I have to admit, of all the times I’ve been to races at the Daytona International Speedway, I never gave much thought to the pavement on the track. With all the things to see at the race, track pavement was the furthest thing from my mind – until this year’s Daytona 500 that is. After a pothole on the track gained center stage during the race, I started thinking more about how the track’s pavement can have a huge impact on the outcome of a race. One small pothole or rough patch on the track can change the race strategy in an instant.
When it was announced that Daytona International Speedway was going to be repaved, I was excited – I was anxious to see what was involved with such a massive project. And I’ve definitely not been disappointed! The repaving of the Daytona track is a monumental event – this is only the second time in its 52 year history the track has been repaved! The project started in July 2010, just after the Coke Zero 400 weekend, and should be completed in January 2011.
The repaving project is no small undertaking – not only is the entire 2.5 mile track being repaved, but also the skid pads, apron and pit road. Before the repaving could begin, all the existing asphalt was also removed leaving the track’s original lime rock base.
Here are some pictures of the asphalt being removed:
Once all of the old pavement was removed, the actual repaving could begin. Here are some pictures of the repaving:
50,000 tons of asphalt will be used in the repaving of the track.
50 truck loads of concrete will be used for pit road.
The type of asphalt being used is a high-quality asphalt that can withstand the stress of racing.
According to the Daytona International Speedway website (www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com), there will be no changes to the track other than a new smooth racing surface. The repaving of the track will remain true to Bill France Sr.’s original vision, layout and geometry of the legendary track back in the late 1950s. This should bring a lot of relief to drivers as they develop their strategy for next season’s race – after all, the ultimate goal is to win the “Great American Race”!
Fans can view the progression of the repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public; and track tours are available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.
I can’t wait to see the track when it’s all finished – a brand new track for a brand new season of racing! Until next time…