If Ryan Blaney’s reaction was anything typical Thursday, NASCAR drivers are hopeful, yet wary, of the sealer applied to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s driving surface.
The sealer is intended to create a viable second groove near the top of the track, to make for better racing in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. It’s similar to what was applied at Bristol Motor Speedway, but the two venues are different enough – with Bristol being a short-track and Charlotte a 1.5-mile oval – that it’s an open question how this will work out.
“I know this track needed it and they did a good job of putting into action what they thought was best. Our driver council talked about it.,” Blaney said before practice and qualifying Thursday.
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“I’m interested in what it does, if it helps at night. It was pretty rough around the bottom during the All-Star race. Drivers don’t want that, and fans don’t want to see that. Hopefully with that stuff on top, it will be a little bit better.”
Still there’s a sense of mystery, since the two tracks are so different in size and surface.
“It’s kind of uncharted waters. Bristol is a lot different; a short racetrack where you’re not going as fast on a concrete racetrack. You don’t know how that substance is going to (work) on an asphalt racetrack,” Blaney said.
“At Bristol, we run on the bottom and it works so well on the bottom. Now we’re wondering what it will be like at 200 mph on the top lane. We’re hoping it’s hot enough to stick, and that’s going to be sketchy at first.”
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell