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Newhampshire News Online

Fast cars, cold weather, few fans for Atlanta’s new NASCAR date

Fast cars, cold weather, few fans for Atlanta’s new NASCAR date

Kevin Harvick was on a multi-topic roll. A discussion of the convergence of mechanical engineering and sports marketing. Not a problem. It’s Atlanta. It works. That Cup cars were speedier at Atlanta Motor Speedway than conventional wisdom suggested following NASCAR mandates that reduced horsepower and downforce? The defending series champion had the explanation.635607329960961884-USP-NASCAR-Folds-of-Honor-QuikTrip-500-Qualifying

“When you slow them down, going down the straightaway, they’re going to get faster through the center of the corner,” said Harvick, who won his first career race here in 2001 and led 195 laps last fall before finishing 19th. And then a dissertation on Atlanta as a market, as the scant few who attended Cup qualifying on Friday vacated the cavernous premises.

“You know what? I hope they have a phenomenal weekend because this is one of the greatest race tracks on our circuit,” Harvick said. “You hear a lot of talk about a lot of different things and crazy things happening and the weather being as cold as it’s going to be this weekend. This is one of the greatest race tracks that we race on. It produces some of the best racing and this race track needs to stay on our schedule because it’s a great place to race.” Carl Edwards said Atlanta, with 24-degree banks and long sweeping corners conducive to speed, is a “big, fast, scary race track,” even compared to Daytona International Speedway, where teams spent ten days in preparation for the season-opening Daytona 500.

“The first couple of laps here are pretty exhilarating to be honest with you,” Edwards said. “You’ve got to catch your breath, because you drive down the corner here and you’re not flat on the floor just picking the best line. You’ve got to drive the car down in the corner, manhandle it, slide it sideways and deal with all the balance and things like that. It takes a couple to get used to this place and get comfortable.”