Michigan International Speedway repave not the most popular decision among drivers
Oakland Press photo/MATT MYFTIU
The grandstands are shown Friday at Michigan International Speedway. The track announced Friday it will repave during the offseason, and finish work before the 2012 races.
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- It was announced Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway that the speedway will be repaved after the August race (for the fourth time in its history), meaning a brand new racing surface in 2012. Pit road will actually be repaved between the June and August races at MIS. The track was built in 1968 and repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995.
While time will tell how that affects the track, traditionally that has been bad news for multi-groove racing, so a lot of drivers were naturally taken back by the news.
Kyle Busch said he hadn’t been told of the repave, but he hopes they get some driver input so the repave doesn’t “ruin” the racing at MIS.
"I haven't been one of the ones that they've talked to about it. I hope they talked to somebody at least and got some ideas on maybe how to make sure that they can repave this place. And, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but not ruin it – you know what I mean. When you repave a place or when you pave one to begin with like a Kansas or a Chicago or a California a few years ago when they did that place. It was always one groove right around the bottom of the race track. Homestead, I feel like did the best at it when they repaved it. You could go right to the race track and you could run the bottom, you could move to the middle, you could go to the top. It was a race track that you could move all over the place instead of just being stuck to one lane. So, hopefully they can take a little bit of information from Homestead and do that here -- progressively bank it here -- in order to help drivers out."
Clint Bowyer said that unfortunately these things have to done from time to time, and he’s not as worried as Busch.
“The sad thing is that it’s time to repave a few of them and it’s just come due. It’s the only thing you can do when its time……..its time. You have got to repave it. These tracks do age well and as they age the racing gets better and better and Goodyear does a good job of bringing tires that create a good racing environment on the surface whichever the case may be whether it’s got a lot of grip and its brand new and fresh or slippery and slimy. But like I said, it’s been a good race track over the years and it’s been a lot of fun to race on and it’s going to provide good racing no matter what the surface is.”
Then there was Dale Jr., who was quite blunt in his response: “The track’s awesome. I don’t know why it needs new asphalt. They ought to send that asphalt over to Pocono.”
Kevin Harvick said: “I’m not a big fan of repaving anywhere, to be honest with you. But I understand that obviously you get to a point with the asphalt where it becomes kind of a safety concern.”
Ryan Newman said that after a repave, “character comes with time,” but that means that, unfortunately, 2012 might not be the best year in the history of MIS racing.
But hey, I hope I’m wrong. We’ll find out in 2012.
Milestone starts at MIS
David Reutimann will be making his 150th series start and #30-David Stremme will attempt to make his 125th series start at Michigan International Speedway.
General admission seats sold out at MIS
But reserved tickets starting at $39, with kids 17 and under half price, are still available for Sunday’s race.
Lloyd Carr to serve as MIS grand marshal
Lloyd Carr, the former University of Michigan football coach and recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Father's Day Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday. In his 13 years (1995-2007) as head coach of Michigan football, Carr compiled a 122-40 record.
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