Daytona International Speedway

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Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway logo.svg
The Daytona International Speedway Logo.
Location 1801 West International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
Time zone GMT-5
Capacity 147,000
(101,000 starting in 2016)
Owner International Speedway Corporation (Leased from Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities District)
Operator International Speedway Corporation
Broke ground 1957
Opened 1959
Construction cost $3 million
Architect Charles Moneypenny
William France Sr.
Major events

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona 500
Coke Zero 400
Sprint Unlimited
Budweiser Duel

NASCAR Nationwide Series
DRIVE4COPD 300
Subway Firecracker 250

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
NextEra Energy Resources 250

Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series
Rolex 24 at Daytona
Paul Revere 250

ARCA RE/MAX Series
Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200

AMA Daytona SportBike
Daytona 200

AMA Motocross
Daytona Supercross by Honda

Tri-Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length 2.5 mi (4 km)
Turns 4
Banking 31° Turns
18° Tri-oval
2° Back straightaway
Lap record 0:40.364 (Colin Braun, Michael Shank Racing, 2013, Daytona Prototype)
Sports Car Course (1959-1983)
Surface Asphalt
Length 3.81 mi (6.18 km)
Turns 7
Sports Car Course (1984)
Surface Asphalt
Length 3.87 mi (6.23 km)
Sports Car Course (1985-Present)
Surface Asphalt
Length 3.56 mi (5.73 km)
Turns 12
Banking 32° in oval turns
18° in tri-oval
Lap record 1:33.875 (P.J. Jones, Toyota Eagle MkIII, 1993, IMSA GTP)
Motorcycle Course
Surface Asphalt
Length 2.95 mi (4.75 km)
Turns 12
Banking 32° in oval turns
18° in tri-oval
Lap record 1:37.546 (Ben Spies, Suzuki, 2007, AMA Superbike)
Dirt Flat Track
Surface Dirt
Length .25 mi (.40 km)
Turns 4
Banking Flat
Short Oval
Surface Asphalt
Length .40 mi (.64 km)
Turns 4
Banking Flat
Lap record 0:20.129 (Nate Monteith, Monteith Racing, 2013, Whelen All-American Series)

Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, Grand-Am, SCCA, and Motocross. The track features multiple layouts including the primary 2.5 miles (4.0 km) high speed tri-oval, a 3.56 miles (5.73 km) sports car course, a 2.95 miles (4.75 km) motorcycle course, and a .25 miles (0.40 km) karting and motorcycle flat-track. The track's 180-acre (73 ha) infield includes the 29-acre (12 ha) Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing. The speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.

The track was built in 1958 by NASCAR founder William France Sr. to host racing that was being held at the former Daytona Beach Road Course. His banked design permitted higher speeds and gave fans a better view of the cars. Lights were installed around the track in 1998, and today it is the third largest single lit outdoor sports facility. The speedway has been renovated three times, with the infield renovated in 2004, and the track repaved in 1978 and 2010.

On January 22, 2013, the track unveiled artist depictions of a renovated speedway. On July 5, 2013, ground was broken on the project which will remove backstretch seating and completely redevelop the front stretch seating. The project, named "Daytona Rising", is scheduled to be completed in January 2016, and is expected to cost US $400 million, placing emphasis on improving fan experience with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances (called "injectors"), as well as wider and more comfortable seating with more restrooms and concession stands. After the renovations, the track's grandstands will include 101,000 permanent seats with the ability to increase permanent seating to 125,000.[1][2]

Track history[edit]

Construction[edit]

NASCAR founder William France Sr. began planning for the track in 1953 as a way to promote the series, which at the time was racing on the Daytona Beach Road Course.[3] France met with Daytona Beach engineer Charles Moneypenney to discuss his plans for the speedway. He wanted the track to have the highest banking possible to allow the cars to reach high speeds and to give fans a better view of the cars on track. Moneypenny traveled to Detroit, Michigan to visit the Ford Proving Grounds which had a high speed test track with banked corners. Ford shared their engineering reports of the track with Moneypenney, providing the needed details of how to transition the pavement from a flat straightaway to a banked corner. France took the plans to the Daytona Beach city commission, who supported his idea and formed the Daytona Beach Speedway Authority.[4]

Daytona International Speedway following the repaving of the track in 2011

The city commission agreed to lease the 447 acres (181 ha) parcel of land adjacent to Daytona Beach International Airport to France's corporation for $10,000 a year over a 50 year period. France then began working on building funding for the project and found support from a Texas oil millionaire, Clint Murchison. Murchison loaned France $600,000 along with the construction equipment necessary to build the track. France was also able to secure funding from Pepsi-Cola, General Motors designer Harley Earl, a second mortgage on his home and selling 300,000 stock shares to local residents. Ground broke on construction of the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) speedway on November 25, 1957.[4]

