Texas is a state where everything is bigger, so it only makes sense that the much-ballyhooed bump at Texas Motor Speedway seems to be growing. The bump is this: a patch of uneven pavement over the South tunnel, between turns 1 and 2. And drivers...
Texas is a state where everything is bigger, so it only makes sense that the much-ballyhooed bump at Texas Motor Speedway seems to be growing.
The bump is this: a patch of uneven pavement over the South tunnel, between turns 1 and 2. And drivers aren't too happy about it.
"It's significant," explained Jeff Gordon. "One of the things that's keeping an outside groove from really forming is that it gets worse as you go up the race track. It's very significant. It makes Texas Motor Speedway that much more challenging."
The main complaint seems to be that it upsets the handling of the racecar and several race teams are making a concentrated plan of how they are going to get through that area unscathed.
"It's something that upsets the car," Gordon continued. "We have them a lot of places we go. The problem is this track is so smooth. It has so much grip and it's so fast everywhere else except with that area that it stands out a lot more than typically. Atlanta last week, that track has a lot of bumps on it as well but because the track has worn and aged it doesn't have quite as much grip. The tires fall off everything. We don't complain about it as much. The primary thing we are working on is getting through the bump. That's on our mind, definitely."
Fourth-place Chaser Dale Earnhardt, Jr. feels that the "bump" will prevent Texas Motor Speedway from producing three- and four-wide racing, and offered a solution, "I think you can just take the asphalt and dig it up and pave over it. Sort of like what they did when they put the tunnel in at Martinsville. You just take that little chunk of race track up. It ain't going to be but about maybe 20 feet wide. I don't know if you have to do it from the top of the wall to the apron, but maybe you might as well."
Short of Earnhardt wheeling a grinder through the infield tunnel the "bump" doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. It's an issue that the race track will fix if they really feel a case is made that they need to fix it.
For some drivers, they aren't sure what everyone is complaining about.
"What I think is funny is Atlanta is one of the roughest tracks we race on," said Kurt Busch. "You don't hear anybody talk about bumps at Atlanta. We drive through them. We drive fast through them. We have old tires on and they're still there. You come to such a great first-class facility like Texas, and it always seems to be under scrutiny and there's one little bump so there's an issue. If that bump wasn't there it would be glass smooth. This place is very smooth. It's fast, and there's a bump out there, so we have to deal with it and move on. Atlanta has plenty of bumps."