Getting a Facelift
Repaving of Sparta track
poses challenge for drivers
Upgrade should create more speed for drivers on the backstretch, track officials say
SPARTA, Ky. – The Kentucky Speedway’s racing surface underwent major reconstruction last spring.
One of the changes that will most impact racing is the banking change in Turns 1 and 2. In NASCAR racing, banking refers to the degree of incline of the racing surface. The steeper the banking the less likely cars will lose lateral grip through the turn, which translates into faster race cars.
Resurfacing of the Kentucky Speedway track was completed last spring.
Turn 1 and Turn 2 banking increases in steepness from 14 degrees to 17 degrees, while Turns 3 and 4 remain at 14 degrees. The new racing surface will be ready for the all-NASCAR July 7-9 triple-header weekend. The weekend lineup will feature the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday, July 9.
For more information or tickets, visit www.KentuckySpeedway.com.
So what does the new banking mean for racing on the new configuration?
1. Faster. Track officials anticipate lap times should fall from previous years, and faster racing will likely make Kentucky even more of challenge than it has been historically.
2. It’s all-new. Crew chiefs and drivers can pretty much throw out their old Kentucky Speedway notebooks. Practice, qualifying and race notes from previous Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts will need to be rewritten. The bottom-line is conquering Kentucky is a completely new challenge.
3. Turns 1 & 2 – Whoa. Anticipated increases in entrance and exit speeds are new factors never dealt with at Kentucky. In previous races, there have been multiple spins on the exit of 2 as drivers get back into the throttle to maximize speed down the 1,600-foot backstretch. Track officials anticipate even more excitement into and out of Turn 2.
4. Turn 3 - Hold On Tight. Turn 3 at Kentucky Speedway is arguably one of the most challenging turns on the circuit. Managing speed through the apex and maximizing momentum into Turn 4 will be a whole new ball game in 2016, thanks to the anticipated increase in speed down the backstretch.
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