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Author Topic:   Packing a track with cars
Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted July 01, 2001 05:13 PM  
Don't wait till the last minute to get all your moisture by dousing the track and expecting your cars to pack, you'll run short on time and pack too fast, creating ruts and abnormall race grooves. Have the track ready the day before, or morning before race, use a little moisture before race and pack. Limit Hot laps, I have seen tracks hotlap too much, and dry out a perfect racing surface too soon during intermission, making the feature setup change and dusting the stands.
Don't HotLap to pack, I've seen this too, the racing grooves get all messed up and totally makes the track uneven and creates ruts.

I question as to why you don't see more tracks wet down during intermission and pack? (Especially at the big events where you have more cars entered)

Yea, I used to be an Heavy Equipment Engineer Operator.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 45
posted July 04, 2001 10:29 AM  
What a lot of people don't realize is that tracks must strike a balance between packing and moisture pentration. Of course the weather and the surface material plays into this as well. I know that if I pack the track in earlier in the week in addition to regular watering, the surface seals off more, and it becomes really, really slippery when wet and then dry-slick very quick once that surface water burns off. But, it'll be smooth. If I minimize packing during the week I'll achieve a much more tacky surface, but the track will end up rougher. I normally try my best during track prep to get the balance between the two.

The early part of the night is very critical on how the track is going to shape up. We wheel pack as much as the track needs (which many times isn't any) and then monitor the conditions closely during hot laps. Too much hot lapping does ruin the track. I know of one track that hot laps for two to three hours and they're racing dry-slick by the first heat race.

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted July 07, 2001 01:14 PM  
I think it goes back to the amount of water applied. Too little and it barely packs down. Too much and its a slime pit. Somewhere in between you get this peel off effect where the upper, moist layers pull away from the dryness that is below.

Just a guess though based on what I have seen.

Dirt Administrator

Total posts: 6243
posted July 07, 2001 03:09 PM  
Jammin; I'm not the smartest SOB on the planet,but to sheepfoot all week then try to water and pack seems to keep all moisture on the very top and the track goes dry slick.
On the other hand if the track is rutty as our local normally is it would seem that ripping the surface then watering to put moisture back in then packing would be better.
Our preparer appears to just roll dirt back into the rut and pack.
BTW we use a yellow clay the has when wet the consistency of modeling clay.
Just a thought, beats me!

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 296
posted July 11, 2001 12:20 PM  
I think one thing to look at is they material being used not just the amount of water being applied. All clay is not the same.
Our track uses garbage for clay, they have even used river bottom clay( noted from the high amount of rocks in size from 1/2 to 2 inches. they stoped it after to many fans were getting hurt.
Anyways they also mix other material into the track. A friend who works at the track named off a bunch of things that have been put into the track at various times, not all at once. Im not sure of the reason for some. Heres the list.
Calcium, Manure, Saw Dust, Lime, Industrial Sweetener(Suger). and one other type of something chloride.
I know they dont use the calcium, lime or chloride stuff any more.
the manure stinks like well you know manure. The stuff I know theyve used this year is sawdust and the corn sweetner stuff. The track was literly like glue that night.

the other problem is the order in which the track is packed, our track is packed down for 20-30 laps, and then the mods are free to tear it up for their warm ups. if the mods are made to run a slower warm up the track is great all night.

unregistered Total posts: 296
posted July 11, 2001 01:58 PM           send a private message to widebody   Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/QuoteBBBBBB
I recommend they all call the Boone, Iowa speedway for tips and lessons. That track is well prepared for the SuperNationals. They race on it 6 nights in a row from 6pm to 2 or 3am. Tear it up, water it and pack it down after 10 races and the whole process takes about 20 minutes. Many tracks should take note.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 77
posted July 18, 2001 05:59 PM  
Our local track has just gone back to dirt (clay) and they have been searching for the best farming combination. So we have seen the variety of common techniques / combinations for farming and as a result the track conditions has also varied greatly.

Moisture content was better when the track was opened up early and soaked well before packing - Track was fast, but it would rut and get quite rough. Prep time was longer but required less water during the event.

Sheep foot was used often which left a waffle pattern that usually remained through the first few heats. Makes you think you have a flat tire.

When the track was not soaked well enough prior to packing it would be dusty and get dry slick. Any watering later would also burn off quickly and the track goes quickly from a slimy slippery to dry slick.

The shallower the moisture in the track surface the more likely it peel and go dry slick. Too deep of moisture results in rutting.

My vote for best farmed track is Boone Speedway, IA. At my last visit there, they did open the track up, water and repack during the event (between heats and the mains). The moisture content was good and seemed to be deep. Rutting was minimal so whatever they have mixed in over the years has helped it hold it's shape and moisture. Didn't hear any complaining about the surface either.


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