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Volume 26 No. 139
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Charlotte Motor Speedway Modifies "Roval" For Quicker Laps; Ready For NASCAR Playoffs

Charlotte Motor Speedway's "Roval" road course has been "modified and now appears ready for this season’s NASCAR playoffs," according to Brendan Marks of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. The track was "originally introduced at 2.42 miles with 18 turns." But some drivers and SMI President & CEO Marcus Smith "took issue with some of the track’s tighter, slower turns." The new design will "instead be 2.28 miles long and 17 turns, cutting out one major turn that will save an estimated 15 to 20 seconds per lap." That will help keep the "race length down to comparable lengths with other races instead of stretching it into a drastically longer event" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/23). NBCSPORTS.com's Daniel McFadin noted there will be "more than 35 feet of elevation changes between Roval Turn 4 -- the lowest point in the track -- and Roval Turn 9, the highest point." An artificial turn has also been "added to the backstretch right before the entrance of Turn 3 of the oval." The track is "adding 440 temporary rumble strips" (NBCSPORTS.com, 1/22). NASCAR Exec VP & Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said, "Drivers want to put on the best race possible, and we felt like this adjustment offered a little quicker lap. We had input from everybody. The tire manufacturer, the teams, the drivers all came together and said they felt like this was best" (USA TODAY, 1/23).