Remember the sticky stuff added to the bottom groove at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Cup Series race in April? NASCAR’s doing something similar to the high line in the corners at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
The addition of the “traction agent” was revealed on Tuesday on NASCAR’s website.
“We talked through this opportunity with the track, teams, drivers and Goodyear,” NASCAR vice president Scott Miller said to the site. “There was agreement that this process would enhance the racing we see at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and ultimately would make for an exciting Coca-Cola 600.”
NASCAR and SMI, which owns both Bristol and Charlotte, have added VHT to the bottom groove at Bristol for the past two races. The stickiness on the bottom groove has helped add a second groove, especially as cars are on fresh tires.
It’s intriguing that NASCAR didn’t experiment with the substance in the All-Star Race on Saturday night. The race was a snoozefest as cars were unable to run side-by-side for an extended period of time and there was just one lead change on the track. Once race-winner Kyle Busch took the lead on the first lap of the final 10-lap segment, he was unchallenged.
Perhaps NASCAR didn’t add the stuff to the top of the track because of the option tires that were used during the race. But it did add something to the bottom groove at some point during the weekend, at least according to Dale Earnhardt Jr. There was no announcement of any track “enhancements” (the word of choice to describe what’s being done for the 600 on NASCAR’s site) before the All-Star Race.
@jeff_gluck I noticed a stained lower groove during Allstar race. Was informed they applied it there last week. I'll let you ponder that for a moment…
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 23, 2017
Will the sticky stuff work? Well, it’s worth a shot. Though it’s a tacit admission that the combination of aero rules, tires, night time and relatively new pavement at CMS produces pitiful racing. The fall race at the track, which will be run during the day, will be a much better show than the 600 unless the sticky substance immediately adds a useful second grove.
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