By AMANDA VINCENT
Competitors in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series face the unknown this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth. The track was recently repaved and reconfigured, and no NASCAR series has tested the track. Despite the new surface at TMS, NASCAR didn’t schedule extra track time for either series during the race weekend that includes an Xfinity Series race at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 Cup Series race at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
Heading into the race weekend, the only driver from either series to get any time on the track was Texas native Chris Buescher, but his only track time came from behind the wheel of one of the facility’s pace cars.
“There’s really no homework to do,” Kyle Busch, the defending O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 winner, said. “You can’t even watch last year’s races. You can’t look at anything besides the Buescher YouTube video and just see what the place looks like so you don’t go in there blind. That’s about it.”
In addition to a repaving of the surface, the banking in turns one and two was reduced from 24 to 20 degrees and that end of the track was widened from 60 ft. to 80 ft. A new drainage system also was installed.
Here’s the video of Buescher’s time on the track, as posted to YouTube by Texas Motor Speedway: