BRISTOL, TN (May 9, 2000) - When the news broke last fall that NASCAR's most exciting racetrack was going to be completely covered with dirt, racing enthusiasts nationwide asked the same question: How are they going to do that? After months of...
BRISTOL, TN (May 9, 2000) - When the news broke last fall that NASCAR's most exciting racetrack was going to be completely covered with dirt, racing enthusiasts nationwide asked the same question: How are they going to do that? After months of preparation and consulting, Bristol Motor Speedway began laying dirt Monday, May 8th on the fast 1/2-mile concrete oval. An engineering feat that will require more than 14,000 cubic yards of dirt to accommodate the famous winged sprint cars on June 9 & 10 for the Inaugural Channellock Challenge at Bristol.
"This is an exciting day for everyone here at Bristol Motor Speedway," said Wayne Estes, BMS Director of Communications. "It will be a tremendous experience to see the World of Outlaws competing on one of the most exciting tracks in the world. We know the Channellock Challenge at Bristol will be a season highlight. The track should be extremely fast and exciting, and I think that's what the competitors and fans will be looking for."
The second biggest question being asked was: How are they going to clean it up? Last week, Speedway Motorsports' Jeff Black worked with Baker Construction Services and learned that the clay sticks to the concrete extremely well. Almost too well, making removal very difficult without establishing a "boundary" between the clay and concrete. A number of materials were tested including a biodegradable paint-on sealer, straw, and two kinds of geo-textile fabric. However, the best suggestion was offered by BMS Paint Supervisor George Wilson, -- sawdust. To everyone's surprise, sawdust performed better than any of the other options. Wilson's analogy for considering sawdust is something that everyone that's spent time in the kitchen can appreciate. "It's like putting a little flour on the cutting board before you roll out the biscuits."
"The flour" (sawdust) for the racetrack was donated to the project by a local farmer whose land is just a mile and half from the racetrack. According to track officials, the clay content will provide one of the best dirt racing surfaces in the area.
Fans can keep up with the dirt laying process at Bristol Motor Speedway by logging onto to www.bristolmotorspeedway.com and/or at channellock.com. The Outlaw drivers will get their first opportunity to test out the surface during an open test on May 23.