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And Daytona track boss Robin Braig's Take:

  Robin Braig, president of Daytona International Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   Robin Braig, who runs Daytona International Speedway, admitted Sunday's pothole debacle was embarrassing, but didn't promise a repaving job at this 2.5-mile track, even though it's been more than 30 years since this asphalt was laid.
    Sunday night Braig first gave the official line: "As we do for every event, we inspected this track this morning and there were no concerns.
    "We are always prepared for these types of issues. We had the proper materials and worked diligently to repair it.
     "The delay in the repairs was caused by the unusually cold ambient temperature.
     "We will evaluate these effects from the weather and will make the necessary adjustments."
    That said, Braig conceded the obvious: "We own 12 race tracks; we understand pavement. We have the North American Testing Corporation, which was formed by Bill (France) Jr.
     "Bill Jr. would never tolerate this type of a situation.
     "We're the World Center of Racing. This is the Daytona 500. This is not supposed to happen.
     "And I take full responsibility.  We take full responsibility.
      "But we can come back from this.
      "We know how to fix it.  We know how to do it right.
     "I apologize for it.
      "This is hallowed ground. We understand that. We accept the responsibility."
     Braig described the initial problem like this: "The first hole in the track was about 9 by 15 by 2 inches.
    "It wasn't very big.
     "It was in a dip in the track surface.
     "We have many dips throughout this surface.
    "But it couldn't have been in a worse spot. That was the only spot that wasn't getting sun. The difference in the temperature was 58 degrees on the outside and 44 degrees in the shade there.
      "We're not sure whether we had pavement failure, or perhaps a car dug into it and lifted the pavement out. We have to study that."
    The first repairs didn't work. "Our first batch of repair material didn't hold.
     "That was a mistake on our part. We used the wrong type of material. It didn't hold it at all.
    "So we tried a second batch of material. We had several engineers down there, and we thought that that was pretty good." 
     It lasted a while, about 35 laps. Then drivers began complaining loudly about the hole expanding and rocks being thrown about the track.
    "As they bottomed out (on that patched area), they dug it deeper," Braig said.
     "By the time we got out there for the second delay, the hole was twice the size.
     "The second patch held.
     "We felt good about it....apologized for the lengthy delay.
     "We take full responsibility. We got to get better at doing our patchwork.
      "If we have to do it again, we have to figure out the compounds. We really got to understand the temperature and the heat of the pavement.
     "We just couldn't get it to bond."

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Daytona is supposed to be

Daytona is supposed to be repaved for 2012 (see link here). They'd better try to speed up this timetable.

it is what it is --- but it

it is what it is --- but it didn't play well on tv, for any number of reasons.


I'm quite sure the asphalt

I'm quite sure the asphalt compounds of today are far superior to the ones used 20 years ago. So, to some degree, a failure was doom to take place sooner or later. They've had cold weather along with the rains before at Daytona, just not during Speedweeks. But before you talk about getting the track ready for July race, they have to contend with Bike Week at Daytona and the Daytona 200 Superbike race. Hitting that patch at 200mph on a bike could be ugly.

No excuse for this....It's

No excuse for this....It's like the goal posts falling down during the Super Bowl. They had since last July to repair the track, but chose not to. Heads should roll over this screw up!

Braig has nothing to be

Braig has nothing to be ashamed of. Though it took a while to get the repairs done, I'm glad they did complete them so the race could be finished under green. Rain-shortened events stink, and not being able to finish for track disrepair would have been a real bummer.

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