For the first time in the NASCAR Playoffs drivers will compete on a road course. And for the first time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Charlotte Motor Speedway will be turned into a road course – the Charlotte road course, or the Roval as it is popularly being called.
Here’s what to know about the new track before Sunday’s race, the Bank of America Roval 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, NBC Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Series racing on the Roval: Monster Energy Series and Xfinity Series
Length: 2.28 miles
Change in elevation: 35 feet
Tires: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials (Cup: 3 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying, 7 sets for race; Xfinity: 8 sets for the event).
Driving in the rain? Yes, wet weather tires will be on hand should conditions warrant their use. Cup teams are allowed two sets of "wets" for practice and up to four sets for the race; Xfinity teams are allowed up to two sets of "wets" for practice and up to two sets for the race.
Penalty for short-cutting any part of the course: If you short-cut the course (ie: blow through the chicane), the car must serve a pass-through penalty on pit road. If the infraction occurs on the final lap, a 30-second penalty will be levied.
What about restarts? Restarts will not include the chicane in the trioval so that all cars are on an even-playing field, and that the front of the pack does not have an advantage over the back.
Will "local" cautions be in effect? Yes. A spin or incident on certain portions of the track may not yield a full-course caution, but rather a blue flag specific to the area of the track where the incident occurred to warn competitors of an issue.
Playoff implications: This is the first elimination race in the 2018 playoffs for the Monster Energy Series. Twelve playoff drivers in the 16-driver field will advance to the Round of 12 next week at Dover. For the Xfinity Series, this is the second race in the opening round of the playoffs.
Gallons of paint used to give Roval its look: 5,400 (RoadGrip, a British track surface painting company, painted the course. Mycroft Signs painted the frontstretch turf, the wall designs and signage, giving the Roval Grand Prix-style visuals.)
Square feet of synthetic turf on frontstretch: 112,000 (Turf by Sports Fields was installed on the frontstretch, requiring 5,400 hours of planning and installation and 616,000 pounds of sand.)
Why is the pit wall pink? To salute breast cancer awareness. Seven-time Monster Energy Series champion Jimmie Johnson led other drivers, celebrities and dignitaries in painting the 1,500-foot wall pink on Thursday, Sept. 20.
How big is the new pedestrian bridge? The 80-foot long, 22,000-pound infield pedestrian bridge is between Turns 2 and 3 and features an open walkway as well as two elevators and will allow spectators to access Roval camping and infield Circle K convenience store.
Track layout: See map below