The general manager of Kentucky Speedway, Mark Simendinger, knows his track’s racing surface has a problem but says there are no immediate plans to repave the 1.5-mile oval in Sparta, Ky., according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“If we’ve gotten it this far, it’ll be fine through September,” Simendinger said. “We’re going to eke every race out of it we can get.”
Simendinger addressed the possibility of the repaving the 15-year-old racing surface following a NASCAR race weekend that produced great racing, but also saw the qualifying sessions for all three national touring series canceled due to rain.
“We’ve got a track that certainly produced great races,” Simendinger said Sunday. “Normally you’d say, ‘Don’t touch those.’ But we also have a track that took us almost four hours to dry, so that’s not good.
The four-hour drying time was in large part due to jet dryers and Air Titans battling “weepers” – which is water seeping up through the track surface.
“It was a very, very unusual situation as far as us being in the middle of July and having such saturated ground,” Simendinger said. “We don’t want to overreact — let everything settle in and get feedback from our drivers and maintenance guys.”
The racing surface – which has not been repaved since the track opened in 2000 – next will be used by NASCAR on the weekend of Sept. 26 when the Xfinity Series returns to the track.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, addressed the issue Monday during his weekly appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”
“It was a problem all weekend,” O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It is absolutely something we’re going to address with the folks at Kentucky because we need to be able to get on the racetrack as quickly as possible.”