof and many glass windows. The AMS staff was able to return to work in the building starting today, however, they have been moved into temporary offices on the third floor. A number of condominium units sustained damage and the building exterior will require major repair.

Souvenir Warehouse: The souvenir warehouse located outside turn two will need to be rebuilt as it suffered structural damage.

Ticket office and gift shop: This area will require roof and gutter repairs.

Ticket booths: All ticket booths will need to be rebuilt.

Catch fence: This is the fencing that separates the track surface from the grandstand areas. Almost half of the outside portion of the catch fence was damaged.

Lighting: Many of the light poles, both to light the property and the racetrack, were downed and will need to be replaced. In addition, the majority of interior MUSCO reflector lights from turn one to the backstretch will be replaced.

SAFER barrier: Installed one year ago, the SAFER barrier system is made up of steel tubes and pads of hard foam, which are affixed to the speedway's concrete walls to absorb some of the energy that is transferred during a crash. Several areas will need to be repaired.

Garage area: The competitor garage areas received minor roof damage and several garage doors will need to be replaced.

Media center and NASCAR sign-in building: Located in the infield, these two buildings will require roof and interior repair.

Competitor infield camping: All the electrical outlets need to be replaced.

Scoring towers: The turn one scoring tower will be rebuilt before race weekend. The backstretch scoring tower will be taken down. The turn four tower sustained minor damage.

Pedestrian and vehicle tunnels: Both tunnels were surveyed by structural engineers and deemed sound.

Grounds: The property lost many trees and will have to be replanted over the next coming year.

The projects are being assessed for how long each project will take to complete and the construction projects are being scheduled based on priority.

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