Jamie McMurray was probably the unluckiest driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sunday afternoon. On Lap 159, McMurray drove directly into a piece of cement which flew off of the front-end of his No. 1 Chevrolet.
When McMurray hit the cement, a piece of it went flying up in the air – hitting a part of the walkway which sits approximately 30 feet above the race track. After a delay of 22 minutes and 22 seconds, the caution flag flew back out. However, as the race continued, concerns grew about whether or not the patched-up area could withstand over 200 more laps.
Multiple drivers reported that they say a problem with that area heading into Sunday’s race, but NASCAR completed a track walk in the morning, and they could not find anything wrong with the previous patch which stood at that spot.
“There’s a staff at every racetrack that goes and walks and checks for things like that. When they did their check, either post-race or this morning, they did not see a problem with that,” Pemberton said.
“We have equipment and we have products at every facility. It is an epoxy type filler that we use, and it’s basically the same filler that’s used any time we make a repair at the track, whether it be asphalt or concrete.”
But after this situation, questions have risen about possibly repaving Dover. The speedway has not been repaved since 1994 where it changed over from asphalt to concrete. While walking across the track, there are visible creases on the pavement.
There is always the argument that older tracks provide better racing. However, it is comparable to Pocono which repaved a patch in Turn 3 for a year, and eventually opted to repave the entire track. Since the repave, the racing has gotten better, and more fans have been going to Pocono since.
“You always have to be ready for the emergencies. Everybody wants to have the same perfect race day as they can.”