The complete repaving of Texas Motor Speedway is complete. A fresh and more dryable 1 1/2-mile track is waiting for NASCAR drivers in a few weeks.
NASCAR driver Chris Buescher and IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter joined TMS president Eddie Gossage for a ceremonial first lap with less than a month to go before NASCAR races there April 8-9.
The complete repaving is the first at the track since 2001. The project, which started in January and was finished this month, also included a re-profiling for the first and second turns, and extensive drainage improvements.
In Turns 1 and 2, the banking was reduced from 24 degrees to 20 degrees, and the racing surface was widened from 60 to 80 feet in that area.
Last year, both NASCAR weekends and the IndyCar race at Texas were hampered by rain. That included a 2 1/2-month delay to finish the indyCar race.
Gossage said the old asphalt at the track had become porous, almost like sponge, making it difficult to dry in a timely matter.
Carpenter says he'll be excited to get on the track in an IndyCar. After taking a lap in a pace car March 13, he said the track is a lot smoother, and believes IndyCar may be able to go five-wide through Turns 1 and 2 with the changes there.
— Eddie Gossage (@eddiegossage) March 14, 2017