Atlanta Motor Speedway postpones repaving

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's Ford, and Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, lead the field to start the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 5, 2017 in Hampton, Georgia. (Getty Images)

NASCAR will get at least one more race on the old surface at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The speedway announced Tuesday that the repave of the 20-year-old 1.54-mile racing surface has been delayed “at least” until after its 2018 NASCAR weekend.

The announcement comes weeks after drivers spoke out during the March 5 race weekend about wanting to keep the old surface.  Drivers love the abrasive surface that creates tire fall off.  The track said Tuesday that the decision to delay the repave comes after an in-depth review and exhaustive consultations with NASCAR, Goodyear, race teams and drivers.

“We appreciate all of the input we have received from key individuals in the NASCAR industry, as well as our customers,” said Ed Clark, Atlanta Motor Speedway president. “The overwhelming majority have urged us to hold off on paving so that we can enjoy at least one more weekend of high-speed slipping and sliding in 2018 before the new surface is installed.”

After originally announcing plans to resurface in January, AMS said it will continue a meticulous maintenance program in an effort to maintain the surface and prevent further deterioration. Additionally, patch work on the current asphalt will be completed where necessary. Track officials will reevaluate its condition following the 2018 triple-header NASCAR weekend and determine then whether to resume the resurfacing plans, which called for new asphalt to be lain over top the current surface.