Daytona International Speedway Will Be Repaved

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IFebruary 12, 2009

NASCAR drivers can rest easy tonight, because NASCAR has announced that the Daytona International Speedway will be repaved.

However, it won't happen for about three years.

All week drivers and just about everyone in between has talked about how bumpy the speedway is, causing much concern and many crashes. Cars are visibly bouncing all over the place, and turn four seems to be the worst of it.

Both Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. both agree that the bumps are "cool." Edwards thinks that the track should be left alone, to make the drivers work.

"The rougher the better," Edwards said. "When you're out there sliding around and moving, it makes it harder. If the track is like Talladega ... it wouldn't be nearly as fun. I think repaving Darlington was the most frustrating thing they've done."

Earnhardt Jr. meanwhile said that eventually, it should be done. "The track is old," Earnhardt said. "It's a terrible time to ask anyone to pave a race track, but if anyone needs it, it's probably Daytona."

"You just don't put on a good show," Earnhardt said. "I like the bumps. If you're going to ask guys in here, they're going to say, 'Aw, man, come on, the bumps are cool.' They are cool, but they'll be back. When you pave a track, the dirt underneath always settles. It'll create new bumps."

Highways get paved more often than that, and they're only going 55, 65 down them," he said. "I'm sure if I own a race track, I'm going to pave that damn thing and get blasted because it cost a lot of money to pave it. I can understand why it doesn't happen more often, paving a race track, but they did pave Talladega and that got great reviews, everybody was real happy about it, it's real smooth, puts on good races. Maybe we'll get this thing paved before I retire."

But NASCAR and track president Robin Braig said yesterday that they will begin give Daytona a face-lift.

"There's no issue with money, there's no issue with technology," Braig said, pointing out that DIS parent company, International Speedway Corp., repaved Talladega Superspeedway and its steeply banked turns in 2006. "NASCAR and Goodyear are saying tire wear is fine. It's a $20 million project, but it's not money we're talking about. If we don't need to do it, we're not going to do it."

This will be the first time the track has received a new surface since August of 1978.  The project is scheduled to begin in 2012.