After drivers complained of mud on the racing surface in the turns nine and 10 chicane on the Daytona International Speedway road course during the Busch Clash NASCAR Cup Series exhibition race on Feb. 9, NASCAR has added rumble strips to that portion of the race track in preparation for racing there this weekend. The Daytona road-course hosts all three of NASCAR’s national series this weekend, culminating in Sunday’s running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 by the Cup Series.
Drivers cut the corners of the back chicane on the Daytona road course during the Clash, resulting in grass and mud being thrown onto the racing surface.
“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,” Martin Truex Jr said after the Clash.
The new rumble strips in the back chicane are similar to those already in the front chicane. The strip on drivers’ right upon entry of the chicane measures 36 ft. The other measures approximately 30 ft.
“It looked like a good fix to me in short order,” Chase Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson said. “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.”
Poor lighting in that area of the track also was an issue during the Clash, so additional lighting will be in place this weekend. The Cup Series race Sunday is scheduled for a 3 p.m. ET start, but the NASCAR Truck Series will contest a night race Friday, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday is scheduled for an approximate 5 p.m. ET green flag.