When the checkered flag dropped at the end of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19, the green flag was waved for Phase 1 of the Michigan International Speedway Track Repaving Project.
After just 30 days, pit road has now been repaved thus completing Phase 1 of the project.
Here are a few highlights from Phase 1 of the track repave:
A drainage trench was installed below the white line in the turns and on the frontstretch. This stone filled trench will collect water trapped in the existing pavement and reduce the potential for water weeping out of the track surface.
The existing pit road was removed by milling machines to a depth of 9 inches. The ground up asphalt was stockpiled onsite. Discussions are underway to explore the potential for creating souvenirs from this historic material.
Local construction contractor, Ajax Paving Industries of Troy, Mich., was selected to perform the work. The Ajax resume includes paving parabolic test tracks for the Big 3 automakers and the current repaving of Phoenix International Raceway.
Once the existing asphalt was removed, a 4” aggregate base course was installed. Ajax then placed 3 layers of polymermodified asphalt on pit road. The bottom layer is a 2” thick base course; the second layer is a 1 .5” thick leveling course; and the top layer is a 1.5” wearing course.
The new asphalt pavement had to match the edges of the existing concrete pit stalls on driver’s left, and the existing curb & gutter on driver’s right—yet develop a smooth surface. The Ajax team was up to the challenge and the newly paved pit road is one smooth ride.
The entire pit road and drainage project took just 30 days to complete. It is the first repave the track has received since 1995 and just the fourth time overall. The track was built in 1968. The track was repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995.
“What a tremendous effort by Ajax Paving to finish phase 1 of the project in just 30 days,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “This gives us plenty of time to continue to utilize the facility for track rentals and get ready for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 race weekend on August 19-21. Now, the focus shifts to repaving the oval, which is obviously the bigger of the two projects. We’ll be ready to begin on August 22, the day after the Pure Michigan 400.”
A few projects remain before the Pure Michigan 400 race weekend. Crews will be busy striping pit road and grading and grassing apron areas over the next couple of weeks.
“We were very pleased with the work and have just a few small projects to finish. Everything went very smoothly and now we look forward to beginning the oval after the Pure Michigan 400 race,” Ajax Paving Director of Corporate Development Fred Hillard Jr. said. “Everything was completed on schedule and we’ve enjoyed working with MIS and their parent company ISC on this project. Repaving the oval will be memorable for our group because we are based right here in Michigan.”
Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.
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