Different tire compound to be tested at Kentucky
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Kentucky " Get kids tickets to races Goodyear officials will look to do more than verify the tire package for this year's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway when they hold a two-day test Tuesday and Wednesday at the 1.5-mile track. "We've also got some things to try to actually promote a little more wear on a repaved surface, which is something we haven't been able to do," Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear, told NASCAR.com on Sunday. "The guys have kind of taken a different approach on compound formulation to see if we can't actually generate some wear on what we project to be a fairly smooth surface." Kentucky Speedway will host the Quaker State 400 on Saturday, July 8 and will be preceded by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (July 6) and XFINITY Series (July 7) races. The 1.5-mile track was repaved before last year's tripleheader; a portion of the asphalt has since been replaced. "From my understanding they re-did the top two inches of it; they didn't go down and take up everything, they put a new top coat on," Stucker said of the changes. "We're going to go there with the same package that we raced last year. At the same time, we feel like that was probably conservative. ... We admit it was probably conservative but that's OK, it was a repave and I'd rather be that way than not. "So we'll go back and see how different the surface is -- it's supposed to be the same (asphalt) mix. We're going to verify that." Teams from Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Furniture Row Racing are scheduled to take part in the test. Drivers expected to be on hand are Jamie McMurray (CGR), Austin Dillon (RCR), Kurt Busch (SHR) and Erik Jones (FRR). Two tire tests have been held this season, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway . A test at Michigan was postponed due to weather and has been rescheduled for July 10-11. Because of the date change, the MIS test will now be dealing with potential '18 changes rather than focused on this year's races at the 2-mile track.
Hot Lap: What it takes to get around Charlotte Motor Speedway
Ride along as the official pace car driver for NASCAR, Brett Bodine, takes you for a lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway .
Kentucky Speedway to add layer of asphalt
RELATED: Tire dragon goes to work at Kentucky Kentucky Speedway announced Monday that it will add another surface layer of asphalt to the 1.5-mile track this month. The Bluegrass State circuit underwent a full reconfiguration earlier this year that included a increased banking in Turns 1 and 2, improved drainage, additional energy-absorbing SAFER barrier and a total repave. The work was completed ahead of a tripleheader NASCAR weekend for all three national series July 7-9. "When our team examined the race track, portions of the paving performed earlier this year did not meet the construction specifications," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said in a release provided by the track. "These deficiencies had no impact on this year's racing and would affect only the long-term viability of the surface if left uncorrected. In order to remedy these issues, an additional surface course of asphalt will be applied. The track will cure over the winter and be fully in use in the spring." The speedway indicated that all work would be complete in October. The track hosts two NASCAR weekends on the 2017 schedule, the first for all three national series July 6-8 and a return trip for the XFINITY Series in September.