To build the high banking, crews had to dig out millions[citation needed] of tons of soil from the track's infield. Because of the high water table in the area, the hole excavated filled with water to form what is now known as Lake Lloyd, named after Joseph "Sax" Lloyd, one of the original six members of the Daytona Beach Speedway Authority. (The lake would be stocked with 65,000 fish, and France would arrange speedboat races on it.)[5] 22 tons of lime mortar had to be brought in to form the track's binding base, over which asphalt would be laid. Because of the extreme degree of banking, Moneypenney had to come up with a way to pave the incline. He connected the paving equipment to bulldozers anchored at the top of the banking. This would allow the paving equipment to pave the banking without slipping or rolling down the incline. Moneypenney subsequently patented his construction method and later designed Talladega Superspeedway and Michigan International Speedway. By December 1958, France had begun to run out of money and started relying on race ticket sales to complete construction.[4]

The course is remarkable, for at least 90% of it, including the infield road racing section, can be seen from any seat.[6]

The first practice runs on the new track began on February 6, 1959. On February 22, 1959, 42,000 people attended the inaugural Daytona 500,[4] and its finish was as startling as the track itself: Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish that took three days to adjudicate.[6] When the track opened it was the fastest race track to ever host a stock car race, until Talladega Superspeedway opened 10 years later.[citation needed] April 4, it would host a 100 mi (160 km) Champ Car event, also, which saw Jim Rathmann beat Dick Rathmann and Rodger Ward, and, with an average speed 170.26 mph (274.01 km/h), was at the time the fastest motor race ever.[6] It was also the occasion of Daytona's first fatality: George Amick, attempting to overtake for third late in the race, hit a wall and was killed.[6] April 5, a scheduled 1,000 km (620 mi) sports car event (shortened to 560 mi (900 km) by darkness) was won by Roberto Mieres and Fritz d'Orey, who shared a Porsche RSK, which proved more durable than more potent competition.[6]

Lights were installed around the track in 1998 to run NASCAR's July race, the Coke Zero 400 at night. The track was the world's largest single lighted outdoor sports facility until being surpassed by Losail International Circuit in 2008.[citation needed] Musco Lighting installed the lighting system, which took into account glare and visibility for aircraft arriving and departing nearby Daytona Beach International Airport, and costs about $240 per hour when in operation.[7]

Layouts[edit]

Tri-Oval[edit]

Map of the speedway

Daytona's tri-oval is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long with 31° banking in the turns and 18° banking at the start/finish line. The front straight is 3,800 feet (1,200 m) long and the back straight (or "superstretch") is 3,000 feet (910 m) long. The tri-oval shape was revolutionary at the time as it greatly improved sight lines for fans. It is one of the two tracks on the Sprint Cup Series circuit that uses restrictor plates to slow the cars down due to the high speeds, the other being Talladega Superspeedway.[8]

On July 15, 2010 repaving of the track began. The repaving came almost a year earlier than planned due to the track coming apart during the 2010 Daytona 500. The project used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave 1,400,000 square feet (130,000 m2) including the racing surface, apron, skid pads and pit road. Because of good weather, the project was completed ahead of schedule.[9]

On October 9, 2013, Colin Braun drove a Daytona Prototype car prepared by Michael Shank Racing to set a single-lap record on the tri-oval configuration of 222.971 miles per hour (358.837 km/h).[10]

Road courses[edit]

Map of the 24-hour road course configuration

The 3.81 miles (6.13 km) road course was built in 1959 and first hosted a three-hour sports car race called the Daytona Continental in 1962.[11] The race length became 2,000 km (1,200 mi) in 1964,[6] and in 1966 was extended to a 24-hour endurance race known as the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It was shortened again, to six hours, in 1972, and cancelled entirely in 1974.[6]

In 1973, a sharp chicane was added at the end of the backstretch, approaching oval turn three.

In 1984[12] and 1985,[13] the layout was modified, re-profiling turns 1 and 2, and moving what is now turn 3 closer to its adjacent turns. In addition, the chicane on the backstrech was modified. A new entry leg was constructed approximately 400 feet earlier, resulting in a longer, three-legged, "bus stop" shape. Cars would now enter in the first leg, bypass the second leg, and exit out of the existing third leg. Passing would now be possible inside the longer chicane. The construction resulted in a final length of 3.81 miles (6.13 km) for the complete road course.

In 2003, the chicane was modified once again. The middle leg was repaved and widened, and now cars would enter through the first leg, and exit out of the second leg. The existing third leg was abandoned. This allowed cars a cleaner entry into oval turn three. After favorable results, in 2010 the third leg was dug up, and removed permanently.

