By admin | May 6, 2010
By Richard Allen
One of the worst words that can be said about an asphalt racetrack is ‘repaved’.
Repaving a track sometimes becomes necessary due to the obvious reasons of wear and tear. Eventually, even the smoothest track will become so worn that its surface will begin to erode and come apart. When that occurs repaving is something that must be done.
That was the case at the Darlington Raceway a couple of years ago.
Unfortunately, when a track is resurfaced it often creates a lot of one groove racing. Because of the increased grip provided by the new pavement, virtually every car is able to stick to the bottom of the track. And since the bottom of the track is the short way around, there is no reason to seek out a second groove as long as the cars will hold the bottom.
Granted, new pavement leads to increased speeds. However, in my years of watching racing I have come to realize that more often than not increased speeds equal decreased competition.
After the Darlington race in 2008, Carl Edwards made the statement that the people who run the track ought to sell tickets and allow people to come and drive around the track during the hot summer months so that the pavement would wear faster. That wearing, he argued, would cause the track to get slicker and racier.
After two full race weekends since the repaving of the Darlington Raceway and, perhaps more importantly, two full South Carolina summers the track’s surface should be getting worn in pretty well.
Hopefully rather than a fast track, Carl Edwards and his friends will find a slick and racy track this weekend in the Showtime Southern 500.
Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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