Fresh racing surface greets drivers at Kentucky Speedway
Officials used a combination of science and common sense when it came to preparing the fresh racing surface at Kentucky Speedway for this weekend's NASCAR tripleheader. An application of lime helped draw the oils out of the new asphalt and expedited the aging process, while a generous helping of soap and water, removed by pressure washing, cleansed the surface before officials trotted out a device to measure the frictional value of the racing surface. The 1.5-mile track will host the Quaker State 400 Saturday (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR), the 18th of 36 Sprint Cup Series events of 2016. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series events are slated for Thursday and Friday, respectively. An off-season repaving project using a coarser type of asphalt will greet teams in all three series this weekend. Following a two-day test at the facility (June 13-14), workers continued preparations by using a device known as the tire dragon to work more rubber into the racing surface, using tires that had come off the cars after the test, in an effort to wear off the "new" and hopefully speed up the process of creating multiple racing grooves. "When we arrived, there was no driving line, no rubber, it was a clean sheet of paper," Jerry Kaproth, Manager, Testing Logistics and Track Engineering for NASCAR said during last month's test. "The goal is not only to allow the rubber to get embedded into the track, but (create) a wide racing groove so we can … get to the point where we're having double-wide racing. We feel very comfortable with what we see. "When we're done … we think it will be a very competitive race track." Officials measured the frictional value, or slipperiness, of the racing surface on several occasions to gauge how much rubber was able to adhere to the surface. Measurements were taken before and after the lime was applied, again once the surface had been cleaned and then again after the first morning session during last month's test. According to Kaproth, officials saw between a five- and 10-percent increase. Several drivers participating in the test said rubber buildup was more noticeable in Turns 1 and 2, which are now banked higher than those in 3 and 4. Kaproth said readings did not indicate any drastic change in the rubber buildup in different turns, but said that "the dynamics of the car handling may indicate that to the driver. "Our readings are pretty consistent," he said. "We break the tracks up into three different grooves -- low, mid and high -- and we average the readings from those three grooves." A key component that will determine how much rubber builds up on the racing surface will be the tires provided by Goodyear for this weekend's races. According to a release from the company, teams in all three series will run the same left-side tires while Sprint Cup teams will have a specific right-side tire for their event. The tire choice was made following last month's organizational test at the speedway and features the same left-side tire code as was used earlier this year at Las Vegas Motor Speedway . The right-side tire is the same, construction-wise, as that which was used at Michigan in June. However, it is a single compound rather than the multi-zone used at several other venues.
Texas Motor Speedway to be repaved ahead of April races
RELATED: Buy tickets for Texas Following a year that saw both its NASCAR race weekends impacted by rain and track drying issues, officials with Texas Motor Speedway have announced a capital improvement project that includes a repaving of the 1.5-mile racing surface, the installation of an expansive drainage system as well as a reconfiguration of Turns 1 and 2. Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said the decision wasn't a difficult one to make "because you always want to please the fans. "I think the initial response from some drivers is no (don’t repave) … but they were all here … they all experienced it. It really wasn't a choice; we need to do this." The spring Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas in 2016 was delayed nearly two hours due to rain; the fall event was delayed approximately six hours, finally started under a green/yellow flag situation and was eventually shortened 41 laps when precipitation returned. The project is expected to be completed by March 1. NASCAR teams are scheduled to return to Texas April 7-9 for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and Cowboy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Gossage said he hoped Goodyear officials would hold a tire test at the track upon completion of the repave. "We are going to strongly encourage Goodyear to test and not just bring a hard tire," he said. "That will be a mistake." However, in a statement released Friday afternoon, Goodyear official Greg Stucker said the tire supplier "will have to bring a new tire set-up" for the race weekend but that "because of the tight schedule, we do not have time to do a tire test." Stucker said that similar changes were made at Kentucky last year, and along with the tire supplier's history over a wide range of track configurations and surfaces, "we will determine the appropriate tire set-up in advance of the event, giving teams plenty of time to prepare." The Kentucky repave project also included a reconfiguration of its first and second turns and drainage improvements. Gossage said that repaving the track also afforded officials the opportunity to drop the banking in Turns 1 and 2 from 24 to 20 degrees, a move that could provide more passing opportunities as drivers should have to lift off the gas and possibly brake more due to the flatter turns. "Hopefully in time as the asphalt ages the drivers will have to stay out of the gas a little longer, hopefully use the brake some in