NASCAR has made changes to the backstretch chicane of the Daytona International Speedway Road Course ahead of this weekend’s racing following criticism by drivers.
During last week’s Busch Clash exhibition race on the road course, drivers complained that dirt and grass was being pulled onto the track when cars cut the corners on the backstretch chicane.
Ahead of all three national series’ races this weekend, and to help reduce incidents, NASCAR has now added rumble strips in front of the “turtle curbing” to the Turn 9 and Turn 10 chicane in an effort to deter corner cutting and from debris being pulled onto the circuit.
The rumble strips are the same as those used already on the frontstretch chicane. The one to the driver’s right on entry is approximately 36 feet long, and the other is approximately 30 feet long.
Following the Clash, several Cup Series drivers approached NASCAR about various ideas to address the problem.
“What happens is you get behind somebody real close, and you go in there and you can’t see where you are going, so if they get into the mud, you follow them and if there is four cars in line, everybody’s trying to cut the chicane a little tighter, a little tighter and it just blows mud everywhere,” driver Martin Truex Jr said after the race last weekend.
“We’ve got to figure that out a little bit, but outside of that – the track is a blast.”
Chase Elliott won the inaugural race on the Daytona Road Course last season and is going for his third consecutive road course victory in Sunday’s race. He will start on the pole with Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell also starting on the front row.
“It looked like a good fix to me in short order,” said Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson.
“Should be good. I don’t really have any issues with guys straightening that bus stop. That’s their job. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Just the dirt was a problem.”