Daytona is probably the most well-known race track in the US. Constructed in 1947, the track is actually three miles long. With a total capacity of around 200,000, the track is often referred to as the speedway. If you’ve never been there, here’s a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Located just a few hours away from Atlanta, Daytona is actually the second oldest race track in the country. For years, the only view available from most of the track was trees and some dirt embankments. That changed in 2010 when LED lights were installed around the entire track. Now, thanks to these lights, fans and racers can enjoy a completely new experience at Daytona.
The Newest Additions
As part of the $10 million dollar overhaul, new additions have been made to the track and its facilities. A few of the major renovations include:
- Completing the tri-oval. It used to be that the only part of the track that was flat was the center section. Due to the embankments and the height of the stands, there wasn’t much room for construction, except in the center. With these new lights and the removal of the trees, the entire three-mile course is now open for construction, which means more room for cars and more excitement for the fans.
- Buildings have been renovated, including the grandstands and locker rooms. The track now has a boutique hotel and bars, as well as an eatery.
- New parking garages, bridges, and ramps have been added, allowing more convenient access to the track for drivers and fans.
- There is a brand-new, $1.5 million dollar press box.
- The track’s video screen has been lowered, making it easier for fans to see the entire race.
- The speedway has been redesigned, with more room for cars and a better view for fans.
- New seats have been added, making them more comfortable for drivers and fans alike.
- The track has been lengthened by 100 yards, giving it a more exciting feel.
The Grandstand And The Experience
One of the major differences between the old and new Daytona is the stands. Thanks to the new lights, fans can now see the entire track, not just the dirt embankments and the occasional car that wanders down the backstretch. As a result, the view from the stands has changed completely. Before the renovations, there were no seats behind the yellow line. Now, due to the new seating and the lowered video screen, there’s a chance to see every lap. This is particularly exciting for those who follow racing closely, since the details of each race are usually kept secret until the checkered flag waves.
While most tracks are built in a circle or a horseshoe, Daytona was unique in that it was built in a straight line. This means that there are no real turns or blind alleys on the entire three-mile course. As a result, the racing has a completely different feel. During the renovation, the track was extended by 100 yards, which gives the cars more room to maneuver. This isn’t the only difference though. The lighting, which was also designed to give a different feel to the races, along with the removal of the trees, have an effect on how the races play out.
Daytona’s original design meant that the track would be used for more intermediate-level cars, with the heavier vehicles being held at the airport. This has now changed, with NASCAR now holding races at the track year-round. Thanks to this, there is now more room for heavy vehicles. While most tracks are only open during the racing season, the speedway is open throughout the year, allowing fans to come out and support their favorite drivers, no matter what time of year it is.
Along with the new location, seating, and lighting, another difference between the old and new Daytona is the track’s surface. The original version of the track was built on a sandy surface. However, after years of extreme heat and sun exposure, the track started to deteriorate. The solution was to replace the sand with tarmac. This not only makes the track smoother but also gives it a longer lifespan. It also allows for the creation of a better racing surface, perfect for cars and bikes alike. The new track has a much better lifespan than the one it replaced, with the surface still looking brand-new after more than 70 years of use.
There’s a reason why Daytona is one of the most popular race tracks in the country, with its unique look, new additions, and of course, the racing. Due to the brand-new location and modern amenities, the track now offers an exciting new experience for both fans and drivers.