Gresham Motorsports Park news 2009-05-20

Gresham Motorsports Park Repaving Project Hits The Ground This Week JEFFERSON, GA (May 19, 2009) -- One of the most critical phases of the Gresham Motorsports Park (GMP) renovation got underway this week with the removal of the track's old ...

Gresham Motorsports Park Repaving Project Hits The Ground This Week

JEFFERSON, GA (May 19, 2009) -- One of the most critical phases of the Gresham Motorsports Park (GMP) renovation got underway this week with the removal of the track's old half-mile racing surface.

"You can't believe how happy I am to have this part of the project underway," said Elliott. "It's very hard to find the right people to do the job. With the banking in the turns a full 14 degrees, not just any company could do this. Sunbelt Asphalt is that kind of company and are just as interested in what the surface is going to look like, how it's going to race, and how it's going to stand up to racing as we are. Honestly, I think they are more enthusiastic about getting started on it than I am."

According to Elliott, the paving process started with Simpson Trucking and Grading, Inc. taking up the old layer of asphalt that graced the former Peach State Speedway racing surface. When Simpson has the surface preparation complete, Sunbelt Asphalt Services, Inc., an Auburn, GA company, will begin the repaving process.

"In the first bids we did for Gresham Motorsports Park, we weren't going to take off the old surface, we were just going to cover it with new asphalt," said Elliott. "I'm so pleased that Simpson Truck and Grading is going to take the old surface off. I was very concerned that over time, the repairs to the old asphalt were going to come up after a couple of years. No matter how good we covered it up, I don't believe there was any way to negate the imperfections coming back over time. To be able to stabilize the surface under the new track and cover it with new asphalt is going to allow Sunbelt to laser the surface and make it as smooth as possible. It's going to make the final racing surface we have here at Gresham Motorsports Park first rate for years to come."

According to the site plans, Sunbelt will be laying down more than just a new half-mile oval racing surface at GMP. Additional areas that Sunbelt plans on asphalting include the infield Legends Car oval, all of the track aprons, infield access roads, facility entrance roads and specific parking areas such as Special Needs/Handicap lots.

"What you don't want in any asphalt job is cold joints" said Elliott. "You want it to look like one continuous ribbon of asphalt, you want those joints to be smoothed together. The temperature that the asphalt is laid and how quickly they can get it down will have a lot to do with that. We're hoping to do that in July, in the heat of the summer, so we can get the best surface we can possibly have."

If all things stay on point, Elliott hopes to have the paving portion of the total facility renovation done by mid Summer and have race cars on the track by early Fall. When the reconstruction process is completed, GMP will be a totally fresh facility featuring a new racing surface, fencing, lighting and retaining walls for the half-mile oval. Additional scheduled improvements will also include a new aluminum grandstand -- now to be located on what used to be the back straight of the Peach State track - and a lowered infield pit area for better sight lines and fan viewing. Other improvements scheduled are a quarter-mile Legends track on infield of the half-mile oval, renovated restrooms, new concession areas and trackside parking.

"We're hoping to have a 30-day cure time before we start putting some racecars on the racetrack," said Elliott. "We've already talked about having cars on the track by September 1. We'd love to be able to conduct some tire tests to determine what tire compound we want to use here when we open the track for the World Crown 300 in November. We'll also have some open tests that will allow teams to come in and get some laps under their belts on the new track. That will also get some rubber into the racetrack and make it ready to go when we swing the gates open on the World Crown 300."

About Gresham Motorsports Park
Opened as Jefco Speedway with a NASCAR Late Model Sportsman (now Nationwide) race in 1967, Gresham Motorsports Park has served the auto racing community for more than 40 years. The half-mile asphalt oval, located just outside Jefferson, GA, is currently under a total facility renovation and is expected to reopen with the 26th-Annual World Crown 300 November 13-15, 2009. The multi-purpose facility is currently formulating plans to host a wide range of events in 2010 including multiple divisions of auto racing, local and regional Craft Shows, Farmer's and Flea Markets, Car Shows, Concerts and other community events. For more information about Gresham Motorsports Park -- or to enquire about booking a 2010 event at the facility - please log on to www.greshammotorsportspark.com

-credit: gmp

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