For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway will be repaved following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July, track President Robin Braig announced Saturday.
“This is a historic moment for NASCAR’s most storied race track - Daytona International Speedway,” Braig said. “Daytona was originally repaved in 1978 and the time has come again to put new asphalt on this legendary race track.”
In the past few years, various NASCAR drivers have called for Daytona to be repaved, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. being one of the most outspoken. But the issue gained legs when a pothole developed in Turn 2 during the 52nd annual Daytona 500 in February.
NASCAR's premier racing event was stopped twice as crews tried to repair the area. The hole was patched and came undone and had to be patched again due to the unusually cold and rainy weather that settled over Daytona Beach for this year's Speedweeks. The two red flags disrupted the race for nearly two and half hours combined.
Since the Daytona 500, International Speedway Corporation’s team of engineers and asphalt specialists have conducted a thorough evaluation of the entire track, and upon completion of that analysis, the results were delivered to the ISC Board of Directors where the decision was made to repave the race track following the 2010 Coke Zero 400.
Daytona International Speedway’s entire 2.5-mile tri-oval will be repaved as well as the skid pads, apron and pit road. Concrete will be used for the pit stalls. All of the existing asphalt will be removed down to the original 52-year-old lime rock base, which will be leveled and then paving will begin.
The repaving of Daytona International Speedway will remain true to Bill France Sr.’s original vision, layout and geometry of the track that was constructed in the late 1950s.
The repaving project will begin immediately after the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on Sunday, July 4, with a target completion date of Jan. 1, 2011.
Lane Construction, which repaved other ISC race tracks including Talladega Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, has been contracted to repave Daytona International Speedway.
Due to the repaving project, the October motorcycles races, Richard Petty Driving Experience dates, testing sessions and other track rental events will be cancelled for the rest of the year.
Daytona KartWeek presented by Cometic Gasket World Karting Association races on Dec. 28-30 will continue as scheduled with the sprint and dirt track events only as those two series do not utilize the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
If race fans want to claim a piece of history, they can renew their 2011 Daytona 500 tickets and each account holder will receive a portion of Daytona’s track surface representing over 50 years of memories. The Daytona 500 ticket renewal process begins today.
Race fans will be able to view all the progressions of the historic repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands, which will open free to the public. Track tours will also be available through attraction admission to Daytona 500 Experience.
Speedweeks 2011 will kick off with the 49th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race on Jan. 29-30 and conclude with the 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Press release courtesy of Daytona International Speedway