JEFF BURTON SAYS RECONFIGURED SPEEDWAY PASSES TEST
FORT WORTH-DALLAS (Dec. 8, 1998) - Jeff Burton, winner of the inaugural Winston Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997, also had the honor of being the first Winston Cup driver to test on the reconfigured speedway.
Burton, who is testing Tuesday and Wednesday for Goodyear, says the changes made to the racing surface earlier this year have made a real difference.
"It's much better," said Burton. "The groove is much wider - turn four and turn one are much smoother. I'm not sure exactly what all they did, but whatever changes they made, it worked."
Following the April 5 Texas 500, speedway officials embarked on an aggressive reconfiguration of the 1.5-mile racing surface. A completely new drainage system was installed around and underneath the speedway, the transitions entering turn one and exiting turn four were redesigned and the 24-degree banked corners were widened by eight feet.
"I think it's going to be faster," said Burton. "We'll definitely have more speed in the turns. I think it's just going to be better racing all the way around. It's going to give more drivers the chance to stay competitive and to win.
"I'm sure there will be a few drivers who'll come here and say they still don't like it. But you can ask any driver about any track and they'll all have a different opinion. But I'll tell you what, nobody will come here and say that it isn't better - because it is. They've fixed the problems."
Thousands of race fans already seemed sure of the speedway's success as a record number of individual race tickets were sold Saturday, Dec. 5 - the first day of individual ticket sales for 1999.
"We're so pleased with the response from the fans," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "The support for the speedway and motorsports in Texas has been tremendous, and we'll continue to give the fans the great racing they deserve."
In addition to the more traditional methods of buying tickets at the speedway or by phone, many fans are taking advantage of the speedway's website. Tickets may be purchased online through www.texasmotorspeedway.com where fans can link to TicketMaster to purchase their seats.