Turns 1-2 and that sets up passing opportunities in the turns, on the back straightaway and of course now you're carrying a different speed through Turns 3-4 and hopefully that creates some passing opportunities on the front straight as well," he said. "A whole lot of different things going on here, but the big thing … that you're not seeing is underneath it is this drainage system. Because we want to make sure that we don't struggle with the issues that weve struggled with last year. It's not fair to the fans." Also, making the changes now means that teams will race on the same surface on both trips to Texas this season, something Gossage said was particularly important given that the fall race is one of the final Chase races. "We didn't want to have two different Texas Motor Speedway s in one NASCAR season, especially when we were the third Chase race from the end of the season," he said. "We felt like you need to have the same track when you're here in April and when you're here in November in the course of a season." No cost estimate was given for the project. Texas is the second track to announce a repaving project this year. Atlanta Motor Speedway , which is also owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., will be repaved following the completion of this year's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 slated for March 5. Graphic courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway
Kentucky Speedway to undergo major renovations
Kentucky Speedway announced Tuesday that it will undertake a multiple-point renovation of its 1.5-mile track, including a full repave, increased banking in Turns 1 and 2 and more energy-absorbing SAFER barrier. The work, which includes improvements to the track's drainage system, will be complete in time for its NASCAR weekend for all three national series July 7-9. The repaving project will mark the first new asphalt for Kentucky Speedway since it opened with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in 2000. The track, which has hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races the last five years, had become known for its character-building bumps in the rough surface. After the renovations are complete, Kentucky may be best known for it asymmetric layout. Turns 1 and 2 will increase their banking from 14 to 17 degrees, narrowing the racing groove in the process. Turns 3 and 4 will remain at their original 14 degrees. "I am excited about the finished product as we wanted to present a unique challenge to the drivers," project manager Steve Swift said, vice president of operations and development for parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. "This design, with Turns 1 and 2 completely different than 3 and 4 accomplishes that goal. The big winner will be the race fan." The track will also seek to improve safety with the addition of 3,200 feet of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction Barrier (SAFER) system, following the lead of several other tracks on the NASCAR schedule. Kentucky also aims to combat drainage issues, specifically "weepers" where water burbles up through cracks in the racing surface. The drainage trouble hampered track-drying efforts during last year's NASCAR tripleheader, which also featured a test day for the new reduced-downforce aero rules package that will be the base setup for the Sprint Cup Series this season.
Rain halts NSCS practice at Kentucky Speedway
Heavy rain at Kentucky Speedway stopped NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Quaker State 400.
Who can dominate the newly paved Kentucky Speedway ?
The 'Loop Dog', Mike Forde, joins SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to give his fantasy advice for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway
Then and now: Kyle Busch's hot lap around Kentucky Speedway
NBCSN's Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton break down a side-by-side comparison of a lap around Kentucky Speedway with Kyle Busch from 2015 and 2016.
Team transporter catches fire coming home from Kentucky Speedway
Joey Gase and Jimmy Means Racing suffered heartbreak after Saturday night's VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway as the team's hauler caught fire on the way home, sustaining serious damage. A crew member was injured while trying to help firefighters, according to the team's post on Facebook about the incident. The team also posted a video on Facebook surveying the damage to the hauler. Along with the video is this summary of the incident and damage: "Unfortunately our trip back home didn't go as well as the race did for us last weekend. The teams transporter caught on fire about 80 miles from the shop & is completely ruined. Everything on our pit box (computers, seats, etc) are all destroyed as well. We haven't been able to get the cars down yet (one we are hoping to use this weekend in Dover) but we are hoping for just smoke damage." Gase later tweeted out pictures of the damage. Pics of the the car from @KySpeedway , we are going to try to get it cleaned up for this weekend in @MonsterMile pic.twitter.com/PxZKIvGPSz — Joey Gase Racing (@JoeyGaseRacing) September 29, 2015 Here are some pics of our the hauler, back up motor, and the pit box pic.twitter.com/LYxH1jXZhS — Joey Gase Racing (@JoeyGaseRacing) September 29, 2015 Well I don't think the car is very white anymore BUT she will be ready to go this weekend at @MonsterMile ! pic.twitter.com/7iVDm0Rlps — Joey Gase Racing (@JoeyGaseRacing) September 29, 2015 We have a Phoenix rising from the ashes for the race this weekend at @MonsterMile ! @Donors1 #LifeCell pic.twitter.com/aPwJ3205ic — Joey Gase Racing (@JoeyGaseRacing) September 30, 2015 Gase finished 21st at Kentucky and is 21st in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings.
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