Kentucky Speedway repave could lead to other tracks following suit

Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kurt Busch get a closer look at Kentucky Speedway's new surface.

Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

A couple weeks ago, we had a dozen teams or so test at the newly reconfigured and resurfaced Kentucky Speedway. The only thing I heard was great reviews.

Within the reconfiguration, Turns 1 and 2 have been narrowed by 18 feet. In addition, the track has added progressive banking of 12 to 14 degrees.

I am really interested to see this new pavement. While it’s literally brand new, it has old characteristics to it.


After talking with NASCAR, this new surface is more abrasive than the old surface was. So I am really anxious to see if that truly is the case, as it might play a role in a possible repaving of Auto Club Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.

I’ve never been a big fan of repaving race tracks, but there are definitely times where you have to do something.

So we go there with a lot of unknowns about the race track. We are also racing with an aero package that will see the track for only the second time in 2016. The last time was a few weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway where Joey Logano scored a victory.

In addition to all that, Goodyear has taken the data they collected from the test and will be going to Kentucky with a little different tire combination. That will be another as an unknown.

I think common sense tells you to expect the group that has been strong to continue that trend on Saturday night. I think you can pick your favorites out of Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske stables.

I say that because if you look at the statistics, Joe Gibbs Racing has won three times at Kentucky and Team Penske has won twice.

We’ve literally only had three drivers win there since the Sprint Cup Series began racing at Kentucky in 2011. Those drivers are Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch.

Even though we’ve only raced there five times, drivers and teams will go into Saturday night with a clean slate and a handful of unknowns.