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NASCAR official: Most upcoming tracks will have grip enhancements


Traction compound was added to the lower groove of the racing surface at Bristol Motor Speedway before the race there earlier this year. Photo: Dustin Long

Bristol Motor Speedway will once again use the PJ1 compound for a third consecutive time for this weekend’s NASCAR events there.

First applied at last August’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race and again for the Food City 500 earlier this year, the compound has resulted in greater grip and additional grooves that has led to closer side-by-side racing.

As a result of the success at Bristol, as well as other tracks, look for PJ1 -- or tire dragging to add more rubber to the racing surface -- to be utilized at several other tracks during the upcoming 10-race NASCAR Cup playoffs.

“We had our driver council meeting Friday night in Michigan, and part of that meeting was to go over the remaining race tracks, talk about where we may or may not put something on the surface (or) where we want to rubber in the track,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said Monday on The Morning Drive on Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio.

“(We) really worked with the drivers to say what is the exact line where you think this would continue to improve the racing on track,” O’Donnell added. “It’s been going really well so far.

“We learn obviously where it works and where we’ve got some changes to make. We liked the first race at Bristol where we used it, might have missed the line a little bit the last time, so we’re going to go back to where we were with the first race and think that will be a really good solution.”

BMS officials are preparing to add the PJ1 treatment to the lower groove in time for Wednesday’s UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series race on Wednesday.

The compound will also be reapplied for Friday’s Xfinity Series Food City 300 and Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.

It has worked so well that BMS sister tracks Charlotte Motor Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway – which will both host races in the upcoming 10-race NASCAR Cup playoffs – have also utilized the compound.

At tracks that do not use the compound, O’Donnell said others may use tire dragging to add more rubber to the race surface, much like took place at Michigan International Speedway prior to Sunday’s race.

“I think there’s only actually a couple (of tracks) where we won’t have something,” O’Donnell told TMD. “There’s a lot of different things when you look at trying to bring a high line in, especially at Texas, bringing that second groove.”

O’Donnell expects to announce which tracks will either use the compound or tire dragging in the next week.

“We want to finalize it with the race tracks,” O’Donnell said. “I think, all in all, we’ve got a plan for each one of the upcoming tracks.’’

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