Originally created 04/01/04

Indianapolis Motor Speedway to be repaved after Brickyard 400

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is expected to receive its first complete repaving this year.

The $2 million upgrade to the 2 1/2-mile oval was scheduled to begin the day after the Aug. 8 Brickyard 400, officials said.

The last similar project was in 1995, but that did not include the warm-up lanes or pit road. This year's facelift will take two months and use 36,500 tons of asphalt.

As a result, fall testing by Indy Racing League teams will not be allowed.

The infield portion of the Formula One course, constructed in 1999, will not be affected.

The U.S. Grand Prix had been run in September for the last four years, but will be held this year June 20. The Indianapolis 500 will be held May 30.

Speedway President Tony George said it was time to act, even though the racing surface is considered one of the smoothest in the sport.

"It's been a few years, and this year presents the best opportunity," he said.

Project coordinator Kevin Forbes, the track's director of engineering and construction, said the goal is to eliminate brittle cracks caused by cold winters and the suction created by the aerodynamic downforce of Indy cars.

The project also will allow the time it takes to dry the track during race events to be reduced.


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