A rubber-based patch covering a bad portion of The Strip at Las Vegas’ right lane came loose during the final qualifying session bringing the action to a halt for nearly an hour Saturday afternoon at the NHRA Big O Tire Nationals.
Khalid al-Balooshi was making a qualifying run when what is described as the “cold patch” broke loose from the concrete; pulled away by the dragster’s tire.
“The patch disintegrated and we were left with a hole in the concrete,” explained Graham Light, NHRA Vice President of Operations. “I have to give all the credit to our track prep guys and the Safety Safari. This is not the first time a piece of concrete or asphalt has come up.”
Light said the patched portion of the track will be inspected following Saturday’s qualifying to determine whether the afternoon repair was a short-term or long-term solution.
The initial inspection suggests the fix will last through the weekend.
“We have found some good materials for patching,” said Light. “Some of (the patches) take overnight and there’s a cold patch. It works very well. But that’s about a 10 or 11 hour set-up time. Obviously we didn’t have the time today.
“Over the years of dealing with these kinds of situations you learn to keep certain products in the trailer for situations such as this. We try to stay as prepared as we can be for what the racing throws at us.”
Light said today’s fix was made with a liquid rubber-based product when heated, liquefies and pours into the hole. The set-up time averages 30 minutes.
“It remains a little spongy but adheres to the surface,” said Light.
The repair proved successful as the first car down the repaired lane ran top speed of the event. Doug Kalitta ran 327.11 miles per hour and coupled the momentous run with a 3.798 elapsed time.
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