Daytona crews patch speedway before Saturday race



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Crews at the Daytona International Speedway spent the day getting the track ready for Saturday's motorcycle race, the Daytona 200.

Less than three weeks after a race car smashed into a jet drier packed with fuel at the Daytona 500, causing a massive explosion and fire, Speedway officials say the track is ready for racing.

Officials are planning to repave that entire turn after Saturday's race.

"We kind of went into a short-term plan on how to make sure the track was ready," Speedway President Joe Chitwood said.

Extreme heat and jet fuel damaged the track, and speedway officials didn't have enough time to repave it before this Saturday's Daytona 200 sport bike race.

"We actually washed the track daily ... made sure we removed any of the affected asphalt. We actually did a little more patching and some street bond to get us through," Chitwood said.

On Friday, drivers were ripping across the track at speeds north of 200 miles per hour, and so far so good.

"Whenever you go over it, you feel a little bump, but it's not anything that's a big problem," Team Yamaha's Josh Herrin said.

After the race, track officials will remove and repave a 10-foot strip of the track.

Lane Construction is going to do the job. It's the same company that repaved the entire 2.5-mile track after the infamous pothole incident two years ago.

It's a complicated process. The track is 7 inches of different types of asphalt layered on top of each other.

Speedway officials said they don't know how much the latest repaving will cost, but when they previously did the whole track, the price tag was estimated at $20 million.