A broken sprayer is being blamed for causing four crashes during Friday afternoon practices at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in preparation for the Bank of America 500.
ESPN reported that track officials discovered the issue with the compound that is supposed to enhance grip on the track after talking with drivers about the conditions.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway believes a sprayer malfunction did not apply the traction compound evenly in Turns 3-4, where a few drivers wrecked Friday afternoon. It will reapply the traction compound before cars get on track Saturday,” the report said.
Four drivers hit the wall coming out of turn 4. Brad Keselowksi, David Ragan, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. suffered damage, with Busch’s and Earnhardt’s bad enough they moved to their backup cars.
“I think I’m fine. The car is junk and it was actually driving pretty good, but the backup will be just as good,” Earnhardt told NBC Sports. “Just disappointing, man. That stuff out there on the track, it ain’t good right now. I wouldn’t touch it.”
NASCAR officials have been mum so far about the wrecks, but Charlotte officials were quick to the mea culpa.
“We discovered the sprayer heads on our machine – one was partially clogged, the other was not spraying enough and there is not enough substance on the race track in Turn 4,” Don Hawk, senior vice president of business affairs Speedway Motorsports Inc., told Motorsport.com. “We realized late this afternoon what happened and wanted to be forthright about it and fix it,” he said.
Depending on what the weather is expected to do, track officials were planning to reapply the compound ahead of practice runs.