Start of the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona

While the more famous 24 Hours of Le Mans is held near the summer solstice, Daytona's endurance race is held in winter (meaning more of the race is run at night). The track's lighting system is limited to 20% of its maximum output for the race to keep cars dependent on their headlights.[14]

Map of the Moto-Course

In 2005, a second infield road course configuration was constructed, primarily for motorcycles. Due to fears of tire wear on the banked oval sections, oval turns 1 and 2 were bypassed giving the new course a length of 2.95 miles (4.75 km). The Daytona SportBike that runs the Daytona 200 however, uses the main road course except for the motorcycle Pedro Rodríguez Hairpin (tighter than the one used for cars; the car version is used as an acceleration lane for motorcycles).[15]

On September 26 and 27, 2006, the IndyCar Series held a compatibility test on the 10-turn, 2.73-mile (4.39 km) modified road course, and the 12-turn 2.95-mile (4.75 km) motorcycle road course with 5 drivers. The drivers who tested at the track were Vitor Meira, Sam Hornish Jr., Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon. This marked the first time since 1984 that open wheel cars have taken to the track at Daytona.[16] On January 31 – February 1, 2007, IndyCar returned for a full test involving 17 cars.[17]

Supercross[edit]

During Daytona Beach Bike Week, a supercross track is built between pit road and the tri-oval section of the track. Historically the track has used more sand than dirt, providing unique challenges to riders.[citation needed] The 2008-2013 track configurations were designed by former champion, Ricky Carmichael.[18]

Daytona Flat Track and Infield Kart Track[edit]

Popular dirt-track races in karting and flat-track motorcycle racing had been held at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, but in 2009, the city announced the stadium was replacing its entire surface with FieldTurf, and thereby eliminating the flat-track racing at the stadium. To continue racing, speedway officials built the Daytona Flat Track, a new quarter-mile dirt track outside of Turns 1 and 2 of the main superspeedway. It seats 5,000 in temporary grandstands and opened in December 2009 for WKA KartWeek.[19]

There is also a short paved kart/autocross track in the infield just inside of turn 3. The SCCA holds autocross on this track.

Short track[edit]

In February 2012, it was announced that a 0.4 miles (0.64 km) short track would be constructed along the backstretch of the Speedway's main course, for NASCAR's lower-tier series to compete at during Speedweeks called the UNOH Battle at the Beach, which is similar to the Toyota All-Star Showdown, formerly held at Irwindale Speedway.[20] The first races were held on that track in February 2013.

Football[edit]

The track hosted four college football games featuring the Daytona-based Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in 1974 and 1975. In early 2014 track president Joie Chitwood expressed a desire to bring football back to the track. [21]

Fatalities[edit]

A total of 36 people have been fatally injured in on-track incidents: 22 car drivers, 9 motorcyclists, 3 go-kart drivers, 1 powerboat racer, and 1 track worker. Arguably the most notable was Dale Earnhardt, who died on February 18, 2001 on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.[22]

Fan amenities[edit]

The Earnhardt Grandstand at Daytona International Speedway

Sprint Fanzone[edit]

The Sprint Fanzone is an access package similar to pit passes for fans to get closer to drivers and race teams. The fanzone was built in 2004 as part of a renovation of the track's infield.[23] Fans are able to walk on top of the garages, known as the "fandeck", and view track and garage activity. Fans can also view race teams working in the garage, including NASCAR technical inspection, through windows. The garage windows also include slots for fans to hand merchandise to drivers for autographs. The fanzone also includes a live entertainment stage, additional food and drink areas and various other activities and displays.[24]

The 2004 renovation of the infield, headed by design firm HNTB,[25] was the first major renovation of the infield in the history of the track.[26] In addition to the fanzone, a new vehicle and pedestrian tunnel was built under turn 1. The tunnel posed a challenge to engineers because it was to be built under the water table. Another challenge came during construction when three named hurricanes passed by the track, flooding much of the excavation work. The infield renovation involved landscaping and hardscaping, such as a new walkway along the shore of Lake Lloyd, and the construction of 34 new buildings, including garages and fueling stations, offices and inspection facilities, and a club. The renovation project received a 2005 Award for Excellence from Design-Build Institute of America.[26] Following the success of the Sprint Fanzone at Daytona, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway each built a similar infield fanzone.[citation needed]

Budweiser Party Porch[edit]

The Budweiser Party Porch is a 46 feet (14 m) high porch located along the backstretch of the track. It is built on top of a portion of the backstretch grandstands and includes a 277 feet (84 m) wide, 33 feet (10 m) tall sign, the largest sign in motorsports.[citation needed] The porch features tables, food and drinks, offering fans a "fun-filled" atmosphere that breaks fans away from the confines of grandstand seating without sacrificing on the view. Below the porch is an interactive fan zone featuring amusement rides, a go-kart track, show cars and merchandise trailers.[27]

