Kurt Busch hopes to go from last to first at Atlanta

HAMPTON, GEORGIA - MARCH 19: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, drive during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19, 2022 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


On July 11, 2021 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch took the lead from Kyle Busch with 25 laps left and beat his brother to the finish line by 1.237 seconds.

Within hours of Kurt Busch’s victory, track workers at the 1.54-mile speedway began demolition work for the ultimate repaving and reprofiling of the layout.

The result, completed in December, included new asphalt and banking in the corners increased from 24 to 28 degrees. As fast as the track promised to be, NASCAR adopted a reduced-horsepower superspeedway package for Sunday’s maiden NASCAR Cup Series event.

Busch, a four-time winner at Atlanta, was the last driver to win on Atlanta’s degraded asphalt. He would like nothing better than to be the first to win on the transformed venue.

“That would be a dream come true in a sense with this situation,” Busch said Saturday before Cup practice. “Any time you can win—I would call this—an inaugural style event, it’s labeled for a long time.