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NASCAR Cup Charlotte

Charlotte Motor Speedway unveils changes to NASCAR Roval layout

Charlotte Motor Speedway has announced a pair of significant changes to the Roval layout it utilizes for its fall NASCAR race weekend.

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CMS unveiled the Roval layout in 2018 – a 2.28-mile combination of the oval and an infield road course which added a road course event to the NASCAR playoffs for the first time.

The speedway announced alterations to the course prior to Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 which it hopes will provide additional passing opportunities in the event.

The straight-away coming out of Turn 5 will be extended and a new Turn 6 created, which will send the field toward a much sharper hairpin in Turn 7. On the frontstretch, a significantly sharper apex will be created in Turn 16 of the final chicane.

Charlotte Motor Speedway road course layout

Charlotte Motor Speedway road course layout

Photo by: Charlotte Motor Speedway

The circuit will still feature 17 total turns and a length of approximately 2.28 miles with 35 feet of elevation change.

“Two distinct braking zones are going to really help the competition and provide great overtaking opportunities,” said Marcus Smith, president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports. “One of the biggest things we’ve heard is about off-throttle time in oval racing.

“In road-course racing, you want as much of an opportunity as possible for a driver to play with the brake pedal, the gas pedal and the steering wheel. That’s what a well-designed track is going to provide – those overtaking opportunities.

“That’s what we’ve done.”

Charlotte Motor Speedway road course layout

Charlotte Motor Speedway road course layout

Photo by: Charlotte Motor Speedway

The track has hosted six Cup races on the Roval layout, and it has produced five different winners. Chase Elliott is the only repeat winner (2019-20).

Reigning series champion Ryan Blaney, who won the inaugural Roval Cup race in 2018, believes the changes will improve passing opportunities on the course.

“The heaviest braking zone out there is going to be Turn 7,” Blaney said. “You’re going to see a lot of good passes there, as far as people getting runs, diving it in there and taking chances. I thought that corner was tight the way it was before, but it’s going to be even tighter now.

"It’s going to be really exciting. Drivers like change, if it’s for a better show and for better racing that it produces. I think they’ve done that.”

Fans will get their first glimpse of the all-new Roval layout this fall when both the Xfinity and Cup series will compete in playoff races on the new layout in mid-October.

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