AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

NASCAR has no plans to add substance to tracks this season to enhance grip

1 Comment

A NASCAR executive discounted the notion that tracks will add a substance to their racing surface to enhance grip this year.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comment Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“We’re looking at a lot of different options, meeting with Goodyear to see where and when we could apply it and how that would affect the racing on the track,’’ O’Donnell said. “A lot of different options that we hope to have on the table, maybe not necessarily at the start of 2017.’’

A substance was used at Bristol Motor Speedway before the August races for the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series. The Cup race saw 20 lead changes. Only one other Bristol event in the track’s last eight Cup races had more lead changes.

A substance was put on the high lane at Martinsville Speedway last weekend on the final day of a tire test there to unfavorable reviews.

Among the biggest complaints was that it made both the high lane and low lane nearly equal in lap times. Martin Truex Jr., who was among those who tested there.

“I felt like with the second groove being as fast as the first I don’t know how you would pass anyone,’’ Truex said. “The great racing at Martinsville is the fight for the bottom. If you can’t hold the bottom you’re going to get passed. In that case. I don’t believe Martinsville is a place we ought to mess with.’’

That Martinsville test was done looking ahead to 2017. Officials from the track and NASCAR told NBC Sports that the track’s surface would not be changed for the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races there later this month.

Also during his appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, O’Donnell noted the type of racing in Sunday’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite the limited practice time.

Sprint Cup teams had one practice session Friday before rain canceled two practice sessions Saturday. 

“One of the things we learned this weekend, which we’ll have to see, we’ll get some pushback from the garage, but it was nice to see teams almost just show up and have to race,’’ O’Donnell said. “We’re looking at how much practice is too much practice for an event. Maybe that is something we look at in the future as well.’’

NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

Leave a comment

It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

Leave a comment

Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

Leave a comment

Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.