Charlotte Motor Speedway has to re-apply the traction compound to its turns after it discovered the same amount was not applied uniformly before Friday’s track activities.
In Friday’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, four drivers – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and David Ragan – got loose exiting Turn 4 and hit the wall during practice runs.
Earnhardt and Busch both suffered enough damage to require the move to backup cars.
After the practice incidents, CMS officials discovered the Turn 4 area did not receive as much of the traction compound (PJ1) as the other turns.
“Turn 2 is different than Turn 4 as it relates to the PJ1 application. The drivers (who questioned this) are correct,” Don Hawk, senior vice president of business affairs Speedway Motorsports Inc., told Motorsport.com.
“It is not the same in Turn 4. We discovered the sprayer heads on our machine – one was partially clogged, the other was not spraying enough and there is not enough substance on the race track in Turn 4.”
Hawk said the difference was in the middle of the groove and up and several drivers inquired about it after the practice session.
“We realized late this afternoon what happened and wanted to be forthright about it and fix it,” he said.
The track plans to reapply the compound early Saturday morning but could end up doing it late Friday night if the weather forecast for Saturday is questionable.
Earnhardt was among the first to notice the difference after his incident in the first five minutes of the session.
“The stuff that they sprayed down it has had a bad reaction to the sun or something that has made it really slick. We saw at Bristol, it takes some heat and some activity to work it in and get it to activate and create grip, but we never seen it like this,” Earnhardt said during a media availability Friday afternoon.
“So, I don’t know … I know it’s the same stuff that they have used in the past that we have not had any issues with here and at New Hampshire and other places, but something about the way they put it on, the time of day, the sun beating on it all day, I don’t know, but something has made it to where it doesn’t have grip, it’s the opposite.”
Driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said the effects of the traction compound have been different at every track that has utilized it.
“I think a lot of us are interested in how it will play out. I know there’s quite a few tore-up cars already just from it,” he said. “I got in it off of (Turn) 2 and it’s definitely really slick. I saw that from other cars and I experienced it a little bit myself. I was pretty cautious there in practice just making sure we got through it.”
NASCAR officials declined comment when asked about the track’s issue.