Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Daytona 500 halted for track repairs two hours into the NASCAR season opener

  Crews repairing broken asphalt at Daytona International Speedway during a 90-minute-plus red flag during Daytona 500 (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   NASCAR has red-flagged the Daytona 500 for more than an hour now (beginning at 3:22 p.m. ET) to repair a hole in the asphalt between turns one and two.
   The hole is about three feet long and a foot or so wide.
   Typically patchwork like this shouldn't be much of an issue, with all the quick-drying concretes available. NASCAR has faced issues like this at Bristol and Martinsville, with little issue.
   But NASCAR CEO Brian France said the temperature (about 53 degrees trackside) was causing problems.
   "Because of the cold temperatures the normal solutions you would use to patch the track aren't working," France said.
   "But we're on our third different solution and we are turning the corner.
   "Normally we would have had this resolved a lot quicker.
   "The good news is we will get it resolved. And we're in the midst of probably our best Daytona 500 in a long time."
    The race, which started at 1:20 p.m., hadn't really taken a 'set' when the problem with the asphalt occurred, 78 laps from the end of the 200-lapper at the 2.5-mile track. A number of drivers had led, but some minor, an unexplained tire problems had bothered some drivers.
   One of those was Jimmie Johnson, who had just cut a right-front tire when the issue became so clear, with the hole suddenly visible.
   Rain Friday was a possible factor.
   However this track, which opened in 1959, was last repaved in October 1978 – when Dale Earnhardt Jr., to put it some perspective, was barely four years old.
   The Talladega track, similar in design, was repaved in 2006, at a cost of about $15 million, over some five months.
   The price tag for repaving Daytona International Speedway was pegged last year at $20 million plus.
   However there are complications here, including the upcoming Bike Week racing here, two weeks from now.
   And could this track be repaved in time for the July 3rd Sprint Cup 400 here? Plus, teams and Goodyear engineers would certainly want to test here before such a race after any major repaving. Since a track has to set at least two weeks after paving before cars can run on it, that narrows the repaving window even more. Plus, this is Florida, with its weather issues.


      [Note: You can use Twitter as an easy headline service for mikemulhern.net stories, with our instant Tweets to your mobile as soon as our newest NASCAR story is filed. And mikemulhern.net is mobile-friendly for viewing. You can also use the orange RSS feed button as a quickie headline service on your laptop or home computer for mikemulhern.net stories, by creating a Live Bookmark RSS feed on your web browser's toolbar. Or you can create a Google Alert for mikemulhernnet.]



Yes, the pavement is old, but

Yes, the pavement is old, but on banked asphalt tracks where there are large dirt embankments beneath the paved surface, those embankments will find a release point somewhere in that asphalt when they become saturated. We saw it at Charlotte not long ago, and I've seen the seepage even at Caraway after several days of rain in the spring long before summer temperatures dried out the ground. There is little NASCAR could have done about that. The original asphalt repair was a bust, but the epoxy-looking material that they used for the last repair seemed to work well.

I'm torn on repaving Daytona. Yeah the asphalt is old, but repaving a restrictor-plate track will mean better handling for everyone and that's only going to bunch the cars up again. ISC should use that money to repave Pocono, which is the ugliest and bumpiest track that they race on.

the ISC doesn't own Pocono,

the ISC doesn't own Pocono, so that wouldn't be possible.

This is not the good news for

This is not the good news for the riders. Old pavements are really unhealthy for the races. Even normal riders don't like to ride on old and torn roads and when it comes to racing then it should be perfect. So, this is truly sad.
regards from Buell Forum

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com