In hopes of having better racing in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway has been applied to the upper groove in all four corners with the same traction compound, PJ1 TrackBite, as used at Bristol Motor Speedway, NBC Sports has learned.
The track also plans to use a tire dragging device to help the upper groove.
The move comes just days after the All-Star Race faced criticism for its lack of action and just three lead changes in the 70-lap event. Also, last year’s Coca-Cola 600 saw Martin Truex Jr. lead 392 of 400 laps.
“We talked through this opportunity with the track, teams, drivers and Goodyear,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, in a statement.“There was agreement that this process would enhance the racing we see at Charlotte Motor Speedway and ultimately would make for an exciting Coca-Cola 600.”
Drivers expressed their frustration during and after the All-Star Race about not being able to run multiple lanes. Winner Kyle Busch complained on the radio to his team during the event about how he wished NASCAR would have cleaned the top lane so cars could try to run there.
Ryan Blaney expressed his feelings with the one-lane racing in the corners after the race.
“You can’t pass anywhere,” he said. “It’s not great track conditions, to be honest with you. It’s just on the bottom.”
Said Kurt Busch after the race: “We’re all running qualifying laps, so it’s gonna be tough to pass. We need the outside groove to come in a little bit quicker, but I thought it was a good race for adjustments, restarts, the excitement value from in the seat.”