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PJ1 adhesive to be applied again to track for this weekend’s races at Loudon

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With the successful use of the PJ1 compound in July’s NASCAR Cup race there, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced Wednesday they will apply the compound again to the track for this weekend’s racing.

The 1.058-mile flat track will play host to the Cup and Camping World Truck Series playoff races, as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the American Canadian Tour race series.

“There’s no question that the track bite compound we laid down in July allowed for some awesome racing around the entire racetrack,” NHMS executive VP and GM David McGrath said in a statement. “We received some very positive feedback from the drivers, teams and, most importantly, the fans. The support to do it again in September was overwhelming.”

McGrath said the PJ1 adhesive compound will be added to the first and third grooves in all four turns on Thursday evening. It will be reapplied again on Saturday night to be fresh for Sunday afternoon’s Cup race.

Several drivers gave their endorsement for the move:

Kyle Larson: “I think it’s awesome. I was surprised at how well it worked. I liked the element of it changing quickly and wearing out and then wearing out in different spots and stuff. It just adds an element to us that we have to adapt to. In the past … you kind of just run the same line all race long, but (in July) everybody I got around was running somewhat of a different line, and I thought that was a really cool thing.”

Joey Logano: “The question got put out to a lot of different drivers … from the (NASCAR Cup Drivers Council). We kind of got on our group chat and were talking back and forth about what we thought was best. (In the past) after 10 or 15 laps, everyone is kind of where they are at and passes don’t happen often. The wider we can make the racetrack, the more passes that can be made.”

Kyle Busch: “We always run that one lane here, which I call the middle lane. They were just trying to widen the racetrack a little bit and give a little bit more opportunity for us to be able to run side by side and not feel like we’re crashing here all the time or running into each other on restarts.”

Kevin Harvick: “I like the prospects of us trying different things. As the (summer Cup) race wore on, things changed. You had to move around. The PJ1 is one of those things that can definitely make the race better if you can add more lanes of racing.”

Austin Dillon: “I thought (the PJ1) held on good throughout the race in July; I’m a fan of it. July’s race was a blast and everyone is excited about it this time around. We’re going to be aggressive and just go after it this weekend.”

Denny Hamlin says it’s ‘a necessity’ to improve Pocono with traction compound next year

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LONG POND, Pa. – A leader of the NASCAR Drivers Council says it’s time for the longest test of the traction compound that has been sweeping the Cup Series this season.

After finishing fourth in Sunday’s Overton’s 400, Denny Hamlin said using the PJ1 substance is “a necessity, honestly” at Pocono Raceway, continuing a crusade he started on Twitter last week.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said Sunday that he recently had lobbied Pocono executives to use the compound.

“(They) said it’s definitely on the table when we come back,” Hamlin said. “I’d love to see it in the second to third lane, and you could see some amazing restarts and fun racing here once they do that.

The sticky substance, which is intended to add another lane of racing, has been used this season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pocono’s 2.5-mile triangular layout would be the biggest track yet for its application.

“This is a one-lane racetrack,” said Hamlin, who led 18 laps Sunday before being passed by teammate and eventual race winner Kyle Busch with 16 laps remaining. “We’ve had great races in the sense of they’ve been close, but you need cautions here to fall and exciting restarts for there to be great and exciting racing. Side by side racing really doesn’t exist at this racetrack except for one lap after a restart.”

Hamlin has four wins at Pocono, most recently in June 2010.

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway reapplies traction compound Sunday morning

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LOUDON, New Hampshire – New Hampshire Motor Speedway reapplied traction compound Sunday morning for the Overton’s 301 Cup race.

The 1.058-mile oval applied a 10-foot wide strip in the high lane and a 5-foot swath in the lower lane before the race weekend began and on Friday night, intending for the sticky substance to widen the racing groove (which normally is in the middle).

Steve Swift, the vice president of operations and development for Speedway Motorsports Inc. (New Hampshire’s parent company), said the track applied the substance at 8 a.m. Sunday in the same spots (which were requested by the Cup Drivers Council).

Drivers said the compound mostly wore off after a Saturday of racing that included the Xfinity, Modified and K&N Series, compounded by a one-hour rain delay (the Air Titan equipment has an adverse effect on the “track bite,” which is referred to as PJ1 and VHT).

“It definitely did go away,” Kyle Busch said Saturday after winning the Xfinity race from the pole position. “I think the Modifieds actually took most of it away. Those cars’ (bias-ply) tires are just so wide, and I think they’re just extra sticky, so they pulled it up off the race track before we really had a chance to see what it would do with these radial tires from Goodyear, but we’ll see what happens (Sunday).

“It’s going to change. It’s going to be ever changing and I think that’s just the theme of it that you can never know what to expect and you’ve always got to be ready for anything.”

