Since July 5, the day after the Coke Zero 400, Daytona International Speedway has been undergoing a repave. Originally scheduled for 2012, the project was moved up two years after a pothole marred February's Daytona 500. The job presents a number of challenges, the biggest being the 31-degree banked surface, which requires specially made equipment, including bulldozers outside the crash walls connected to the paver.
2 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
The project includes replacing the surface on the entire tri-oval, the apron and runoff areas. The area is 1.4 million square feet, and requires an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt, which is being produced at a plant behind the backstretch. While it is the policy of International Speedway Corporation, which owns DIS, to not disclose project price tags, one construction insider estimates it is in excess of $15 million.
3 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
The patch that covered the infamous pothole that delayed the 500 was kept. Said track president Joie Chitwood III, "For good or for bad, that is an interesting piece of Daytona lore and history. The fact that we had to put a concrete patch where the pothole was, I think that's something we want to keep."
4 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
Here's a look at the equipment used when the track was originally built, beginning in 1957. The cost of the speedway, which was completed in 1959, was $3 million.
5 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
In 1978 the track was repaved, marking the first time new asphalt had been laid down since its construction. But that project was a resurfacing and the existing pavement was not stripped away.
6 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
This is the first time that the track was stripped away, giving way to the limestone base that Bill France Sr. helped lay over 50 years ago.
7 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
Former NASCAR drivers Darrell (right) and Michael Waltrip were on hand for the ceremonial groundbreaking as they took a backhoe to the Turn 1 high banks. "I've tried to knock the walls down but I've never tried to tear the track up. That was a first for me," said Darrell Waltrip, who won the Daytona 500 in 1989.
8 of 8Courtesy of Daytona International Speedway
Current Sprint Cup driver Jeff Burton (left) helped Chitwood bury a time capsule under the start/finish line. Included in the time capsule are pieces of Daytona history and memorabilia, a Blackberry, model cars and a piece of the concrete patch from the infamous pothole that red-flagged February's Daytona 500.
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