Texas Motor Speedway will begin a major capital improvement project last week, consisting of a complete repave, construction of an extensive drainage system and a re-profiling of the 1.5-mile oval.
The renovation will add a new layer of asphalt over the existing pavement, an expansive French drainage system on the frontstretch and backstretch, and reduce the banking in Turns 1 and 2 by four degrees. Barring extensive weather delays, the project is expected to be completed by early to mid-March in anticipation of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR doubleheader scheduled for April 7-9.
The repaving and drainage system come as a result of issues the facility was incurring in attempting to dry the racing surface, in particular this past year when both NASCAR race weekends and the INDYCAR race were affected by weather-related delays.
"The fans are why we are doing this," said Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage. "The old pavement no longer dried as quickly because through the years of use and weather, the asphalt became porous, kind of like a sponge. Even if we only had a brief shower it was taking us far too long to get the track dried in order to get on to the racing. We owe it to the fans to present the best possible race track so they will be assured of seeing NASCAR and INDYCAR races even if we face some brief inclement weather. This will accomplish that goal."
Lane Construction Corp., of Justin, Texas, will handle the repaving project, after resurfacing several other speedways since 2003 including Charlotte Motor Speedway, Daytona International Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.
The repave will feature an asphalt mix similar to the surfaces at SMI sister tracks, Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The mix used in conjunction with the construction method will aid in the track's properties of an "aged" track.