Race Weekend Central

Kentucky Speedway Announces Track Improvements

Kentucky Speedway will have a different look when the stars of NASCAR hit the track in July. The track will undergo numerous changes that include a repave and additional SAFER barrier around the 1.5-mile facility. Each of these changes are expected to be completed before their annual triple header race weekend in July.

Drivers will also see changes as they race their way into turns 1 and 2. The track has decided to raise the amount of banking throughout these corners from 14 to 17 degrees and will make them different than what drivers will face in turns 3 and 4. They will also shorten the width of the turn from 74 to 56 feet. Each of these elements will make the track even more unique.

“Modifying Turns 1 and 2 will present an exciting challenge to the drivers while addressing issues of the track surface, SAFER barrier and drainage will improve safety, which is always our paramount concern,” Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger stated in a press release.

Steve Swift, Vice President of Operations for Speedway Motorsports, Inc., will be leading the project.

“We have assembled an excellent team, all of whom are familiar with the demands of speedway construction. I am excited about the finished product as we wanted to present a unique challenge to the drivers. This design, with Turns 1 and 2 completely different than 3 and 4 accomplishes that goal. The big winner will be the race fan,” said Swift in a release.

The current racing surface at Kentucky Speedway is original to when the track first opened in 2000. The Kentucky tri-oval joins Watkins Glen International as tracks that will be repaved before NASCAR returns . That project is also scheduled to be completed before the return of the XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series in August.

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Tim S.

Lost amidst all the hoopla promoting a redesign is that the track will need years of seasoning to provide a decent racing (versus high-speed driving) surface.


It stinks when you have to repave, but it will be really interesting to see a 1.5 with two totally different sets of corners (not really a cookie cutter anymore).


You can scratch this track off the list for the next decade, especially since they insist on running at night.
1.5 mile track + night race=something bad
Repaved 1.5 mile track + night race= Charlotte for the last decade


Why spend that much money repaving an inconsequential qualifying race track? If they’d chop that bastard in half and make a flat, egg shape .75 short track I would probably watch.


This news isn’t surprising to me especially after drivers complaining about the bumps and the weepers cancelling on track sessions. I wish we could take on of these 1.5 mile tracks and turn them into something unique (or turn it into a short track or road course) but these changes will make the track stand out a little more.


Same cookie, different icing (“frosting” for yankees). Same bad product. As mentioned 1.5mi + night = zzzzz.


they should have started repave after their race. lelt surface “season” and weather. all the rain we’ve had in the south this winter, that should have done wonders for the pavement.

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