Heavy equipment was used during the setup and throughout the nationally televised Global Rallycross race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend. (Staff Photos: Derrick Mahone)
HAMPTON — As spectators exited Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday following the Global Rallycross race, track president Ed Clark greeted them.
He wanted to get a feel from the fans about their reaction to the track hosting its first GRC race.
And from the reaction he said he has gotten, it was a hit among the Atlanta area race fans.
“The reaction has been good,” Clark said. “I didn’t hear one complaint.”
This was the first year that GRC has used NASCAR tracks to host their events. AMS is the third of four NASCAR track stops with Charlotte being the last. Tracks in Bristol and New Hampshire have already played host to a race.
GRC president Colin Dyne said he was pleased with the hospitality he got from AMS and the area race fans.
“It was good,” Dyne said following Saturday’s race. “It was a competitive track layout. I think the drivers liked it. The fans were great here with a good turnout. I’m very pleased with the set up.”
AMS begun its cleanup of the track immediately after the race with dump trucks hauling the dirt and gravel away. Clark said that the track will be ready as AMS host its marquee event during Labor Day weekend.
“We will be ready for the race,” Clark said. “These guys (track crew) know what they are doing. Putting on the Labor Day weekend races is a passion for us. This is a busy time of year for us, but everyone looks it.”
The only concern Clark had is making sure that the infield grass is back to its normal look.
“That grass is like gold,” he joked. “We will be in good shape. We are adding some fertilizer on it, and it has been raining pretty good.”
A good part of the track was turned into a dirt track with the GRC setup. The Rallycross drivers seem to approve of the track setup.
Tanner Foust, who finished third at the GRC race on Saturday, said he was pleased with the Atlanta setup.
“It was an interesting setup for the cars,” Foust said. “The sport is young here in America. At every track there are some changes that can occur. If we come here next year, it could be a different setup and a different race.”
Clark met with Dyne late Saturday night to critique how the race weekend went and to start preliminary talks about the possibility of hosting the event against next year.
“It was new and different, and I heard nothing but positive feedback,” Clark said. “We learned a lot and I hope they learned a lot from us. It is a good foundation we had with the crowd, and it is something we can build on. If we host next year, we are hoping people will bring a friend.”
Clark said ticket sales to the Labor Day weekend have been doing well. The AdvoCare 500 figures to be a major player in the Sprint Cup points race.
“We are just about three weeks out, and we still have some things to get done,” Clark said. “We put a few things on hold to get ready for this race. We will be fine. Everything is starting to click.”