After a positive reception at the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR could apply VHT this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said the 1-mile oval’s concrete surface – similar to Bristol Motor Speedway, where VHT was used in the past – makes it an obvious candidate.
VHT, which is intended to promote multiple grooves to enhance passing, made its asphalt debut with NASCAR at Charlotte Motor Speedway this past weekend. O’Donnell said its success led to NASCAR being contacted by “a lot of interested parties” about its usage at more tracks in the future.
“It’s something for sure you could see” in the future, O’Donnell said Tuesday morning during his weekly “The Morning Drive” appearance on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel. “We have to break down what did we see from the asphalt application, what’s it doing to the track vs. the tire vs. the racing. There are a lot of things to digest.
“Going into Dover, you’ve got that one-off where you ran it at Bristol on a similar surface. It is something we could look at and then beyond that have, we have to analyze what happens in terms of the asphalt surface.”
Dover spokesman Gary Camp said Tuesday that VHT usage has been discussed, but no decision had been made. Camp said if NASCAR believes the compound would enhance Dover’s racing, the track “would certainly be supportive.”
O’Donnell said NASCAR also would be consulting with Goodyear, but that such a decision wouldn’t necessarily require much lead time.
“The good news is it’s just enhancing what they have,” he said. “It’s not something that if we apply this next week, we need a different tire. So far it’s helped whatever tire they’ve brought to the track.”
O’Donnell praised Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Marcus Smith for lobbying to use the VHT, which had been used successfully at its adjacent NHRA-affiliated drag racing track.
NASCAR applied the traction compound twice on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile oval, before practice and qualifying Thursday and again on Saturday night. Drivers who competed in the Cup and Xfinity races asked NASCAR to reapply the VHT for the Coca-Cola 600.
“I think it had an impact,” O’Donnell said. “We’ll continue to learn and work with tracks. This was the first time on asphalt and the second time we used it. As we see multiple grooves open up earlier, I think it’s something you could see us apply in the future at other tracks.”