2020 has brought new challenges to everyone, but some businesses like Carolina Motorsports Park have been able to maintain steady progress. The Cummings family took over operations of Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC in late 2019 under a lease. By mid-June 2020, they became full owners of the property and have been “pedal to the metal” on updating the property ever since!
We spoke with Michael Cummings Jr., who wears many hats at the park, about the history of the park, his family’s involvement in its revitalization, and the major track resurfacing project Associated Asphalt was chosen to supply the asphalt binder during July of 2020.
History of Carolina Motorsports Park
Carolina Motorsports Park originated in 1999, created by a group of enthusiasts and racers who wanted a place to practice. The park was built on an old airport called “Kershaw Airport” and hosted a variety of events, including NASCAR test runs, in its prime. In 2016, the park was put up for sale. While the park remained open during the transfer of ownership, some of the tracks and facilities were not maintained as they should be.
The current owner, Michael Cummings Sr., has a long history in the racing and motorsports industry, previously as a racer, and now on the business administration side. Cummings runs a financial consulting firm, Motorsports Capital, LLC. When he found out Carolina Motorsports Park was for sale, he tried to help the park by finding a purchaser. Finally, he decided it was time to invest in the property himself.
Resurfacing the Track
In late 2018, the Cummings family began planning out what updates they would make to the park and started discussions with racetrack consulting engineers, Advanced Materials Services LLC from Auburn, AL, to engineer a major resurfacing project for the park’s 2.27 mile-long track. This would be the first time the track has been repaved in its entirety.
Fast forward to 2020, Associated Asphalt was called upon by Lynches River Contracting to provide 294 tons of a specially formulated asphalt binder for the top layer of asphalt.
This specially formulated asphalt binder had to meet the softening point criteria, as set forth by the consulting engineer, thus increasing the durability of the new asphalt layer. The project took place over the first few weeks of July and the track celebrated a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting on August 14.
“Everyone was extremely professional,” says Michael Cummings, Jr. “A few of our peers even came to visit during the project and were extremely impressed by the level of detail and engineering involved in the project.”
Watch the project in action on the Carolina Motorsports Facebook Page.
What’s Around the Next Turn?
Since taking ownership of the park, Carolina Motorsports Park has hosted a variety of events on their three tracks: the 2.27 mile road course, a 0.7 mile gocart track, and a 200 foot skid pad. Upon re-opening the road course, they’ve only received praise from the drivers enjoying the freshly paved track.
“We had three groups of motorcyclists on the track just a few weeks after re-opening. They’re always the hardest to please when it comes to having a smooth track and we didn’t get a single complaint,” says Cummings Jr.
Carolina Motorsports Park plans to continue to make improvements to the facilities to provide the best high-speed experience possible to all patrons. They feel confident knowing that their investment in a resurfaced track will pay dividends for years to come. Check out their calendar of events to watch the track in action or take a drive yourself! You may get lucky and catch Jeff Gordon on one of his visits to the track.
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