By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
Kansas Speedway will launch a massive repaving and renovation project immediately after next year's STP 400 race weekend, the speedway announced Thursday.
There's some question, though, about when that race will take place. The first Kansas race this season was run June 5, with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile speedway scheduled for Oct. 9.
A June-to-October time frame would be a narrow one for the scope of the project announced Wednesday. Kansas plans to repave its entire racing surface, reconfigure the oval with variable banking and build an infield road course.
With the first Dover race of 2012 moving from May to June, the STP 400 could fill a slot on the schedule in April or May, potentially giving the speedway more time to complete the project between races.
According to Kansas Speedway director of public relations Kelly Hale, the track doesn't have its 2012 schedule yet but is "working with NASCAR on our 2012 dates to accommodate the repave."
The recent repaving of Daytona International Speedway, a 2.5-mile track, took approximately six months.
"These are significant projects for Kansas Speedway and our fans," track president Patrick Warren said. "Given the harsh weather conditions in the Midwest, a repave of our existing racing surface was a must. Repaving a track is a huge undertaking, so we decided it was the right time to make the other changes to our facility, which we believe will enhance our fans' experience at Kansas Speedway."
The banking in the turns at Kansas, currently a uniform 15 degrees, will be reconfigured to 20-degree variable banking, making the track steeper the closer one gets to the outside wall. That configuration will resemble the one at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which features progressive banking from 18 to 20 degrees.