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Charlotte to reapply PJ1 traction compound after issue spraying it

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the fastest car in practice at Charlotte shortly before crashing into the wall and being forced into a backup.

CONCORD, North Carolina — Charlotte Motor Speedway will reapply the PJ1 traction compound early Saturday after an issue in spraying it Friday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and David Ragan all hit the wall in Friday’s Cup practice.

“We discovered the sprayer heads on our machine – one was partially clogged, the other was not spraying enough and there is not enough substance on the race track in Turn 4,” Don Hawk, senior vice president of business affairs for Speedway Motorsports, Inc., told

Drivers who wrecked reported how slick the traction compound was.

“Just unfortunate that I got up in the stuff, the grippy stuff and it was slick,’’ Busch said after qualifying fourth. “It just kind of washed us right out to the fence.”

Earnhardt hit the wall moments after Cup practice began Friday and had to go to a backup car. Keselowski, Busch and Ragan did not go to a backup car.

“The stuff that they sprayed down, it’s had a bad reaction to the sun or something that has made it really slick,’’ Earnhardt said. “We saw at Bristol it takes some heat and some activity to work it in … and create grip but we’ve never seen it like this. I know it’s the same stuff that they’ve used in the past and we’ve not had any issues with here and at New Hampshire and other places.’’

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn’t crash but he had an anxious moment when he ran through it in practice.

“It’s the opposite of traction right now,’’ he said. “I got a little high off of Turn 2. It’s just as slick in (Turns) 1 and 2 as it is in 3 and 4. None of us are going to go run there on purpose to get that in.

“At a place like (New Hampshire), you’re running 70 miles an hour in the corner vs. 170 and can kind of run it in, you’ve got modifieds that help run it. I don’t really see us running that in, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. None of us really thought that the compound traction really helped us last race here. We thought it was a little bit slicker as well. It will be interesting to see how it works.’’

Martin Truex Jr., who didn’t have any issues in practice, expressed confidence in the compound.

“I think as we move through the weekend it will get better and better,’’ Truex said.

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