In a move to increase driver safety and reduce damage to race cars after hitting infield grass, Charlotte Motor Speedway is installing a new “transition strip” between the track surface and the grass, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer.
The six-foot wide strip, also known as a border, is being installed along the track’s frontstretch. The border will be made up of 140 tons of rye grass and a sand and oil mixture.
The project will be completed by the Oct. 8-10 race weekend.
“This will make that transition more flexible and should result in less damage for cars if they leave the racing surface and go into the grass,” CMS spokesman Scott Cooper told The Observer.
“In the past, when a car has left Charlotte’s racing surface and gone into the grass along the front stretch, damage often has been done to its splitter,” Cooper added. “But hitting the grass can also have more serious consequences.”
At Daytona in July, Kyle Busch suggested all grass in track infields be removed. Busch suffered a broken right leg and fractured left foot in February when his Xfinity car could not stop in the grass abutting Turn 1 at Daytona and he slammed into an unprotected retaining wall.
“There’s absolutely no reason to have grass at any of these facilities,” Busch said in July. “I think that needs to be one of the next biggest pushes we all have.”
But CMS has no plans to remove or pave over its infield, Cooper said.
“What we’ve done (with the transition surface) is a step in the right direction in terms of making the track more safe.”