During the break between Stages 2 and 3 of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race and following pit stops, drivers and track officials noticed several chunks of asphalt had come up in the racing groove near the restart zone on the frontstretch.
NASCAR ended up halting the race for nearly 20 minutes while a crew made repairs to the affected area.
Atlanta was last repaved 24 years ago. The track, owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., had talked about a repaving job three years ago but postponed the decision when numerous drivers voiced their displeasure over the move.
As part of the changes planned to begin following this race weekend, the speedway will be narrower than before and have the banking increased from 24 to 28 degrees – higher than any other intermediate track on the NASCAR schedule.
The track width will be decreased from 55 feet to 40 feet in the corners. The frontstretch will be 52 feet wide and the backstretch 42 feet.
The speedway first opened in 1960 and has hosted over 100 Cup Series events.
Once the repair work was completed, the race returned to green on Lap 171 with Kurt Busch in the lead followed by Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and Tyler Reddick.