Despite the ongoing rain, Brad Keselowski on Sunday morning was feeling and talking groovy — as in how to get through the grooves at Bristol Motor Speedway once the rain stops.
Keselowski is due to start the Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes on the outside of the front row.
During a media interview session, the 2012 Sprint Cup champ spoke about how the track will be different due to the heavy rain that has washed away all existing rubber from Friday and Saturday.
“It will take about 50-100 laps for the track to condition into (racing shape) … and what you’ll see is the cars will all run the bottom of the track for probably about 50 laps and start to move their way up to the middle and high lanes after that,” Keselowski said. “As soon as the track surface heats up from the cars, especially the friction running over them, the track surface will heat up to about 110-120 degrees and that will be a trigger point for the track to take rubber.
“When that happens and it hits that spot over the top of both corners, you’ll see that grip patch develop and the track will literally gain probably two or three tenths (of a second) of speed. Speeds will go up and you’ll see everyone running the top like we were at the end of final practice.
“You’re going to see those trigger points in the race as the track surface heats up and absorbs the rubber into it, but it will happen. Instead of being 10 or 20 laps into the race, as it would have been if there was no rain, it might take 100, but from there we’ll be back to where we were.”
Keselowski also talked about how he considers BMS one of his favorite tracks and wishes there were more short tracks like it on the circuit.
“I think it was Dale Jr. or someone tweeted as he was flying in and he flew over the track that 10-15 years ago when we had the big track boom, so to speak, why didn’t anyone ever look at Bristol and say, ‘We need to build another one of these?’” Keselowski said. “It is a very special place and I think you get that feeling every time you come here when you walk in and you get that feeling when you pull out on the race track, too.
“There’s no track I’ve ever ran that is comparable to Bristol. It’s a unique challenge and I think it’s really a lot of what this sport was made of was the unique challenge of short tracks and Bristol takes that to another degree, which I think is part of its staying power and why it’s lasted so long in this sport when a lot of the short tracks haven’t.”