Kevin Harvick details the new Texas Motor Speedway following the repave
Last year, Texas Motor Speedway saw an overhaul. Upon the repave, the Fort Worth, Texas track became bad-fast.
Ahead of the race, track officials ran the tire draggon, in the racing groove. That was a strategy that didn’t make much sense to a lot of people in the garage area.
This year, with advice from Dale Earnhardt Jr and others, Texas Motor Speedway will be going a different direction. The track released video showing them using the new rubber laying machine in the upper grooves of the track only. That will likely slow the pace down, at least for qualifying and the early stages of the race.
In October 2017, Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kurt Busch set the track record. He circled the 1.5-mile track at an average speed of 200.915 mph.
What makes Texas such a unique racetrack since the repave?
“Texas has become a very unique racetrack. I know we have a different left-side tire that we’ll have to get used to this weekend. When they repaved the racetrack, they made the two ends of the racetrack so different – turns one and two have become very challenging, especially in the Cup Series car because of how flat it is,” Kevin Harvick details the new Texas NASCAR track.
“Really, the hardest thing about turns one and two at Texas is that it’s so wide when you get to the entry that you have a hard time picking up the bottom of the corner. When you enter the corner, you don’t use the entire racetrack anymore because they put the bottom of the corner so far down the racetrack. It’s very unique and different.”
“You have to make your car turn well and not be too loose into the corner of turn one, and it has to turn well in the middle of the corner in order to carry speed off, otherwise you’re just lugging up off the corner. As you get to turns three and four, it’s about letting off the throttle halfway and hope you can put it right back down.”
“There are already a few bumps in the corner that, when you’re trying to maintain speed, it either hits the splitter or bounces a little bit. That end of the racetrack has always been very fast through turns three and four but, once the repave came, it’s become really fast every lap.”
What are the most challenging parts of the Texas Motor Speedway racetrack?
“Turns three and four have always been fast, but now they’re what I’d call scary fast because of the small amount of time you’re out of the throttle. If you look at turns one and two, it’s become a lot different than what it used to be just because it’s so much flatter and wider.”
“It’s become a very unique corner that we don’t experience a lot. When you saw SMI (Speedway Motorsports, Inc.) take the two different ends at Kentucky and made turns one and two a lot different than three and four, they kept three and four flat and you have a hard time getting into the corner because you get loose as the track gets flat. Turns one and two at Texas actually remind me of turns one and two at Kentucky – what they used to be – and they left the high-banked fast part in turns three and four.”
Kevin Harvick finished 4th in the sprint race. In the fall, he went to victory lane, passing Martin Truex Jr on the outside of turn 4.
This weekend, Stewart-Haas Racing will be making their 1,000th start. The team started 10 years ago. Over the years, 13 drivers have helped the team tally those numbers.
On Sunday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will run 334 laps around Texas Motor Speedway. The race is schedule to air at 2PM.