Wednesday, September 8, 2010

That Repave Keeps Rollin' Along

NASCAR driver Jeff Burton tries his hand at driving a Caterpillar grader
at Daytona International Speedway today.

I missed Jeff Burton's appearance at Daytona International Speedway by three days - but he and I can both testify that the repave is rolling along just fine.

I visited the track Sunday and saw the first layer of pavement being laid down firsthand.  Pit road has also been torn up and will be several feet wider by the Daytona 500. 

The first layer of pavement goes down on the high banks Sunday.
While I got to glimpse how the construction equipment actually stays on track's high banks without sliding to the apron (connected via strong cables and a truck on the outside of the wall), Burton was there to drive a Caterpillar grader and bury a time capsule with track president Joie Chitwood.

Some of the items placed in the time capsule were:

· Tickets from 2010 Daytona International Speedway events including the 52nd annual Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, the final race on the old asphalt

· Die-cast cars including Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet that won the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Burton’s No. 31 Caterpillar car

· Newspapers from the Daytona Beach News-Journal including their special Daytona Repave section

· Business card of Lane Construction’s John Rauer, the project manager on the Daytona Repave

· Sprint Blackberry phone

· Press releases, brochures and photos

“It’s really cool to be here,” said Burton, who added he would like to come back to Daytona someday to dig up the time capsule. “The history of this race track and the France family actually building this track with their own hands and (now) seeing it reconstructed, it’s pretty cool."

"This track is going to make racing incredible. What you’re going to see is three wide and two wide all the time. "

The target completion date for the repave is Jan 1, 2011.

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