116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
NEWTON, Iowa - One major feature sticks out at Iowa Speedway.
Many will notice the nice venue, competitive races and huge crowds, but the drivers recognize the bump between Turns 1 and 2 at the .875-mile oval.
Often the drivers will field questions and discuss the condition of the track, especially the section at that end of the track. The bump at the six-year-old track has affected strategy and even wreaked havoc on drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Bumps are common at most tracks, according to an Iowa Speedway official. The one at Iowa Speedway is pronounced due to local weather cycles when moisture in the track freezes and thaws. The track can contract and then expand when it defrosts, causing it to resettle.
The track had used a foam substance in the track, but it had little affect. After last week's IndyCar test at the track, with the blessing of IZOD IndyCar, a company conducted a laser profile of the track, detailing the track surface, and injected a hardening tar substance to lessen its impact.
"They did a great job fixing the bump in Turn 1," 2010 Iowa Corn Indy 250 champion Tony Kanaan said between practice sessions Friday. "It's still bumpy, but it's a characteristic of the track and it makes a difference in the race. If you have a good race car or you don't have a good car you can dial it in for the bumps. I think as a race car driver you don't want any bumps, but I don't see it as a problem."
Although the bumps are unavoidable, the track is working on making it better, diminishing its influence on drivers and their cars.