Charlotte Motor Speedway to paint restart lines on track

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Motor Speedway will paint lines on the track to denote where the restart zone begins and ends for this weekend’s Sprint Cup and Xfinity races, a track official confirmed to NASCAR Talk.

NASCAR marks the restart zone with lines on the outside wall but fans can’t see that. Putting the lines on the track also could help NASCAR officiate restarts.

Restarts have been a key topic the past two months. NASCAR has placed a senior series official near the restart zone to better monitor restarts and expanded the zone in recent weeks.

An issue, though, could be the paint on the track because it could create wheelspin if a driver started at the beginning of the zone.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he talked to Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, about the idea and suggested that the painted lines be no more than 6 inches wide to limit potential traction issues.

“That’s just another challenge, it’s not a problem if we have a little wheelspin,’’ Earnhardt said. “We’re going to spin the wheels on restarts.’’

Reigning champion Kevin Harvick isn’t worried about the lines on the track.

“I think the paint could be an issue, but I think a lot of that paint has advanced so far that you don’t have the slick paint like you used to have,’’ he said.

Matt Kenseth says it’s a good move.

“I think it’s pretty cool what NBC does on the telecasts,’’ Kenseth said, noting the lines that are superimposed on the screen to mark the restart zone. “That’s pretty awesome to show the speeds and the lines and all that.

“So yeah, lines across the track would be fine. I think the more clearly it’s marked, the easier it is for all of us to see. It’s always kind of easy for the leader to see at most places. Some of the places are a little tougher on the inside when they don’t have an inside wall or it’s in a curved area. That’s certainly not going to hurt anything.”