Race Weekend Central

Daytona International Speedway to be Repaved for 2011 Daytona 500

After months of investigation into Daytona’s aged asphalt surface, we finally have an answer as to the future of the speedway’s repaving project. Sources tell Frontstretch‘s Mike Lovecchio that an announcement will be made tomorrow by ISC the track will be fully repaved in time for the 2011 Daytona 500.

According to sources, investigation into the track surface, which was last repaved in 1978, revealed “concerns” that have forced ISC to move up the timeline of the project. A source also says there are still private worries remaining about the condition of the asphalt for July’s Coke Zero 400, but the choice has been made to not rush the project and wait until after the second round of Daytona races.

The move is an about face from ISC and Daytona’s stance on the matter in February. After a pothole caused two red flags totaling two hours, 25 minutes for repairs in this year’s 500, DIS President Robin Braig was adamant the track would hold off on its repaving job until 2012.

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“We don’t think it’s time to repave, unless we find out something different after we evaluate it this week,” DIS President Braig said that night. “We’ve got engineers all over this. You don’t know how many people are waiting in line to get out there and see that in the morning.”

Apparently, once they saw it, the engineers concluded otherwise. No word on the exact cost of the project, but sources claim pieces of the old asphalt could be sold to fans once the repave is complete.

UPDATE — 9 p.m. ET Frontstretch‘s Mike Lovecchio has spoken with another source who confirmed that there will indeed be an announcement tomorrow regarding a pre-Daytona 500 paving of the Speedway. It appears there is a growing concern regarding the current condition of the track which has forced the Speedway’s hand prior to the initial 2012 scheduled repaving.

It will be interesting to see how the patches hold up for July’s Summer Speedweeks, but one thing is certain – if the patches do come up, fans will wonder why a decision wasn’t made sooner.

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