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Michigan seeks to widen groove in corners by dragging tires

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400

BROOKLYN, MI - JUNE 18: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Cars 3/Target Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 18, 2017 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

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Michigan International Speedway, in consultation with NASCAR, is again dragging tires to help provide teams more grip for this weekend’s races, but there are a couple of changes, NBC Sports has learned.

Tires will not be dragged to the wall as was done for the June race. Instead, tires have been dragged from the top of the bottom groove up about 24 feet -- three widths of the Tire Dragon. That would take it about two-thirds of the way to the wall.

Also, the track has been able to spend more time dragging tires. The process for this weekend’s race began July 14. While the track has not been able to drag tires every day, it has done so most days. By adding rubber, the goal is to provide drivers with more grip in multiple lanes, allowing drivers to use more of the track.

The lack of grip outside the groove was an issue for some in June.
“It’s really a one-groove track still that it’s just hard to make anything happen,’' Jimmie Johnson said after finishing 10th there in June.

Joey Logano, who finished third in that race, said that day he thought the tire dragging had been done in the wrong area leading up to that race.

The track was last repaved for the 2012 season.

There are no plans to treat the track with a traction compound.

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