The traction compound NASCAR has been experimenting with in 2017 has returned.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway applied the sticky resin to the low groove and outside the preferred groove at the track in the hopes of increasing side-by-side racing at the flat one-mile track.
At NHMS, the preferred groove is about a lane above the apron of the track. The races at New Hampshire can typically hinge on pit strategy and track position as passing can be difficult through the tight turns.
“This is a race track that you can pass on if your car is pretty spectacular and maybe if you have tires on and other cars don’t it might be enough to get through the field. There is some tires fall off that promotes passing,” Logano said. “After 10 or 15 laps here everyone is kind of where they are at and passes don’t happen often. The wider we can make the race track, the more air we can get on the nose, the more passes that can be made. When you think about that, how do we make it wider? How do we do that? We have to go to where we don’t run. Right now, the fastest lane on this race track is the second lane. How do we make the track wider? We have to put some up in the third lane and make the bottom better so the guy on the bottom has a shot to keep rotating and get off the corner to actually clear somebody.
“When you think about that, how do we make it wider? How do we do that? We have to go to where we don’t run. Right now, the fastest lane on this race track is the second lane. How do we make the track wider? We have to put some up in the third lane and make the bottom better so the guy on the bottom has a shot to keep rotating and get off the corner to actually clear somebody.”
Traction compound has been used on Bristol’s concrete to help make the lower groove competitive with the middle and high grooves at the track. The stuff was used on an asphalt track for the first time at Charlotte in May as the track applied it to the high line.
While the compound didn’t — at least from an observer’s standpoint — make the racing incredibly better or the high groove immensely usable, it wasn’t a failure. And if NASCAR was going to try it at another track, New Hampshire is an obvious candidate because of its characteristics.
“I think what they were just trying to do is we always run that one lane here, which I call it the middle lane, you know?” Busch said. “And so they were just trying to widen the race track a little bit and give a little bit more opportunity for us to be able to run side by side and not just feel like we’re crashing here all the time or running into each other on restarts and whatnot.”
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