Texas Motor Speedway and IndyCar are going the extra mile to try and ensure this year’s race returns to a two-groove affair.
Last year, a resin called PJ1 was applied to the 1.5-mile oval in hopes it would help the NASCAR shows with overtaking but it had an adverse effect on IndyCars as Scott Dixon dominated (leading 157 of 200 laps) in what was primarily a one-groove race,
But, in preparation for the May 1-2 doubleheader, TMS president Eddie Gossage and his crew have been working flat out to remove the PJ1 and hopefully restore the kind of side-by-side competition that’s been delivered since 1997. TMS has been brushing away the PJ1, many times at night because it’s cooler and because removing it with a chemical could damage the track surface.
“Texas has been great. It’s a nightly process but progress is being made,” said IndyCar president Jay Frye. “We’ve also focused a lot of attention on the speedway program this off-season. Combined with Firestone bringing a great tire that we tested a couple of times in 2019 but didn’t use last year because of the pandemic, I think it will be an awesome show.”
IndyCar also has made some changes to the underwing of the Dallara and, in hopes of validating progress, a seven-car test will be staged March 30 at Texas, followed by a 17-car test on March 31.