If the late-night Thursday tweets of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin are any indication, drivers aren’t taking too kindly to Speedway Motorsports Inc. vice president Steve Swift’s comments about the company’s efforts to prep Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night’s Cup race.
After some drivers were outspoken about the way the track was dragging tires for enhanced grip in only the lower groove of the corners, Swift told NBC Sports that “I think we know what we’re doing.”
Kentucky is doing the prep because the track had to be resurfaced again after the 2016 season after some potential durability issues were found after it was resurfaced following the 2015 season. And while the track has a new surface layer of asphalt, a bump near a drain on the apron of the track near the start/finish line still exists.
We know that because Noah Gragson spun out after his truck bottomed out and lost control after a rocky ride while making an attempt to pass in Thursday night’s rain-delayed Truck Series race.
But back to the corners of the track. Some have wondered if Kentucky is better served to drag tires in the higher grooves of the track because the bottom of the track is the natural groove. As the widespread theory goes, prepping and adding grip to the top portions of the track could make those areas of the track available as additional grooves while the bottom will always be a potential groove even if it doesn’t have any preparation on it.
Swift disputed the disputes Thursday in his interview with NBC, saying the track is being prepped the way it was in 2016 and that the 30+ feet being prepped on the bottom of the track is more than enough room for drivers to have multiple grooves.
We’ll see if that happens. Junior, it seems, is a tad skeptical and delivered a zinger regarding Swift’s motivational quote-filled Twitter account.
He's gonna tweet that second groove a motivational quote Saturday morning. It's all gonna be fine.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 7, 2017
Perhaps Swift saw the feedback. This is what his motivational tweet was Friday morning.
– – – – – – –