Just 20 miles south of Atlanta, those with an unwavering need for speed and penchant for revving motors gather to see some daring race care drivers burn rubber at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The speedway in Hampton, Georgia, has been at the epicenter of America’s motor racing industry for nearly 80 years. Formerly called the International Raceway, the sporting venue ranks as one of the top 50 venues for attendance in the world, with the highest reported crowd at the speedway reaching 125,000 people.
Though the track’s most notable event is the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying race, there are many more ways to enjoy the Atlanta Motor Speedway throughout the year.
Here are the five major things to know about the Atlanta Motor Speedway before your next visit:
Must-go event: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race
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For decades, the 1.5-mile oval track’s signature Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race occurred on Labor Day weekend. Now, Georgia’s motor racing community can watch the NASCAR excitement unfold Feb. 22, 2019. The action-packed day of on-track activity features all three national NASCAR’s touring series. The Friday event culminates with NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying to set the field for Sunday's race.
AMS recently opened a state-of-the-art bar for the social racing fans.
AMS officials announced in early 2018 that dozens of grandstand seats would be removed to make way for a standalone bar and hospitality area, according to a previous AJC report.
“The way people experience events is a little more mobile,” AMS president Ed Clark said. “This is a first step for us. You’re going to see our company look at other opportunities and avenues to reach the changing consumer.”
The Restart Bar accommodates approximately 300 people and is equipped with high-top tables, front-row seating, space for games and activities and open-air and indoor quiet areas.
"Our goal at Atlanta Motor Speedway is to provide a winning experience to every customer, every time," Clark said. "The Restart Bar provides a thrilling new option for our patrons to make their attendance at Speedway events extremely memorable."
There’s more to the track than racing cars.
Racing is the main thing, but AMS has become the venue of choice for concerts, markets and more. During the third weekend in September, the speedway will host the popular Imagine Music Festival, which will feature Zeds Dead, Armin Van Buuren and Alesso. Imagine has become one of the country’s top electronic dance music and camping events, so thousands of EDM fans are expected this September.
Looking for a deal? Here’s how to get special prices for AMS tickets.
Students of any age receive a specially-priced Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 ticket price of $19. The event takes place Feb. 24, 2019. Kids 12 and younger can attend the race for $10. For tickets, call 877-9-AMS-TIX.
Attend both races, held Feb. 23, for the price of one race. The day will be filled with practice sessions from all three national NASCAR touring series. For tickets, call 877-9-AMS-TIX.
Military and first responders receive special discounts throughout the year. For more on discounts and ticketing, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.
All parking on the property of Atlanta Motor Speedway is free.
Coming from the north:
Traffic from the north on US Highways 19/41 will turned onto Speedway Boulevard and parked in the Yellow, Red Green and Purple lots.
Coming from the south:
Traffic from the south on US Highways 19/41 will be turned into the AMS Main Entrance and parked in the Blue lot.
Traffic from GA Highway 20 will be parked in the Weaver and Orange lots. Traffic will exit in the opposite direction on the same road as they entered Speedway property.
Though there is a distance between the parking lots and the track, the free AMS tram and bus services begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The service will run until two hour after the conclusion of each day’s events to move patrons around property. Twelve stops are located around property for your convenience.
For more information and full calendar of events, visit atlantamotorspeedway.com.