Kansas Speedway officials have started work on the repave and reconfiguration of the track, following Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Amid mixed views from drivers about the planned changes, the green flag waved for the project shortly after the track hosted round eight of the Cup season. Demolition of the current surface kicked off Sunday afternoon as track officials hope to have the track ready in time for NASCAR's return in October.
A number of NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have considered the repave unnecessary, but during the weekend track president Pat Warren showed members of the media at Kansas a large chunk of asphalt that popped from between Turns 1 and 2, as evidence of how the current surface was breaking up in places. The track experiences some drastic temperature changes during the year, which have led to it deteriorating after being in use for nearly 11 years.
Warren stated that a repave was absolutely necessary in order to prevent further issues in the future, like those faced by Daytona two years ago when a pothole halted the season opener for more than two hours.
"I can't imagine a situation where a racetrack would repave unless it had no choice," said Warren. "We are a publicly traded company. When we have capital to invest, money to invest, we want to invest in things that will make the fan experience better. Repaving a racetrack is a really expensive proposition that doesn't necessarily improve the fan experience at all.
"If we had a choice, we would never repave a racetrack. It's a lot better to pave it once and leave it. Especially if the quality of racing is good and there are no safety issues. But as we saw in Daytona a few years ago, these things do get old, they do wear."
Besides the new surface, the track will get variable banking in the corners plus an infield road course will be built in order to host a wider range of events in the future.