NASCAR drivers don’t know what to expect from TMS’ repave – Fort Worth Star Telegram

Texas Motor Speedway underwent a necessary evil this offseason by repaving its racing surface.

Drivers prefer the older surfaces.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, made his preferences known at Martinsville Speedway. Yes, the same — and only — driver who blamed Goodyear tires for his disappointing run at the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

“I hate repaves,” said Busch, a two-time winner at Texas. “But it’s part of our schedule, it’s a part of our sport. Five years from now, six years from now, it’s going to be great. I’m looking forward to that aspect of it. Right out of the gate, going there, trying to put rubber down, it’s slick, man.

“I don’t necessarily look forward to repaves, but we got one coming up, so got to do what we know. There’s really no homework to do.”

Despite Busch and other drivers complaints about next weekend’s race, TMS had no choice.

 

I hate repaves … Right out of the gate, going (to Texas), trying to put rubber down, it’s slick, man.

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, on the first race on the repaved Texas Motor Speedway track

Lengthy rain delays that wrecked every race weekend last year forced TMS’ hand. Along with repaving the surface, the track also reconfigured it by lowering the banking in Turns 1 and 2 by four degrees and widening it.

The only NASCAR driver who has driven on the new surface is Prosper native Chris Buescher, and just about every driver in the garage watched that video. None of them, though, know what to make of it.

“I don’t think anyone knows what to expect,” said Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet.

“I’m shocked that we didn’t get a whole day of testing to try to get the car set up … not even setting up the cars, but getting some rubber on the track and having a lot of cars out there. So I don’t really know what to expect.”

TMS has tried to work as much rubber into the new surface as possible with the “Texas Tire Monster,” as well as the “Tire Dragon” sent by sister track Kentucky Speedway.

 

I’m shocked that we didn’t get a whole day of testing to try to get the car set up (at TMS).

NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray

But, as McMurray said, that isn’t the same as having actual race cars working rubber into it. NASCAR opted to keep its normal racing schedule despite the repave.

The Cup cars will hit the new pavement for the first time at 11 a.m. Friday for its first practice with qualifying later that day at 5:15 p.m.

There will be two additional practices on Saturday before the green flag drops for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

More Videos

Jason Terry giving the Bucks some experience2:42

Rangers' Joey Gallo knows Opening Day will be a thrill1:53

Rangers' Adrian Beltre not pleased to be on DL3:30

Drew Robinson and Joey Gallo earn Opening Day roster spots1:38

Pot-bellied pig on the loose at Texas gas station1:29

Video: Fort Worth police officer caught on video pepper-spraying motorcyclists0:42

Top 5 bites from the Main Event at the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival3:21

Two views of Jacqueline Craig's arrest: See the bodycam and cell phone videos side-by-side11:30

Adrian Beltre discusses (sorta) his injury status a week before Opening Day0:49

Tarrant County's 10 Most Wanted Criminals, March 290:31


Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Texas Motor Speedway: You never forget your first win

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the headliner at Texas Motor Speedway’s media day on Thursday. Video by Drew Davison.

ddavison@star-telegram.com

 

Clock for Bruton

Jimmie Johnson didn’t win his 10th grandfather clock on Sunday as the Martinsville winner, but he spoke earlier in the week about why he opted to give his ninth to Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., TMS’ parent company.

Johnson recalled trick-or-treating with some of Smith’s family, and spoke with him on the phone. During that conversation, Johnson could tell Smith coveted Martinsville’s grandfather clock and offered to give him his ninth.

“I said, ‘It would be an honor to give you that trophy,’ ” Johnson said. “I’m just very appreciative for what he has done for our sport, all of us know, but I think when we look back at the history of our sport he is mentioned later in the conversation. But he is very much one of the reasons why our sport is where it is today.”

TMS president Eddie Gossage loved seeing a driver of Johnson’s magnitude recognize his boss in that fashion.

“It just shows you the regard in which Bruton is held,” Gossage said. “I wish all the drivers would show their appreciation for what he’s done for them because he single-handedly has raised the bar for the sport with the venues. Bruton’s tracks have always, always led the charge.”

More Videos

Video: Fort Worth police officer caught on video pepper-spraying motorcyclists0:42

Top 5 bites from the Main Event at the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival3:21

Tarrant County's 10 Most Wanted Criminals, March 290:31

Arlington Police's 10 Most Wanted Criminals, March 300:31

Return of the Killer Frogs: The rebirth of TCU basketball5:50

California Highway Patrol seeking car surfing daredevil after dangerous highway stunt0:22

Melania Trump honors heroic women during rare public appearance in Washington2:07

Pot-bellied pig on the loose at Texas gas station1:29

Two views of Jacqueline Craig's arrest: See the bodycam and cell phone videos side-by-side11:30

Jason Terry giving the Bucks some experience2:42


Texas Motor Speedway unveiled new track pavement

Fireworks and a commemorative lap in pace cars driven by NASCAR driver Chris Buescher, IndyCar Series driver/owner Ed Carpenter and track president Eddie Gossage mark the official unveiling of Texas Motor Speedway’s new pavement, Monday, March 13, 2017. (Video by Brandon Wade/Special to the Star-Telegram)

brandon@brandonwade.com

 

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

12:30 p.m. Sunday, Texas Motor Speedway

TV: KDFW/4 (Fox)

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*