LOUDON, NH - JULY 16: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, takes the checkered flag to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton's 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

A change to the NHMS racetrack has already made life difficult for some drivers


There have already been two wrecks during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and a new traction compound could be to blame for drivers being uncomfortable.

Officials added two strips of PJ1 Trackbite (VHT) above and below the racing groove in hopes that drivers will race side-by-side more frequently at Sunday's Overton's 301. Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott have already wrecked during practice.

According to Auto Week, Aric Almirola said he's already noticed a difference at the track.

"It certainly moved the typical racing lane around from what we typically see here," Almirola said. "It has been sort of a new race track so to speak. We typically run in that second lane off the yellow line and we usually dread getting up over that seam. If you look back at video of the races here, all the cars try to keep the right sides inside that seam.

"Now that third lane has the PJ1 in it and you see a lot of cars entering in that lane, straddling that seam and it certainly has thrown everybody a new race track here. I think it is going to change sort of the way we approach the race track and way we attack the corners."

Related: A second Hendrick car wrecks in what is turning out to be a treacherous NHMS practice

VHT was also used at Bristol Motor Speedway, and it garnered positive results from most drivers. However, it didn't receive very positive results at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Joey Logano is hopeful that it will work since New Hampshire usually produces single-file racing. He said it's a positive sign that NASCAR officials are willing to give it a try.

The concept behind the idea was that it would help drivers, but it's seemingly having the opposite effect so far. At the very least, it will add excitement and uncertainty to Sunday's race since drivers won't be necessarily comfortable with the conditions.

(h/t Auto Week)