Dover touching up racing surface

DOVER, Del. (Dec. 16, 1998) After four complete seasons, the concrete racing surface at Dover Downs International Speedway has met its goal of providing clean racing on a consistent surface for NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division competitors. With precision grinding work to remove imperfections, it also proved suitable for the lower and lighter Indy-style cars in last summer's Pep Boys Indy Racing League inaugural. Meanwhile, concrete found another use in repaving the pit boxes during the 1998 season. In preparation for 1999, the same laser-guided grinding technique is being used to touch-up the surface in several locations to promote even better racing conditions for all divisions using the track. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series will make their first appearance of the year at the MBNA Platinum 200/400 weekend, June 4-6, with the Pep Boys Indy Racing League returning July 30-Aug. 1. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series competitors return for the MBNA Gold 200/400 weekend, Sept. 24-26. Concrete runs cooler and changes characteristics during the race less than asphalt, giving the drivers and crew chiefs a more consistent playing field. One result has been fewer caution laps and higher average speeds in NASCAR events. The final eight NASCAR Winston Cup Series races on Dover's asphalt surface, from 1991 to 1994, averaged 76.2 caution laps per event. In the first eight races on concrete, just 43.3 laps per event have been lost to the caution flag. Using average speeds to compare the pre- and post-concrete eras shows the same result while factoring out the change from 500 to 400 mile race distance in 1997. The last eight races on asphalt averaged 109.5 mph, while the first eight races on concrete were run at an average 119.1 mph, representing a 10 percent rise in race speeds while the qualifying record increased by only 3 percent in the same period. Meanwhile, the number of lead changes has remained nearly constant -- 17 per race on concrete, 19.5 per race in the final years on asphalt. Tickets are on sale for all NASCAR events at Dover in 1999. To order tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE (1-800-441-7223) toll free from outside Delaware, or 302-734-RACE (302-734-7223) long distance from anywhere. For recorded information, including updated NASCAR Winston Cup Series ticket availability, call 302-674-4600, 24 hours a day, or visit the website at

Source: NASCAR Online