How Steep Are The Banks At Daytona Motor Speedway? [Fact Checked!]

Daytona is one of the most famous races in the world that takes place every year in February. The most amazing thing about these races is that they aren’t just about racing cars. Yes, that’s why it’s called the Daytona 500. The races also feature some of the most exhilarating and dangerous banking sequences that you’ll ever see on a motorway. If you’ve ever wondered how steep the banking is at Daytona, then wonder no more! Let’s have a look…

The Most Amazing Banking In The History Of Speedway Racing

If you’re not familiar, the banking is the steepest part of the track when you’re driving on the circuit. A bank is where the track curves outward and upward, connecting the frontstretch with the backstretch. When you’re driving, it’s extremely dangerous to hit a curb or a patch of loose gravel because your front fender could easily be damaged, causing you to crash. And since the track is so close to the surface, it means you’re definitely going to crash.

That’s why when you’re on the banking, you have to be extra careful. Going up and down the track isn’t easy because the banking is constantly changing direction, making it more difficult to drive. The result is that the banking often causes accidents and injuries. In 2017, there were 42 serious accidents at the Motor Speedway, resulting in 92 injuries and three deaths. That’s more than one accident every two days. In years past, the banking was so treacherous that drivers were discouraged from entering the curve.

The Death Toll From The Banking Is Horrifying

The most dangerous place at the Daytona Speedway is the banking. Since the banking is such a prominent feature of the track, it’s highly likely that you’ll see it on the news whenever there’s an accident. One of the most recent accidents to make headlines was the death of Justin Wilson, who was killed after his car hit a curb and then careened into oncoming traffic. Wilson was a promising young driver, having just finished racing in the Camping World Truck Series. He was also a passenger in a car that was being driven by his girlfriend at the time, Brittany Bowden, who suffered a broken leg in the crash. The crash also seriously injured Bowden’s mother and her boyfriend, who were in the other vehicle. Luckily, Wilson and Bowden were wearing seat belts, which prevented them from being ejected from their car. They also survived the crash because the impact was less severe than it would have been had they not been wearing their seat belts. That’s why it’s important to always wear your seat belt whenever you’re in a car.

Since the inception of the Daytona 500 in 1959, more than 200 people have lost their lives while racing at the speedway. To put that into perspective, that’s more people than died during the entire Vietnam War. In comparison, the Indianapolis 500 has a similar amount of banking but only 60 fatalities over its entire history. To this day, the death toll at the Daytona remains the third highest in motorsport history. The only higher totals are at the Nürburgring in Germany (267) and the Mount Panorama in Australia (274).

Why The Death Toll Keeps Rising

The death toll from the banking has been increasing ever since it was built. Between 1960 and 1979, the death toll remained relatively stable between 80 and 100 per year. Since 1980, however, the number of deaths has skyrocketed. In 2017, there were 42 deaths at the Daytona, the highest since 2009 when there were 46. In fact, there were more traffic accidents at the Daytona in 2017 than in any year since 1960, when there were only 37. That’s almost double the amount of fatal accidents than there were in 2016, which were the least since 1960, with only 24 deaths. It looks like the sport of NASCAR, which is based at the Daytona, is having a hard time getting the banking right. In 2017, there were eight accidents that were caused by excessive speed. That’s more than any other year in the last fifty years. It also means that the cars were driving way outside their limits, probably because of all the racing towards the end. At the end of a race, the cars are driven faster and faster until they break down, hence the reason for the final sprint.

While the number of deaths at the Daytona hasn’t budged in the last five years, other than 2012 and 2016, which were the two lowest years since 1959, the number of injuries has steadily increased. In 2017, there were 180 injuries, the most since 200 in 2012. That’s also because the cars are getting faster and faster, resulting in more damage when they crash. It’s also worth noting that the Daytona has the least spectator safety measures of any other speedway in America. For example, there are no safety trucks standing by at the beginning of the race. Before you know it, those tires are burning up, and you’ve got a whole new set of problems to deal with. Thankfully, the number of injuries has also decreased in recent years, from a high of 230 in 2012 to 180 in 2017. So, while it’s still a dangerous track, the number of injuries has become more manageable. That’s good news for the racers and fans alike.

The Many Roles Of Martin Potter

While the number of fatalities at the Daytona Speedway has steadily increased since the 1980s, it wasn’t always this way. From 1973 to 1979, the number of deaths per year was between 48-60. This was mostly because of a rule change that was implemented in 1974 that limited the amount of fuel that could be carried by a car. The rule change, however, did result in a decrease in the number of accidents. In fact, there were only 37 accidents in 1974, which was the lowest number of accidents since the inception of the Daytona 500. This was most likely because drivers were no longer forced to knock off early due to running out of fuel. Since then, the number of accidents has steadily increased, culminating in 2017 with a record-breaking 246 accidents, most of which were caused by excessive speeding. It’s also worth noting that during this time frame, there weren’t any safety trucks standing by at the beginning of races. Drivers would roll the dice and see what happened, much like a craps roll. Interestingly enough, this is where the phrase ‘it’s all in the number’ comes from. If you rolled a 7, you’d get seven laps. If you rolled a 6, you’d get six laps. Etc.

Martin Potter is one of the most successful and prominent businessmen in NASCAR. He is currently the CEO and co-owner of the Daytona International Speedway, one of the most famous tracks in the world. He is also known for co-founding the Monster Energy brand and serving as its CEO. The Monster Energy brand distributes the products of some of the biggest names in the sport, including Monster, Beast Mode, and X-Trail. Before he became a co-owner of the Daytona, he already owned a piece of the International Speedway in neighboring Columbus, Ohio. Back in 1974, he built the 500-acre Speedhut, a state-of-the-art media center that houses the biggest video wall that you’ll ever see, surrounded by 160-foot LED screens that display race replays and other content. The space used to be an old air Force base, so it has amazing acoustics that help make it sound like you’re at a live concert. It was also the location of the final practice session for the 2017 Daytona 500. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500, Martin Potter announced that he’s planting 20 acres of oak trees in the area surrounding the space. In total, there will be 10 million oak trees planted throughout the area by the time the project is finished.

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