When NASCAR goes to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, it’ll be the third race weekend on Atlanta’s reconfigured track. Speedway Motorsports changed the 1.5 mile track to make it a smaller version of Daytona and Talladega.
Atlanta got their intended result of pack racing, but some tweaks needed to be made when NASCAR returned. One change was the entrance to pit road. In order to avoid a potential pileup as cars slow up on the Turn 4 banking and turn left on pit road, the commitment line for pit road is now on the apron at the start of Turn 3.
NASCAR Xfinity Series and part-time Cup driver Anthony Alfredo previewed the change on Twitter.
Woah. Pitting at Atlanta will be interesting… pit road commitment line/speed line is on the apron on entry into T3. pic.twitter.com/kUi46322W6
— Anthony Alfredo (@anthonyalfredo) March 13, 2023
Instead of entering pit road off Turn 4, cars will head to the apron from the backstretch and into Turn 3. Cars will slow to 45 mph from Turn 3, drive all the way around Turn 4, and into pit road.
This was a necessary step to decrease the risk of a massive crash, but that’s a very long stretch where a car will be at pit road speed. That’s almost half a lap from the commitment line to the end of pit road near Turn 1. If someone has an unscheduled green flag pit stop, or tries to pit early, there’s a good chance they’ll lose multiple laps. It’s a great improvement, but it might take away some strategy.