Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Daytona Speedway Datona Beach, Florida

Anyone who has visited Daytona Beach knows the City is known for more than it's beautiful beaches. It's also the home of the famed Daytona Speedway, home of the Daytona 500 which starts the NASCAR racing season every February. While we were there, we decided to take a guided behind the scenes tour of the Speedway. This tour takes you via tram, down onto the racing surface, through the garage area and into owner's suites. It finishes with a tour of the Daytona 500 museum. The tour was about 3 hours long but we were never bored. Everything was really interesting and our driver was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. 

I've been asked to post more pictures of our journeys, so with this post, I'm going to post more pictures in a smaller format. To view larger images, simply double click on any picture you want to enlarge. Enjoy....

In keeping with my weird sense of humor, I snapped this picture. Notice the "Lost and Found" sign above the Exit Only sign. Then notice there's a waste basket below the Lost and Found sign. I asked the security guy about it but he didn't have my sense of humor. Oh well....

Dodge got into the racing scene at Daytona by providing the Daytona 500 Pace Car.

We were on the access road above the racing surface. The banked racing surface rises almost 5 stories from the inside stripe to the outside wall.

Interestingly, the seats are painted various colors in random order. This makes the grandstands look fuller than they might be. Ah! the things we do for television.

You can see the road course in the foreground. Daytona Speedway hosts road course racing, motorcycle racing, powerboat racing and superbikes.

Our guide pointing out the area on the track where Dale Earnhardt crashed on February 18, 2001

If you've enough bucks, you can rent or own one of the many suites surrounding racing surface. This would be your view.

Inside, looking down the suite. All of the suites are side by side but separated by windows. Each has several television sets, a full bar, small kitchen and of course, restrooms.

Another view looking down on the track from the suite. That car sure looks small from up here.

Now we get down on the racing surface itself. This is the back straight away. Notice how flat the track is here. To quote a cliche, this is where the rubber meets the road...

After running the track, we visited the garage area. This is a series of garages, forming a "U" shape around the center stage areas. During race festivities, excluding the race itself, these stages feature live entertainment. The first garage on the left is for the 'pole sitter', the second for the second fastest etc.

Here's the other side of the coin. If you look closely, you'll see the last garage on the right is number 44, reserved for the slowest qualifying car for the race.

This picture and the one below show the inside of the garage areas. Don't you wish your garage floor was that clean?

Debi, Jasmine and I get our fifteen minutes of fame with our picture on Victory Lane.
Start / Finish Line
The winning car driven on NASCAR's opening race is placed on display for the entire year. 
This year Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race driving this car.

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