The asphalt is still warm from Kyle Busch’s victory burnout following Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, but that hasn’t stopped Michigan International Speedway from moving toward next season.
Beginning Tuesday, approximately 646,000 square feet of asphalt will be removed by specialized milling machines, in preparation for 22,000 tons of new asphalt. The uppermost 3/4 inch of pavement will be removed before two new coats are applied; a 1.5-inch leveling course and another 1.5-inch final wearing course. New asphalt will be laid in September.
A laser survey of the existing track surface has charted approximately 100 million data points, allowing engineers to replicate the original pavement almost exactly, while still removing and dips and bumps that have occurred over time. Interestingly, that laser mapping revealed that MIS actually has variable banking in its 18-degree turns, allowing cars to carry more speed through the turns and utilize multiple racing grooves.
The $7 million project will be done by Ajax Paving Industries of Troy, Mich., which has extensive background in paving high-speed, high-banked ovals. Previous projects include Phoenix International Raceway, the Chrysler Corporation test track in Chelsea, Mich., and the five-mile, high banked Ford Romeo Test Track.