Jeff Gordon likes worn out tracks like Atlanta and does not agree with the many repaves in recent years.(Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon is not a fan of the many track repaves and reconfigurations that have taken place in recent years.
While Gordon understands the necessity of some tracks getting work, he doesn't believe the recent trend of repaving has run a bit amuk.
"I think we're hurting the sport by doing all these repaves," Gordon said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I really try to always see all the different sides of the business side of the sport, whether it be from the team standpoint, the driving standpoint, sponsorship, tracks, NASCAR, you know, and give the benefit of the doubt. So I understand a lot of these tracks, especially after Daytona, right, the surface has an issue, comes apart, they've got to repave, and they start looking at all these tracks, we cannot let that happen again.
"I think they've really missed it on what they're repaving the surfaces with. It's extremely disappointing to me. I feel like it's challenging Goodyear in ways that's got to be frustrating to them. It challenges the teams, everybody. I think it takes away from putting the best race out there, as well."
Gordon likes the worn out surface of Atlanta and how drivers can slide around the track searching for speed and the right groove.
"We come here. This place is old, worn out, cracks everywhere, and yet every driver loves it," said Gordon, who is the defending Atlanta race winner. "We're slipping and sliding around. The racing is pretty spectacular. So from a surface and pure driving on the track standpoint, I'd like to come here five times a year. But the business side of it's got to match up, as well, the dates, everything else."
The day will come when the Atlanta track surface will need to be repaved and Gordon hopes it's done in the right way.
"Unfortunately, eventually they're going to have to repave here, too," he said. "I just hope more tracks start looking at how they repave, how you accomplish what's out there right now with a repave because we're paving these racetracks with what we're trying to pave highways with, and this is not a highway, this is a racetrack.
"I think that the whole model of repaving needs to be rethought out, readjusted. I know we can come up with better surfaces. Not more longer-lasting surfaces. They're making surfaces that are lasting forever, but one that's better for racing, what we're looking for as drivers and teams and fans."