SPARTA, Ky. — The repave wasn’t the only change made to the racing surface at Kentucky Speedway.
It was announced back in early-January that the 1.5-mile facility would undergo its first repave in its 17-year history. In addition, they changed the degree of the banking in Turns 1 and 2, narrowed the width of the turns, improved drainage and added over 3,000 feet of SAFER barrier.
The repave was completed in May. In total, 17,000 tons of asphalt was poured to form the new surface by Ohio Valley Asphalt. The asphalt used is a “standard” racing asphalt mix that’s been tweaked to “age the track” faster.
The finished product was 29,700 feet of added drainage pipes, an addition of 3,200 feet of SAFER barrier for a total of 11,300 feet, all added by Southern Bleacher and Seal Pro. The pit exit lane and apron in Turns 1 and 2 were widened from 14 to 30-feet, Turns 1 and 2 were narrowed from 74 to 56 feet and banking increased from 14 to 17 degrees both of which were done by Baker’s Construction Services.
The changes in Turns 1 and 2 were done because the previous pit exit lane was very narrow and made merging back onto the racing surface difficult.
“Modifying Turns 1 and 2 will present an exciting challenge to the drivers while addressing issues of the track surface, SAFER barrier, and drainage will improve safety, which is always our paramount concern,” said Mark Simendinger, general manager of Kentucky Speedway.
After blistering was seen during a tire test held at the track in mid-June, Goodyear has decided to bring harder tires for use during the race weekend.