Oct 16, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
At first glance, the two-mile, D-shaped Auto Club Speedway seems relatively simple enough. With a track width of 75 feet wide, it allows for lots of maneuvering. And with an ample supply of banking (14 degrees in the turns, 11 degrees on the front stretch), it allows for plenty of speed.
But ever since IndyCar adopted a lower downforce configuration for their Dallara DW12s on the bigger ovals, speedway racing has gotten a lot less easy than it had been just a couple of years ago. Robbed of that precious downforce, drivers will have to be on the wheel from green to checkers.
Meanwhile, their crews on pit road will have to make the right adjustments to keep their cars humming along as the race shifts from day to night (green flag is set for 5:50 p.m. local time).
Another thing to keep an eye on are the bumps and seams in ACS’ asphalt surface, all of which can prove very tough to deal with. It was one of those seams in Turn 2 that caused Will Power’s early spin and crash in last year’s season finale there – which in turn helped enable Ryan Hunter-Reay to take the championship at the end of the night via a fourth-place result.
As you’ve probably gathered, setting up the car to handle ACS’ tricky surface will be every bit as important as having loads of horsepower.
Click the video above to take a virtual lap around ACS, and be sure to tune in to the MAV TV 500 this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for your online or mobile device.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Sports car racing meets “It’s a Wonderful Life.” With dinosaurs.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
NBCSN’s Leigh Diffey and Wally Dallenbach discuss the team’s quiet start to the 2014 Sprint Cup season.
Mar 11, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT
Cooling units are now allowed on pit road and cool-down laps on track are banned.
Mar 11, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
All the notes and numbers to keep in mind going into Thunder Valley.
Mar 11, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified for access to the Live Extra stream.
Mar 11, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT
The saga continues as Smoke and Darrell Waltrip head for Texarkana.
Mar 11, 2014, 3:24 PM EDT
Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer will take part in pre-race duties for the Food City 500.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
RBR’s team principal also tags Merc’s Lewis Hamilton as the favorite for the world title.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:26 PM EDT
All TV times for this year’s F1 on NBC Sports schedule.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
Eddie Irvine became a Grand Prix winner 15 years ago this month, at Melbourne.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT
Paul Wolfe notes that Bristol’s tight confines could lead to more issues in qualifying this weekend.
Mar 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Twice in eight years, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth have been contact magnets at Bristol.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Two strong Tudor teams make driver announcements going into Sebring.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Two of IndyCar’s rising stars welcome the 1995 series and Indianapolis 500 champion back to open wheels.
Mar 11, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
How cars handle series-issued BoP changes and Sebring’s punishing layout will likely determine who wins Saturday.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
The team had recently signed Collection Auto Group and Castrol as sponsors late last month.
Mar 11, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
IndyCar star looks to go one better after four straight class runner-ups at Sebring.
Mar 11, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Outside of IndyCar’s power teams, Justin Wilson and Dale Coyne Racing remain one of the top underdogs.
Mar 11, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Year 2 for Graham at RLL should, on paper, be substantially better than Year 1.
Mar 10, 2014, 7:16 PM EDT
The F1 supremo is bracing for an unpredictable year in the series.
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- Red Bull’s Horner says Mercedes could lap field twice in Oz 0
- Complete 2014 F1 on NBC Sports TV Times, Schedule 1
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- IndyCar’s “nearly” man, Justin Wilson, set to overachieve once more 0
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- Chrysler orders nearly 100 pristine Dodge Vipers destroyed (7)
- NNS: Elliott’s car found too low, shock taken from Keselowski’s car (6)
- Report: F1 apparently headed for Azerbaijan in 2015 or 2016 (5)
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