Construction crews are hard at work at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the “roval” course that is rumored to be used for NASCAR races in the future.
The road course layout is a mixture of both the well-known 1.5-mile oval and infield track. The course starts off at the track’s start/finish line, followed closely by a hard left-hander that turns into the infield course. The course then winds around some hairpin turns and sweeping left and right corners before another sharp left-hander that sends the cars back onto the oval in Turn 1. A full lap is then completed around the four turns of the oval back to the start/finish line.
The work appears to be concentrated on the transition section of the racetrack where the oval turns into and out of the infield track. With the original layout of the track’s road course, the entrance to the infield section starts directly at the end of pit road down towards Turn 1. This means that the cars would be diving perpendicular across the exit of pit road.
That could be a huge safety concern.
So the track appears to be working to make this transition area a little safer. From a bird’s eye view, the track will be paving over the last section of the infield grass on the quad oval in which the drivers would use as the turning point into the infield. This newly paved crossover would be a little bit further down than the original course layout, which in turn would be farther down from pit road exit.
A new wall appears to be being built by the infield course entrance by the scoring pylon which would act as a divider between the racetrack and pit road exit lane. The drivers coming off pit road would turn immediately to the left of the wall, and the drivers coming full song on track would stay to the right. The wall would allow the drivers coming off pit road a little more safety and time before blending in with the other drivers. The layout appears to be similar to Daytona International Speedway’s road course entrance and exit.
Work is also being done to the transition area back onto the oval. The infield section ends with a 180 degree left-hander back onto the banking in Turn 1. The construction crew appears to be making this transition as safe as possible because it is not too far away from the entrance to the infield section.
Many may wonder why the track is working on the road course so early because if the rumors are true the infield course wouldn’t be integrated by NASCAR until 2018. But multiple sources have said the track is working in accordance with the sanctioning body to ensure that they have a safe and exciting layout that they think will put on a great show for both fans and drivers before announcing that they are going to use it.
A Charlotte Motor Speedway official confirmed the construction taking place to the road course, but wouldn’t comment any further. Speedway president Marcus Smith had said on a SMI investors call in March that the company was working to “finish the enhancement of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s infield road course.”