2017 has been the first year that’s seen Nascar use traction-improving substances on race tracks on a large scale. So what the heck is this stuff? Let’s find out.
What is it? PJ1, a resin-like liquid chemical compound that makes tracks as sticky as a movie theater floor.
Wasn’t it called VHT? Yes, but the company decided to change the name in order to comply with Nascar’s “Let’s Make Everything Complicated” directive for 2017.
Where has it been used before? Mostly in NHRA to improve traction on drag strips. Its part of Nascar’s attempt to adopt certain aspects of high-level drag racing such as full grandstands and non-pissy fans.
How does it work? It improves traction where applied, allowing for a second racing groove where they was none before. Sort of like dating two girls at the same time—you’re committed to one, but you can make things happen with the other.
What problem does this solve? The issue of side-by-side racing, which is roughly #14 on the list of things Nascar should be worrying about at the moment.