After a 2016 season during which its three major races were dramatically affected by wet weather, Texas Motor Speedway will repave its 1.5-mile asphalt surface.
Texas’ fall race was delayed by about six hours after an early afternoon rain shower, and it took that long for the track to dry. After the rain started back up late in the race, NASCAR ended it on Lap 293 of 334, with Carl Edwards declared the winner and advancing automatically into the next round of the Chase.
The track’s spring NASCAR race was delayed by about two hours by rain. It also failed to dry in time to get last season’s IndyCar race started and the race was postponed for several weeks.
There wasn’t a choice but to do this.
Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage
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On the morning of the fall NASCAR race, Gossage said he anticipated repaving the track soon, but didn’t know when. Friday, he said that work will begin Monday and is scheduled to be completed by the track’s NASCAR tripleheader weekend in early April.
While it appears that resurfacing a track is the prudent thing to do, it often isn’t met with approval from drivers. They like to race on an older surface that produces better opportunities to pass and maneuver.
“We always want to please the fans,” said TMS president Eddie Gossage. “The initial response from some drivers is ‘No, I don’t like that.’ But they were all here last year, whether it was NASCAR’s two weekends or IndyCar having to race two months later. They all experienced it. There wasn’t a choice but to do this.”
Gossage also said the track will install a new drainage system and reconfigure Turns 1 and 2, reducing the banking from 24 to 20 degrees and widening the racing surface from 60 to 80 feet.
Earlier this week, Atlanta Motor Speedway (like Texas a Speedway Motorsports Inc. track) also announced a repave that will begin after its NASCAR races in early March. Atlanta was last resurfaced in 1997.