FORT WORTH, TX -- When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes its first of two trips to Texas Motor Speedway in 2017, drivers and teams will do so on a brand new surface.

Track officials announced that the facility will undergo a repave and reconfiguration that will also feature an extensive drainage system to help reduce delays in the name of inclement weather. The repave marks the first total repave of the facility since 2001.

"The fans are why we are doing this," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "The old pavement no longer dried as quickly because through the years of use and weather, the asphalt became porous, kind of like a sponge. Even if we only had a brief shower it was taking us far too long to get the track dried in order to get on to the racing. We owe it to the fans to present the best possible race track so they will be assured of seeing NASCAR and INDYCAR races even if we face some brief inclement weather. This will accomplish that goal."

In addition to the repave and drainage system changes, Gossage announced that the track will undergo changes in Turns 1 and 2 to increase competitiveness. The banking will be reduced from 24 degrees to 20, and the racing surface will be widened from 60 to 80 feet to better facilitate side-by-side racing. Turns 3 and 4 will remain unchanged.

"Due to the issues we had in 2016 with moisture and track drying, we had to take steps to correct the problems to give the fans the experience they deserve," said Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Vice President of Operations and Development Steve Swift, who is coordinating the project. "With that task at hand, we looked at what would be the best way to create more exciting racing and to correct the water issues. We are excited to put these practices in place and create another great SMI race."

The reduced banking is aimed to decrease corner speeds and allow drivers to put on a better show for fans in attendance. TMS officials said the asphalt being used for the project is a mix similar to the one used at SMI-owned properties Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The repave is scheduled to begin January 9 and be complete by early to mid-March in time for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend April 7-9.

"For years, I've heard the absurd comments about 1.5-mile tracks being tagged as 'cookie-cutter' tracks," Gossage said. "While nothing could be further from the truth - all 1.5-mile tracks are different - this assures once and for all that Texas Motor Speedway is unique, unlike any other track in the sport. That's the way we like it here in No Limits, Texas."

Texas Motor Speedway has chosen Lane Construction Corp. to handle the repave. The firm has also been contracted for repaves at venues including Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

For live coverage of all the events during O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend, join the Performance Racing Network. PRN will have live coverage of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at 2:30 p.m. on April 7. PRN will also carry live coverage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series' Cowboy 300 Saturday, April 8 at 1:00 p.m. The weekend will culminate with the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 Monster Energy Cup Series race at 12:30 p.m.

For more information, please visit or call the speedway ticket office at 817.215.8500.