Motorsport News

Is this Heaven? No, This Is Iowa

Arca Menards Series Shore Lunch 150

Repavings are always a hot button topic when it comes to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Fans are still talking about Atlanta’s new/old repave and some racetracks are even being ripped up entirely (see Auto Club for reference).

The past few weeks, though, another track has taken some heat (and praise) for repaving, even if the track took an unconventional route in doing so.

When fans talk about race tracks being repaved, they usually mean really large or entire sections of the track. At ovals, a repave usually means all the way around the track, such as with Atlanta.

Road courses are a bit different, though. Those tracks tend to repave areas like heavy braking and acceleration zones, similarly to what Circuit of the Americas did before this year’s NASCAR weekend in Austin.

The group over at Iowa Speedway, however, somehow managed to do both and neither of those things simultaneously.

For those fans that may be unaware what they are looking at in that photo, that is exactly what turns 3-4 of Iowa Speedway look like right now as of a Goodyear tire test held at the track this past week.

The track has been repaved in the corners of the 7/8 mile oval in hopes that it will create more grip through those turning sections. However, fans and drivers alike typically aren’t fans of repaves done in this fashion as it more times than not results in single file racing with little to no tire falloff.

Drivers like Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson were present for the tire test and gave some of their opinions on the new-look Iowa Speedway.

“This place had a lot of character,” said Larson. “It really bummed me (when they repaved it). You know, (it was) weathered pavement, old pavement, which usually produces great racing.”

Larson went on to say that despite the repave, the track did still hold a bit of its character. However, the notorious bump that Iowa is famed for over the tunnel is gone, according to the Chevy driver.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell was open about the fact that he personally wasn’t a fan of the repave at all.

“No (I didn’t like it),” said Bell. “I wish they wouldn’t have had to redo it … It just adds a lot of grip to the racetrack, and Iowa was a place that was a low grip track before, and you could move around all over the place and really pass guys. I’m a little bit worried now that the pace is going to be really fast, and it’s going to be harder to…

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