Another old surface bites the dust.
Kentucky Speedway said Tuesday it was repaving the track. The new pavement will be in place before the speedway's July Sprint Cup Series race date and more SAFER barriers will be installed at the track.
As part of the "renovation," the track will also reconfigure turns 1 and 2 to make them different from turns 3 and 4. The repaving is to help with weepers, which are caused when water seeps up through cracks in a worn track surface.
"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," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said in a statement.
While there will undoubtedly be woe about the loss of Kentucky's old surface, it's a move that would have had to be made at some point, especially since weepers aren't a problem that get better with time without repaving. The track has also been known as one of the bumpiest in the Cup Series and Kentucky has even replaced some of the asphalt on the frontstretch trioval to alleviate the issue.
The wrinkle of making one set of corners different from another one is a fun one too. Darlington has that quirk and it makes for some great racing. Cars that are really good in turns 1 and 2 aren't usually the best ones in turns 3 and 4 too. The give-and-take when it comes to setups can help create better racing. And in a time when "cookie-cutter" has become a common adjective to describe tracks in the Cup Series, Kentucky's move to be unique is a good one even if the racing isn't immediately compelling.
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