Events[edit]

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:[28][29]

Races: Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400
Exhibition: Sprint Unlimited
Qualifying: Budweiser Duel

NASCAR Nationwide Series:[28][29]

DRIVE4COPD 300, Subway Firecracker 250

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:[28]

NextEra Energy Resources 250

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (formerly Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series):[30]

Rolex 24 at Daytona

ARCA RE/MAX Series: Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200[31]

AMA Daytona SportBike: Daytona 200[29]

AMA Motocross: Daytona Supercross by Honda[32]

Track records[edit]

As of February 2014, track records on the 2.5 miles (4.0 km) tri-oval are as follows.[33]

Record Year Date Driver Car Make Time Speed/Avg Speed
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Qualifying 1987 February 9 Bill Elliott Ford 42.783 210.364 mph (338.548 km/h)
Race (500 miles) 1980 February 17 Buddy Baker Oldsmobile 2:48:55 177.602 mph (285.823 km/h)
Race (400 miles) July 4 Bobby Allison 2:18:21 173.473 mph (279.178 km/h)
Race (250 miles) 1961 David Pearson Pontiac 1:37:13 154.294 mph (248.312 km/h)
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Qualifying 1987   Tommy Houston Buick 46.299 194.389 mph (312.839 km/h)
Race (300 miles) 1985 February 16 Geoff Bodine Pontiac 1:54:33 157.137 mph (252.887 km/h)
Race (250 miles) 2003 July 4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 1:37:35 153.715 mph (247.380 km/h)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Qualifying 2000 February 17 Joe Ruttman Dodge 47.984 187.563 mph (301.853 km/h)
Race (250 miles) 2006 Mark Martin Ford 1:42:18 146.622 mph (235.965 km/h)


Photos[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reed, Steve (January 22, 2013). "Daytona International unveils plans for upgrade". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Daytona Rising". Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  3. ^ Hawkins, Jim (2003). "Big Bill's Dream for America's Speed Capital". Tales from the Daytona 500 (illustrated ed.). Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 13–14 of 200. ISBN 978-1-58261-530-1. Retrieved September 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c d Aumann, Mark. "How Daytona International Speedway was created". Nascar.com. 
  5. ^ Kettlewell, Mike. "Daytona", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Volume 5, p.503.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Kettlewell, p.503.
  7. ^ "Daytona International Speedway". Musco Lighting. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  8. ^ "Track Facts". Daytonainternationalspeedway.com. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Goodyear Tire Test on Daytona's New Racing Surface Set For Dec. 15–16". Daytona International Speedway. November 20, 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Braun Sets Daytona Speed Record". Motor Racing Network. Concord, NC. October 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  11. ^ http://www.na-motorsports.com/Tracks/FL/Daytona.html
  12. ^ http://wsrp.ic.cz/imsa1984.html#1
  13. ^ http://wsrp.ic.cz/imsa1985.html#1
  14. ^ "Race Profile – 24 Hours of Daytona". Sports Car Digest. January 23, 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  15. ^ Adams, Dean (August 12, 2004). "Daytona Changes Course". Superbikeplanet.com. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "IRL Begins Testing at Daytona Road Course". Daytona International Speedway. September 26, 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "IndyCar Series Kicks Off Two-Day Test At Daytona". Daytona International Speedway. January 31, 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  18. ^ "Ricky Carmichael Designs Daytona Supercross By Honda Course For Second Straight Year". Daytona International Speedway. January 30, 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "AMA FLAT TRACK: DIS To Construct Dirt Track". Speed. July 31, 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Haddock, Tim (February 15, 2012). "Source: Daytona building short track". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  21. ^ Newcomb, Tim (January 21, 2012). "Source: Daytona International Speedway hopes to host college football game after renovation". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  22. ^ "Auto racing fatalities list". Usatoday.Com. 2001-02-18. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. 
  23. ^ Hembree, Mike (July 28, 2009). "NASCAR fans get in the 'zone' at Daytona International Speedway". Scene. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Sprint FANZONE". Daytona international Speedway. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "Daytona Speedway". HNTB. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  26. ^ a b Engdahl, David. "Daytona International Speedway Renovation". American Institute of Architects. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  27. ^ "Budweiser Party Porch Is The Place To Be On The Superstretch For The 52nd Annual Daytona 500". The Catchfence. February 9, 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  28. ^ a b c "Daytona International Speedway – travel – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  29. ^ a b c "Events Calendar". Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  30. ^ "2011 Rolex Series". Grand-am.com. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  31. ^ "Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200". Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  32. ^ "Daytona Supercross by Honda". Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved 2011-03-06. 
  33. ^ "Race Results at Daytona International Speedway". racing-reference.info. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°11′8″N 81°4′10″W / 29.18556°N 81.06944°W / 29.18556; -81.06944