Thursday, December 16, 2010

They're racing at Daytona ... sort of

The first tests on the newly paved Daytona International Speedway have be going on during the last two days. The reports about the track have been good from all of the drivers.
It had to help make the track smoother. I did the Richard Petty Experience as a rider (not a driver) a few years ago at Daytona, and was a bit alarmed at how much we were bouncing coming out of Turn 2. Afterward, the driver told me you can't really adjust to the bumps there at those speeds (we were going about 150 mph, as opposed to the Sprint Cup guys who go a little under 200 mph). He said you just have to keep the steering wheel straight and ride them out.
Then there were the delays during this year's Daytona 500 with the pothole. To have that happen in your biggest event of the year was embarrassing.
It's important to note that this repaving wasn't simply putting asphalt over the old asphalt. They dug up the old pavement first, then put four layers of new asphalt down to make this a really smooth track.
The smoother surface is bound to lead to more aggressive racing and hopefully better racing there as the drivers have said they can go three-wide there all the way around. We'll find out for sure how it works during Speedweeks leading up to the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20.

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