Infield Karting Circuit to Get New Pavement
Charlotte Motor Speedway and World Karting Association officials announced today that the serpentine seven-tenths-mile sprint track, located inside turns three and four of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, will be repaved. Work is scheduled to start July 12 and take four days.
Built in 1991 and utilized for a variety of activities each year, the miniature Formula One-style circuit was the centerpiece of the North American Karting Championships for many years, attracting top karters and factory teams from around the world.
Drivers who have competed in karting events at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the formative years of their careers include Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, Indy 500 Rookie-of-the-Year Danica Patrick, two-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr., Formula One point leader Fernando Alonso as well as Formula One regulars Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers and Jon Wood have also participated in karting events at the speedway, racing on the sprint track, dirt oval, one-fifth-mile paved oval or the 1.5-mile road course.
"The sprint track at Charlotte Motor Speedway has challenged some of the most famous names in motorsports during their karting careers," said Randy Kugler, president of WKA. "Resurfacing the track will breathe new life into this legendary circuit."
Charlotte Motor Speedway President and General Manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler believes resurfacing the circuit is a good investment for the future of motorsports.
"We must continue to cultivate venues to develop new talent," said Wheeler. "In addition to providing a venue that will help produce tomorrow's stars, the improvements will allow us to attract more high-level karting events."
In addition to the WKA-sanctioned events, several NASCAR drivers use the infield sprint track for training and pleasure throughout the year with their personal karts.
Speedway officials are also finalizing plans for major improvements to the track surface of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, and will release details in the coming weeks.