Is it time to repave Atlanta Motor Speedway?
I welcome to car stuff. I'm your host Gut Benjamin Ben. I'm Ben Bowling and I am Kurt. Gerron guess what guys we went out. Finally we finally got out in the field. And we're able to do some interviews which I thought was pretty cool. We've done that in the past. Been many many years ago right. We went out to a couple of car shows and things like that right. Yeah Caffeine Octane. We also went to We we've seen some exhibits of some pretty impressive cars. Now when you say you went to the field you and Kurt went to field because I was off doing something. Sketchy which vacation as some actually. Not a vacation. It's probably worked trip right you were. I think you're on the west coast that might have been when you're at the Petersen Museum. Oh yet you know what about your right so I think you were like out cover that we were covering this kind of worked out. Well that you know we're older. Do two things at one time the curtain. I traveled about I guess is what forty five? Maybe an hour south of where we're located right now in this in the studio and we went to Atlanta Motor speedway. And there's an unusual situation. Now call it a situation that really situation. But there's an unusual thing happening at Atlanta Motor speedway. That's not happening at many other. Nascar tracks on the circuit right now and. That's what we wanted to talk about right. That's right Scott. So we went to Atlanta Motor speedway and spoke with Ed Clark. Who's the president there? And we also talk to Brandon Hutchison. He's the Executive Vice President and general manager of Atlanta Motor speedway to get some information about their racing surface. It's very old. And they have very consciously made the decision not to pave it if. I'm not mistaken. Atlanta Motor speedway is either the oldest or the second oldest. I'm not sure track surface on the entire NASCAR circuit right now and that's kind of a big deal because we're talking about a surface right now. That is about twenty three years old. Now put that into perspective. Think about how often you know the the. The local roads are paved he around your area. We're talking about a nascar racing surface that they have left in place for over two decades now and they've talked many times. I'll say threatened but it's not really threatened. They've talked about repaving this many many times. In fact the President Ed Clark and even Brandon talked about many times paving the surface. But what happens every time as they go to the drivers and the drivers say maybe not so fast. Maybe should hold off on because we like coming here. It's a big endeavor to make no bones about it right. The punishing environment of Atlanta is not kind to asphalt. No I mean it's nothing like you know In the north where. There's like the freeze thaw cycle or whatever but Atlanta's got the heat. It's got a lot of heat and there's a lot of rain and apparently from what we garnered from the the interview that will We'll get to later. We're GONNA have a lengthy interview in its entirety in just a moment. I think that rain is one of the major factors in the deterioration of a track. Surface in a lot of times in a water will well up from underneath the track and kind of degrade or a ruin the track that way you know. There's like a like a as I say it percolates through the cracks and the track and when we were at the track Kurt and we'll talk about this in just a moment because I want to talk about the day. We went there and what happened there. This is pretty fascinating is fun but when we actually get to ride on the track and a lot of patches and a lot of it's it's not like it's a perfect surface. They're in no way. In fact it's the opposite. It's re- it's a really patched together difficult service one of the most interesting things that I found was how rough it looks versus. How smooth the actual track is as far as dips and bumps. Year aren't many of those is relatively smooth rolling over. It is just. I suppose. It's just abrasive due to the aware of the asphalt over the years right so you're talking about like when okay. Here's here's what happened and we should just lead into this song. I really do feel like we should because when we got there we were there on a non race day. Of course you know as a as an off day for them and of course there's a lot of operations going on in the office and there's a lot happening there but we had somebody that helped us out on track and able to drive US around a couple of laps and kind of give us a feel for the way the trek felt and we were in. What was it a Chevy Blazer? Maybe a late model. Suv He has a brand new like bright red. It looked like a you know a fire engine red. Suv was pretty cool. But you know. It has a streetcar suspension. So I was thinking like this is a little bit soft anyway will not be able to feel a whole lot but it was surprisingly smooth and we got on the track. I mean it took a long time to get onto the track itself. You know under the tunnel and through the you know. The maze of turns and twists. He had to go through to get onto the track which road course. They have course partially on the road. Course I guess right at that point but table to be able to get on the track and then to be able to go a couple of laughs in the track at maybe I think we were going about seventy or eighty miles. An hour wasn't like top speed or anything but we were able to kind of feel the track surface in looking at it. It looked like it was going to be a lot rougher than it was it in looked like again. I keep saying this word bill is like a patchwork of tar and asphalt patches and it was just. It looks like a mess it really does. Yeah but when you drive on it. It's relatively smooth. I know that that's not a race car. That has almost no suspension. You know as the body flexes about all it's got so I know it's a lot rougher when you're in a race car but we could barely feel anything when.