Charlotte Motor Speedway showed off its new frontstretch chicane, developed with the installation of a Sports Fields Inc. synthetic turf, on Thursday afternoon at the track.
The new chicane and turf, located off the exit of Turn 4, are part of a new layout for the speedway’s road course, which will be in use during the 2018 playoffs race next year.
The road course layout is official now, marked as an 18-turn, 2.4-mile layout. The 2018 race will serve as the first road course race in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs history.
The synthetic turf project — designed to slow cars down quicker and more efficiently than regular grass — became a reality through the use of 42,000 square feet of synthetic turf, 1,100 gallons of glue and 300,000 pounds of sand.
According to the track, drivers in next year’s playoff race will decelerate from 200 mph in oval Turn 3 into the new, left-right chicane – surrounded by synthetic turf – as they exit Turn 4 and before they approach the start/finish line. A second chicane will be added to the speedway’s backstretch to allow the course to become compatible for traditional road-course setups. The additional turns will provide extra passing zones.