SBD/Issue 155/Facilities & Venues

Daytona Int'l Speedway To Repave Track After Pothole Incident

Daytona Int'l Speedway Track Will Be Stripped,
Replaced In Time For 2011 Daytona 500

Daytona Int’l Speedway President Robin Braig Saturday said that the track’s asphalt will be “stripped and replaced in time for the 2011 Daytona 500,” according to Godwin Kelly of the Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL. The track was last repaved in ’78, and this project will be “much more intense since the 32-year-old surface will be completely removed and replaced.” This year’s Daytona 500 was “twice red-flagged when a hole developed in the track surface between Turns 1 and 2.” Braig said, “There’s no sense to risk it … for our broadcast partners and our fans. The Daytona 500 is our Super Bowl. We can’t risk having another asphalt incident like we had in this year’s race, so it’s the right time to do it.” Kelly reported the repaving project, which will be completed by Lane Construction, “will begin one day after” the July 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400. Daytona also “will pave the skid pads, apron and pit road.” Fans who renew their ’11 Daytona 500 tickets “will receive a portion of Daytona’s track surface” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/25). Braig said that the repaving project will "cost about $20[M]" (ESPN.com, 4/24). Bill Braniff, Senior Dir of Construction for North American Testing Company, the engineering arm of ISC, said that engineers “have complete confidence the surface will be fine during the Coke Zero 400.” He added that there will be “no change to the track’s configuration” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/25).

PATCHING THINGS UP: In Daytona Beach, Ken Willis wrote, “This tells us how seriously they viewed the fallout from February’s pothole, and shows to what lengths they’ll go when deathly afraid of a structural flaw messing up another show” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/25). Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said, “The sooner we get a new surface down that can get some weather on it, the quicker we will get to the kind of racetrack that everybody wants. It is one of the most popular and important tracks on our circuit” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/25).

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