The two-month project to resurface and renovate Texas Motor Speedway has been officially completed and was debuted with the help of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Chris Buescher and IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter.
Eddie Gossage, president of Texas Motor Speedway, joined the two drivers for a ceremonial first lap Monday to commemorate the track's renovations.
Buescher, a Texas native, commented on how the new racing surface changes the track.
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"Turns 1 and 2, it's interesting how wide it is now," Buescher said. "We have a lot of options. The bottom groove actually is so far down the race track you feel like that corner is going to be quite a bit slower.
"I think that's what made for some really good racing at Kentucky last season was just having the difference in two corners. I think just changing them up and making it hard to get a car to be balanced in both corners when they are that different. So far, it looks good, it's smooth and Turns 3 and 4 still have some of the characteristic bumps through it, we always enjoyed having."
The re-profiling of Turns 1 and 2, which decreased banking by four degrees from 24 to 20, and expanded the width from 60 to 80 feet was one of the major components of the renovations.
The track was completely repaved for the seconds time in its 20-year history.
"Marcus Smith, president of Speedway Motorsports Inc. which is our parent company, suggested why don't we re-profile Turns 1 and 2," Gossage said. "Let's make it a little flatter - that's something we've always wanted to do is reduce the banking here if we could to make the cars slow down a little bit. He said let's re-profile it and as it turned out we were able to lower the banking from 24 to 20 degrees in Turns 1 and 2 and widen the track in the process. The re-profiling is a great idea from Marcus Smith."
Take a look at the video up top where Buescher gives a play-by-play on a lap around the newly paved track.