When it coms to NASCAR, it starts with Daytona, literally and figuratively. It is Daytona International Speedway where many of the sport’s most enduring memories have been created. Any driver who has won both the season opener, Daytona 500, and the overall points championship will tell you its the Daytona 500 that means the most. And with the announced approval on Tuesday for a project that will dramatically overhaul the frontstretch at DIS, expect the racing to get better.
Construction, which will begin after the July 6th Sprint Cup race, will cost between $375 million and $400 million and is expected to be completed before the 2016 Daytona 500. Once the project is done, the “World Center of Racing” will have reduced its capacity by 146,000 seats to 101,000. The backstretch stands will be removed and wider seats will be installed on the frontstretch.
Joey Chitwood, president of Daytona International Speedway, promises race days through next year won’t be affected.
He also went on to say that following the crash in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in February, in which pieces of a race car flew into the grandstands and injured fans, that an engineering firm has repaired the fencing and gates to make them safer for next month’s Coke Zero 400. “Safety will be a big priority in the redesign”, Chitwood said.
Chitwood said ticket prices will not dramatically increase as a result of the reconstruction and some seats on the frontstretch will be repriced to be more affordable, which would replace the cheaper tickets offered on the Superstretch, which is going away.
“We’re not going to turn around and leverage our ticket prices,” Chitwood said. “We will have to reprice the mix so that we have good opportunities on the frontstretch.”
Stay with TSB for the updated information on this track project, as it becomes available.