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May 04, 2018/ 8:08

IMS Improves Track Surface Ahead Of Indy 500

IMS Improves Track Surface Ahead Of Indy 500

Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) performed routine maintenance ahead of the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and after listening to feedback from several Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.

Following testing last October, IMS President Doug Boles had contacted drivers James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon about the track surface’s condition.

“They both highlighted a couple of areas in the track that they felt like had changed over the summer a little bit,” said Boles. “So we did some core samples last fall and really started driving around the track and trying to understand some of the issues that were out there.

There were a total of 16 locations where there were bumps grounded down, particularly at the exit of Turn 2, the entry of Turn 3 and the exit of Turn 4.

“The top three lanes are almost perfect, almost as if we had laid it last year,” said Boles. “The bottom two lanes are the ones we’re most concerned about and right now we believe with the sealing we’ve done and the grinding we’ve done, we’ve got at least another 3-5 years out of this surface.”

IMS also reached out to Firestone, the exclusive tire supplier of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“The track grinding has had no effect on tire performance thus far,” Chief Engineer for Firestone Cara Adams said. “Firestone’s tire specification for the Indy 500 is very similar to last year, with only minor modifications.”

Practice for the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course begins Friday, May 11. The race will take place May 12, at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be aired on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. Practice for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 starts on May 15, with race day on May 27.