The test is a result of the track’s repave, finished last November. The track was built in 1968 and this was the fourth repave — 1977, 1986 and 1995.
During the latest project, 22,000 tons of asphalt was placed on the surface, enough to construct about 5 Â½ miles of a two-lane county road.
Milling of the race track began last August and took approximately three weeks to complete. Three-quarters of an inch of asphalt was taken off the top during the milling process.
The project required three inches of total pavement laid down.
The track was paved in two layers with each layer 1 Â½ inches thick for a total of three inches. Therefore, the track is now approximately 2 Â¼ inches higher than it was previously.
Speeds were very quick. Montoya said minimum speed was 189 mph, but cars were going above 215 in the straightaways.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford Fusion, said there is no question speeds at the two-mile oval are fast.
“I would probably say fast to too fast (laughing). They’re pretty fast," Kenseth said. “I think we saw 215 or 216 on the straightaways, so it’s definitely going to be fast."
Kenseth expects the racing at Michigan to be just like it was in the past.
“Michigan has always been one of my favorite tracks," he said. “I think the racing has always been great here. I think it would be hard to improve on what you had. It was pretty slick before. You would run real fast and slow up on old tires and the groove was all over the place, so I don’t think it’s gonna be better than that. I think it’s gonna be faster than that.
“I think qualifying is gonna be real exciting. I think the race will be real exciting like it always is, but I think you’re probably gonna see a little different race at least for a year or two until it gets more worn out and the pace comes back."