Things will look a little different when NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers hit the Charlotte road course in September.
A few modifications have been made after track officials received suggestions following a tire test last year. Drivers involved in the testing include Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch. Daniel Hemric, and Jamie McMurray, according to autoweek.com.
Truex and Busch both suggested the removal of a winding infield section in order to shorten lap times. The modifications will shorten the 2.4 mile track to 2.28 miles and will see two of the the last three infield turns removed.
“There are a lot of slow sections in turn 5, turn 6 and turn 7, which those are good rhythmic corners, but they make turn 8 really awkward and that leads you into a tight turn 9, which then leads you into oval turn 1,” Truex said. “So maybe there’s a chance we can talk them into reconfiguring to go straight from turn 7, skip 8 and go to turn 9.”
It appears the suggestions from the drivers were taken into consideration, because based on the new layout the track is laid out as they requested.
The new changes to the track will cut 10-15 seconds from lap times. The distances for both the Cup Series and Xfinity series have yet to be announced.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Marcus Smith encouraged NASCAR to add a roval race.
“Victory Lane is going to be a fun place and pit road might need more security,” Smith said.
Steve O’Donnell NASCAR’s vice president and chief racing development officer agreed with Smith.
“You’re going to have somebody that is incredible excited who wins the race and we’ll have controversy, which is what our fans like,” O’Donnell said. “I couldn’t be more excited, not only about the possibilities we’ll see in the playoffs but also about the industry coming together and working together on this.”
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in September, but it could easily be one of the most exciting races of the season.