New Hampshire joins Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway in applying the traction compound this season. Swift said early reviews from drivers at New Hampshire had been positive.

Jimmie Johnson said Friday that he was encouraged that tracks were being proactive.

“The wrong move would be for us to do nothing,” he said. “The wrong move would be for us not to experiment, especially early in the year. I truly feel the way we can add lanes through this product or whatever is developed from here.

“We have to explore, we have to try, we will develop and evolve the process. I think a year from now, we’ll have a much clearer vision on what works and how to do it.”

New Hampshire Motor Speedway adding traction compound to all four turns

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New Hampshire Motor Speedway will add the traction agent PJ1 to all four turns this week ahead of its NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races this weekend.

The agent will be applied in the middle lane up to the wall.

The track confirmed the decision in a statement to NBC Sports from David McGrath, the track’s executive vice president and general manager:

“With the intent of creating another groove for the drivers to produce more exciting on-track racing for our fans, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be applying a PJ1 compound to all four turns of the 1.058-mile speedway prior to any on-track racing for the July 14-16 NASCAR race weekend.”

The possibility of adding the agent was first mentioned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sunday morning on Periscope

“I heard they put some of that sticky stuff down on the race track,” Earnhardt said. “We can’t figure out exactly where they put it. The rumor is they put it in the middle groove. But if you go to New Hampshire and you look at the race track, you could ask 10 people what the middle groove is and get five different opinions on that. … Everybody’s spraying this stuff everywhere, man. I don’t even know it was an incredible success anytime we’ve used it so I don’t know why everybody’s so damn spray happy.”

PJ1 was first used last August at Bristol Motor Speedway for its night race. It was applied to the bottom groove in an effort to improve the racing at the short track. Its use drew positive reviews from drivers and the substance was used again for the April race.

A month later, Charlotte Motor Speedway used the substance on the upper groove of the turns of the 1.5-mile track for the Coke 600 race weekend.

After the race, Martin Truex Jr. said the addition of the substance made the race “a lot of fun. I thought it was a good addition.”

But Truex went on to say he didn’t think the substance would work at any other track on the circuit due to the track’s unique surface.

With its variable banking of two and seven degrees, NHMS is the flattest track to use the traction agent so far. Bristol sports 28-degree banking and Charlotte has 24-degree banking.

Traction compound has drivers curious what Coca-Cola 600 will be like

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CONCORD, N.C. — A desperate move?

Just ask Dale Earnhardt Jr.about Charlotte Motor Speedway adding a traction compound to the upper groove in each of four corners.

“They’re going to run the road course next year, so that tells you how desperate they are,’’ Earnhardt said Thursday after Cup practice.

Whether one considers it a desperate move or something worth trying after just three lead changes in the 70-lap All-Star Race, the PJ1 traction compound used at Bristol has been applied to Charlotte’s asphalt surface. Track officials also had tires dragged hoping to make the top groove an attractive option for drivers.

After seeing Martin Truex Jr. lead 392 of 400 laps in this event last year and an All-Star Race that led some drivers to suggest it was time to move the event, track officials needed to do something to enhance the action.

Drivers tested the top groove a little during Cup practice but spent most of their time on the bottom lane since that is where they’ll run on their qualifying lap Thursday night.

“It’s kind of unchartered waters to be honest with you,’’ Ryan Blaney said before practice. “Bristol is a lot different, a lot shorter race track, we’re not going as fast, a concrete race track. You don’t know how that substance they use is going to combine with asphalt. 

“I’m wondering what it’s going to be like when we’re running 200 miles an hour into the top lane and hoping it’s hot enough to stick. So that’s gonna be a little sketchy at first, but … I thought NASCAR had to make a move on that side of it to get us off the bottom of the race track or at least give you options.’’

Kyle Busch got up in upper groove briefly in Cup practice. He anticipates the grip will be better as the weekend progresses.

“The track was really, really light to begin with,’’ said Busch, who won last weekend’s All-Star Race. “They run the tire dragon (which drags tires in hopes of helping rubber the track) around here and it doesn’t put the rubber down like it needs to.

“It seemed very dusty when we all rolled off. The cars were starting to put the rubber down and (the track) was starting to get more black as practice progressed, but if you got outside that black a little bit it seemed pretty slick. We just need to continue to make the track wider. I’m sure Xfinity cars will do that. I’m sure the Xfinity race will do that and hopefully make for a really good Sunday.’’

Earnhardt also ran through part of the traction compound.

“I got into it by accident,’’ he said. “I got loose into (Turn) 3 and ended up there. They say it takes heat to activate to get it grippy. You don’t really sense it when you’re up there today in it. I’m sure in the race when guys start running through there it will improve the speed, hopefully it does.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how that works out for the track. I certainly think that’s a good thing so we’ll see how it works out.”

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