What to see on and off the track in Daytona

Sports Travelers headed to Florida for NASCAR’s season debut this month have a lot to watch out for, both on and off the track.

Daytona Beach will be packed with things to do before and after the Great American Race. Conveniently enough, the city of Daytona Beach has come up with a great guide to make sure you make the most of your time away from the track. And instead of destroying trees, just flipbook it! The 88-page online visitors’ guide walks you through everything from restaurants and nightlife to shopping and family fun.

Daytona Beach Visitors' Guide

On race day, a lot of eyes will be focused on where the rubber meets the road – literally. Daytona International Speedway reportedly spent around $20 million to repave the historic track for just the second time. The entire race surface was torn up, leveled and repaved in a process that was started after the July 5, 2010 Coke Zero 400 and finished earlier this year. A lot of time was spent making sure track dimensions remained exactly the way Bill France Sr. wanted it. Here are a few facts about the repave from the speedway’s website:

  • Employees: At a minimum, there will be 30 workers and at a maximum 100.
  • Asphalt: 50,000 tons
  • Light poles: In order to pave the daunting high banks, crews will have to remove 57 light poles from the upper rim road adjacent to the wall in Turns 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • Catch fence: In order to pave the high banks, crews will remove a total of 5,948 linear feet of catch fence posts, cables, and fence fabric from the exterior wall in Turns 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • SAFER barrier: 8,300 linear feet of SAFER barrier will be removed before paving begins
  • Trucks: 50 truck loads of concrete for pit road
  • How much paving?: There will be about 1,435,000 square feet of paving, that is about 33 acres

Daytona Repave Info: Asphalt | Equipment | Repaving | More Info

The new pavement is sure to affect the race. Sports Traveler race expert Craig Kibler says to keep an eye out for some close-knit racing thanks to improved tire grip and accelerated tire wear that will keep the pit crews busy.

Podcast: 2011 Daytona 500 episode of Sports Traveler Radio.

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