It’s been a terribly long time since we have heard anything about the fate of Lebanon Valley Speedway. In fact, we have been without news of the legendary dirt track since the spring of 2014. The last we heard about the speedway was in the winter of 2013 when it was announced that former NASCAR driver, Buddy Lazier had passed away. Sadly, it was not long before the news broke that his family was filing bankruptcy. The speedway was included on the list of assets that were to be sold, along with Lazier’s other properties in New Jersey and Florida.
Many fans were upset about the news and even more were shocked that the speedway had been put up for sale. The track is said to be America’s 8th-most-visited tourist attraction, so it’s safe to assume that many people were concerned about its future. Could this be the end of an era for speedway fans? Has it been canceled for good?
Well, it would seem that the speedway has been canceled for now, but that doesn’t mean that it will remain permanently closed. It could simply be on a temporary hiatus while the venue makes some modifications and upgrades that will make it more attractive to hosting motorsport events, such as NASCAR. One of the most essential modifications will be to completely replace the surface of the track. The asphalt used for the road course is said to be well over a hundred years old and in desperate need of replacement.
The good news is that the track’s future looks far more promising than it has in years, as a fresh coat of asphalt will bring new life to it. This is great for enthusiasts who were worried about the fate of the speedway. It also means that there is plenty of time for fans to get their last hurrah at the venue before it reopens as a motorsport track. There are still several NASCAR races remaining this year, which means that there is plenty of opportunity for fans to make a day of it and attend one of the final events at the track.
Why Is Asphalt Needed For The Track?
When a spectator area or section of a racetrack is taken up by spectator banks and grandstands, there’s no room for the track to expand. It’s a common problem for tracks that want to keep up with the ever-growing popularity of motorsport and the demand for more seating. For this reason, tracks that use asphalt instead of concrete for their racing surface are in a league of their own. They can still make use of the normal expanses within the confines of a racetrack, but they need an additional buffer zone between themselves and the general public to prevent cramped seating and long waiting times.
The additional benefit of using asphalt for the racing surface is that it can be resurfaced or recycled, as needed. This is good for tracks that want to keep the surface looking new and perfect for holding racing events. For this reason, tracks that use asphalt for their racing surface are the exception rather than the rule. It’s not as easy to maintain as concrete and takes up to twice as long to prep for racing events. Resurfacing asphalt costs around $40,000 and is considered to be a major maintenance expense for tracks that use it regularly. This is in addition to the yearly cost of asphalt itself, which is around $10,000.
For these reasons, tracks tend to shy away from using asphalt for their racing surface and opt for concrete instead, which is both easier to maintain and cheaper. It also means that if they do use asphalt, it will require constant upkeep and maintenance to keep it looking new and perfect for racing.
What Surface Will Be Used At The Track?
Tracks need a surface that they can use to hold their events. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and it’s an essential part of the sport. When a track is under construction, they have a lot to choose from and one of the most important criteria is whether or not it rains at the venue. For example, if a track is located in Florida or another humid area, then a surface that is damp and soft is required so that when the cars hit the ground, they don’t pack down too much and become bogged down in the mud. If a track is located in a cold climate, then a surface that is rough and ice-skating-like is desired to maximize vehicle performance.
Once the track is opened up to racing, it is critically important that the surface is safe for the drivers. In other words, they need to be able to maintain control over their vehicles, especially in wet conditions, which could cause their tires to become disintegrated. This is why tracks that use synthetic materials for their racing surface are so popular as it mimics the texture of natural dirt and thus, makes the surface more suitable for use in all types of weather conditions. Synthetic tracks allow for more grip and control, especially in wet or damp conditions, which makes them ideal for use in rain-making areas. However, tracks that use synthetic materials for their surface are much more expensive to maintain and require more work to keep clean and free of potholes. The good news for tracks that use synthetic materials for their surface is that, thanks to modern technology, there are companies that specialize in making surfaces out of them. This means that if a track decides to go this route, they can have a brand-new asphalt surface in no time at all.
Will There Be A Timing And Scoring System At The Track?
Another important aspect of any motorsport event is the timing and scoring system that is used by the organizers to keep track of the speed of the cars, the amount of fuel that is used, as well as several other categories, such as engine speed, transmission damage, etc. For this reason, tracks that use electronic timing and scoring systems are preferred as it makes collecting this information much easier for the organizers. The good news is that many tracks, including Lebanon Valley Speedway, have adopted this technology and it has dramatically changed the way they do business. It has helped them become more efficient and in some cases, it has even enabled them to save money. The bad news is that these systems are not cheap and tracks that use them must have a constant power supply as their energy is constantly being drained by the electronics and the software that is running on them. This power supply costs tracks around $500 and it would be wise for a track that decides to adopt this technology to purchase a power pack that is rechargeable, as needed. Recharging these power packs takes around 3 hours and they are considered to be a hassle, especially if a track has to do it themselves, as the team of technicians that are on hand are busy with other tasks during the charging cycle. It’s not a task that a lone mechanic can perform quickly, especially with the constant interruptions that come with an event, such as a Grand Prix or NASCAR race. For these reasons, it’s best for tracks that use electronic timing and scoring systems to hire a company that specializes in this area. Doing it themselves isn’t worth it and it can cause a lot of problems, as it did at Lebanon Valley Speedway, where they did it themselves and then the electricity went out, which caused massive amounts of damage to the track’s electronic equipment. It took them over a year to get everything back on line, which was both expensive and time-consuming. One of the reasons that they didn’t want to update the timing and scoring system was because they didn’t know how much trouble it would cause.
What About The Lights?
In addition to the track surface, another important factor that affects a track’s overall vibe is the lighting system that is used inside the venue. It can either be natural or artificial and it’s something that can be modified, if needed. The good news is that tracks don’t need to use expensive lighting systems to produce bright, shiny lights, as there are numerous street lamps and overhead lamps that can be used to great effect. If a track decides to go down this route, however, it would be wise to choose a lighting system that is energy-efficient as it will save them money in the long run and ensure that their battery pack lasts longer. This will also make a huge difference in how the track looks, as bright lighting makes for an easier transition from day to night and vice versa. It can also be used to great effect when there’s a sudden, intense flash of sun lightening and then fading to darkness, as when a car crashes into a wall or pierces the air with an intense flame, as in the case of a fire. This is when you want the lights to pop, as it creates a dramatic, yet beautiful effect and draws more attention to the crash site.