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Pocono won’t use traction compound this weekend

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Pocono Raceway won’t have the PJ1 traction compound on its race surface for this weekend’s NASCAR racing, the track confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports.

The possibility of it being used was raised Monday by Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, in an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”

“There will be no traction compound applied to Pocono for this event weekend,” track CEO Nick Igdalsky said in a statement. Igdalsky left the door open for the compound’s use for the July 29 race weekend at the 2.5-mile track.

“We have entered into a process with NASCAR, OEM’s, and Goodyear to explore this option in future events,” Igdalsky said. “Nothing has been determined at this time.”

On “The Morning Drive,” Miller was asked about plans for more tracks to use the compound.

“There’s ongoing talks,” Miller said. “New Hampshire I believe is on the plan for doing it again. The only new track that hasn’t done it yet that I know we’re having some discussion about is potentially Pocono and I think there will be a plan I believe for just Turn 3 if I’m not mistaken. I’m not in all those early discussion, but it kind of bubbled up that there was some talks about Pocono. I don’t know exactly what the plan is.”

Should Pocono ever use the traction compound, it would join New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in utilizing it in an effort to improve chances for passing.

Charlotte has used it for all its races since last year’s Coca-Cola 600.

“It really works well at Bristol to accomplish what was set out to accomplish at Bristol,” Miller said. “I think the jury’s starting to be out on whether or not it’s actually accomplishing what we need at some of these other places. …

“There will be ongoing dialogue about how we use it. We’ve been trying to get a lot more scientific with it with monitoring the grip of the surface before and after and how much it diminishes as cars run on it.”

PJ1 traction agent, tire dragging in use at Charlotte

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Charlotte Motor Speedway is doing as much as it can to improve the racing product and create opportunities for passing this weekend at the 1.5-mile track.

A blue tractor spent Friday dragging two sets of tires in the upper groove in each turn, an effort to freshen the area where the PJ1 traction agent was applied.

A track spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that the substance was added to the upper grooves in both corners on Monday and Tuesday.

The spokesperson was not aware of plans to add more PJ1 or to drag the tires on Saturday.

“The Xfinity cars ran on that PJ1 a lot and definitely activated it and got the grip definitely up there,” Joey Logano said after qualifying second for the Coke 600. “It’s hard for me to say what was what, but, overall, the car got faster and that’s all I really care about.”

Charlotte first used the traction agent in the Coca-Cola 600 last year and again in October. Its presence in that race wasn’t popular due to an uneven application of the substance.

Bristol Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway have also used the substance in the last two years.

NASCAR approves another coating of PJ1 to track, extra set of tires at Bristol

Photo: Dustin Long
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BRISTOL, Tenn. – NASCAR has approved for a light coating of the PJ1 traction compound to be applied before the resumption of today’s Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, weather and time permitting.

NASCAR stated that PJ1 will be applied over areas previously treated in the lower groove of the corners.

NASCAR also announced that teams will be allowed an additional set of tires (stickers or scuffs) for the completion of the race. The tires were in transit on Monday morning and expected to be released to teams at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The race, which was stopped after 204 laps were completed Sunday, is scheduled to be resumed at 1 p.m. ET. Kyle Larson is leading.

The race will air on TV on Fox and on radio on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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PJ1 adhesive to be applied again to track for this weekend’s races at Loudon

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With the successful use of the PJ1 compound in July’s NASCAR Cup race there, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials announced Wednesday they will apply the compound again to the track for this weekend’s racing.

The 1.058-mile flat track will play host to the Cup and Camping World Truck Series playoff races, as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the American Canadian Tour race series.

“There’s no question that the track bite compound we laid down in July allowed for some awesome racing around the entire racetrack,” NHMS executive VP and GM David McGrath said in a statement. “We received some very positive feedback from the drivers, teams and, most importantly, the fans. The support to do it again in September was overwhelming.”

McGrath said the PJ1 adhesive compound will be added to the first and third grooves in all four turns on Thursday evening. It will be reapplied again on Saturday night to be fresh for Sunday afternoon’s Cup race.

Several drivers gave their endorsement for the move:

Kyle Larson: “I think it’s awesome. I was surprised at how well it worked. I liked the element of it changing quickly and wearing out and then wearing out in different spots and stuff. It just adds an element to us that we have to adapt to. In the past … you kind of just run the same line all race long, but (in July) everybody I got around was running somewhat of a different line, and I thought that was a really cool thing.”

Joey Logano: “The question got put out to a lot of different drivers … from the (NASCAR Cup Drivers Council). We kind of got on our group chat and were talking back and forth about what we thought was best. (In the past) after 10 or 15 laps, everyone is kind of where they are at and passes don’t happen often. The wider we can make the racetrack, the more passes that can be made.”

Kyle Busch: “We always run that one lane here, which I call the middle lane. They were just trying to widen the racetrack a little bit and give a little bit more opportunity for us to be able to run side by side and not feel like we’re crashing here all the time or running into each other on restarts.”

Kevin Harvick: “I like the prospects of us trying different things. As the (summer Cup) race wore on, things changed. You had to move around. The PJ1 is one of those things that can definitely make the race better if you can add more lanes of racing.”

Austin Dillon: “I thought (the PJ1) held on good throughout the race in July; I’m a fan of it. July’s race was a blast and everyone is excited about it this time around. We’re going to be aggressive and just go after it this weekend.”

Denny Hamlin says it’s ‘a necessity’ to improve Pocono with traction compound next year


LONG POND, Pa. – A leader of the NASCAR Drivers Council says it’s time for the longest test of the traction compound that has been sweeping the Cup Series this season.

After finishing fourth in Sunday’s Overton’s 400, Denny Hamlin said using the PJ1 substance is “a necessity, honestly” at Pocono Raceway, continuing a crusade he started on Twitter last week.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said Sunday that he recently had lobbied Pocono executives to use the compound.

“(They) said it’s definitely on the table when we come back,” Hamlin said. “I’d love to see it in the second to third lane, and you could see some amazing restarts and fun racing here once they do that.

The sticky substance, which is intended to add another lane of racing, has been used this season at Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pocono’s 2.5-mile triangular layout would be the biggest track yet for its application.

“This is a one-lane racetrack,” said Hamlin, who led 18 laps Sunday before being passed by teammate and eventual race winner Kyle Busch with 16 laps remaining. “We’ve had great races in the sense of they’ve been close, but you need cautions here to fall and exciting restarts for there to be great and exciting racing. Side by side racing really doesn’t exist at this racetrack except for one lap after a restart.”

Hamlin has four wins at Pocono, most recently in June 2010.