Immediately following Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International, race winner Joey Logano helped break ground on the road course’s repave.
“As soon as we figured out how to win here, they’re going to tear the racetrack apart,” Logano said in his winner’s press conference. “That figures.”
WGI told NASCAR Talk that complete demolition and removal of the track surface is expected by next week. Milling of the surface will being begins Monday and will be finished by the end of August, after a delay for a concert.
The repave will begin at the beginning of September and is expected to take six weeks to complete.
The president of WGI, Michael Printup, appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio earlier this week to provide details on the repaving of the facility in Watkins Glen, N.Y. Printup explained the entire course, not just the 2.45-mile version NASCAR uses, will be given a face-lift.
“We’re completely ripping it up,” Printup said. “In some places all the way to the ground, in some places not. We do core samples and we study them like every other race track. So we’re going to do a whole redo. We’re going to shut down for the rest of the year because we have another 80 days of racing that we typically do after NASCAR, but we’re going to rip it up and put a whole new asphalt system down.”
Printup said the entire project, expected to be finished between two-and-a-half and three months depending on weather, will cost about $12 million with $3 to 4 million spent on each mile of asphalt on the 3.30-mile track.
According to WGI’s website, the “10,000-plus labor hours” will seen through by local workers in addition to Ajax Paving Industries, Inc., which had a hand in work at Michigan International Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.
The repave will use 25,000 tons of asphalt, 27,000 gallons of bituminous tack coat, 7,000 tons of aggregate and 2,500 tons of concrete.
Even with all the materials and work, Printup says the dimensions of the track surface will remain the same, as well as the configuration.
“All the track will remain the same — obviously the track has degraded,” Printup said. “Like every other track that has done this before, we laser the track and then the computers will put it all together and then we lay the asphalt right straight back down again.”
Gone from many corners will be patches of concrete that were a result of “inertia issues and load and lift” over the years.
Printup says the repave should add “stickiness” to the race surface, making racing there faster in 2016. With the project comes the possibility that NASCAR may run “The Boot” at WGI in future races. “The Boot” is the name given to Turns 6 through 9 of the full course.
“We’re discussing it with the track,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development officer Steve O’Donnell told the NASCAR Wire Service. “It’s something we’re looking at down the road.”