Truex's Toyota Roars Around the Roval
The event provided a spectacular preview of the action race fans will see when the Bank of America 500 is contested on the Roval on Sept. 30 - the first road course race in the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Martin Truex Jr., the defending Bank of America 500 winner and reigning series champion, led tire-smoking exhibitions of excitement around Charlotte's revolutionary 17-turn, 2.28-mile Roval in a 2018 Toyota Camry XSE.
"Everything about this track is completely different (compared to) any road course that we run," Truex said. "The crew chiefs are going to pull their hair out trying to figure this place out because it's so unique."
Toyota NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Brandon Jones and Christopher Bell joined NASCAR on NBC analysts Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett, road-racing expert Max Papis and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner in giving media a ride on the Roval before its debut in September.
"We're going to bring racing action that fans have not seen before in a speedway setting," said Marcus Smith, the president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "Here at Charlotte, you're going to see all the racing (of an oval) in the form of a road course. It's going to be a huge challenge for the drivers."
Steve O'Donnell, the executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR, said the race promises to be a wild-card event for drivers and teams.
"I think the operative word for us is 'excitement,'" O'Donnell said. "I applaud Marcus for coming up with something that is unique in that you can see the entire course. … I couldn't be more excited, not only about the possibilities that we're going to see here during the playoffs but also for the industry coming together and working on this."
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