Turn 2 repavement At Darlington Raceway is expected to add drama to NASCAR Playoffs

Recently repaved Turn 2 at Darlington Raceway. PHOTO COURTESY OF HUNTER THOMAS/THEFOURTHTURN.COM

Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

DARLINGTON, S.C. – A repave of Turn 2 at Darlington Raceway will make the track, Too Tough To Tame even more unpredictable this weekend as the track will host all three NASCAR national series. Darlington Raceway is notoriously tough on tires and recently, the track was forced to repave Turn 2 due to the track’s deteriorating surface. For the past three or four years, Darlington has been carrying out short-time fixes, but water was still seeping onto the track surface from time-to-time. “We really didn’t have any choice,” Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said. “We’ve been kind of putting Band-Aid’s on it for about three or four years, where the track would come up, and water would come up through several spots over there. It’s just kind of wear and tear on the track.” Back in 2008, Darlington Raceway had a repave and the same company that carried out that project travelled from Texas to make the patch. There aren’t too many companies in the country that can repave a racetrack on high-degree banks such as Darlington Raceway. Throughout the process, the track brought in experts from throughout the industry to ensure that the banking and geometry of the track wasn’t changed. “We brought in some asphalt experts, and some people from Daytona who designed development and studied this type of thing, track surfaces,” Tharp said. “We made the decision earlier in the winter that we needed to patch that area. Actually, the same company that did the repave in 2008, did this patch. They’re out of Texas. There aren’t that many companies that can actually get up on a banking like that and do that. It’s pretty difficult actually. They did that, and then we had the OEMs, manufacturer’s representatives from each manufacturer came and looked at it and took pictures. None of the banking changed. None of the geometry changed of the track. It’s just going to be different.” There is a noticeable difference between the old track surface in Turn 1 and the newly repaved section of the track in Turn 2, and many in the industry think that it is going to boost the action throughout all three races this weekend. The new asphalt will be much slicker, especially during the heat of the day, so drivers will have to adjust to the transition as they barrel through the corners. To make things even more interesting, there will be no practice or qualifying, so drivers are going to have to adjust immediately after the initial green flag to start the race. “I’ve talked to a few drivers about it – Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, and said that it’ll definitely be different up there, and they think maybe it’ll actually cause a few more wrecks up there,” Tharp said. “It’ll be slick up there.” Drivers of the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be the first to hit the repaved patch in Turn 2. The VFW Sport Clips Haircuts Help A Hero 200 will broadcast live on NBCSN at 3:30 p.m. ET. On Sunday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series In It To Win It 200 will get underway at 1:30 p.m., and it will broadcast live on FS1. Later Sunday night, the NASCAR Cup Series will hit the track for the 72nd running of the Cook Out Southern 500 that will broadcast live on NBCSN at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets to this weekend’s races at Darlington Raceway, you can Visit DarlingtonRaceway.com or NASCAR.com/tickets, or you can call 866-459-7223.

Author: Rachel Howell

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