Starting after Sunday’s race, track crews are going to go to work reconfiguring the Arizona track that NASCAR has raced at since 1988. The changes will include a minor tweak to the banking in the corners, as well as a major adjustment to the backstretch dogleg.
Progressive banking will be added to the turns. Turns 1 and 2, which currently have 11 degrees of banking, will have 10 degrees on the bottom and 11 degrees on the top. Turns 3 and 4, which currently have 9 degrees of banking, will have 8 degrees on the bottom and 9 on the top.
The backstretch dogleg(highlighted in black and yellow stripes above) is currently more of a “jut”, so to speak, instead of an actual turn. It is also flat, which discourages two-wide racing. With the new changes, the dogleg will be more of a turn, with the same 10-11 degree progressive banking we’ll see in turns 1 and 2.
The frontstretch will also be widened by 10 feet.
The changes to the speedway will be significant. It will be interesting to see come this fall just how much the changes will affect the racing.
Hopefully it will affect it a lot. Phoenix is notorious for single-file racing in spite of its short-track reputation and configuration. With the new changes, hopefully more side-by-side racing will be encouraged, and we’ll see a great event at the 1-mile oval in the desert come November.
And if not, perhaps more changes will be in store.