“Please, please do not repave this racetrack. This is by far the coolest track we race on.”
Those were some of the first words out of Matt Crafton’s mouth after he finished second in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Crafton’s not alone in this sentiment as drivers and retired drivers alike have been pleading with NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports, Incorporated chairman Marcus Smith to leave Atlanta as is instead of repaving it as planned.
Couldn't agree more "PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!" It's never too late! https://t.co/mkfrVgOoLe
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) March 5, 2017
— Matt Tifft (@matt_tifft) March 5, 2017
The track is set for a repave shortly after this weekend’s race, but with what seems to be never-ending pleas by teams to leave the track alone, Smith said on Sunday that holding off on the repave is “something that we’re definitely looking into.”
Atlanta currently has the oldest track surface on the schedule with the last repave coming in 1997 when the track was reconfigured. Despite being due for fresh pavement, drivers like the old, worn-out feel of the track that allows them to slide around, and race hard for position.
Nothing is set in stone, but SMI might be smart to hold off on the repave. The fans are liking the abrasive surface, and so are the drivers.