“I’ve tried to knock the walls down but I’ve never tried to tear the track up. That was a first for me,” Darrell Waltrip told Auto123. “It’s a good feeling. That piece of equipment is like driving a good race car. You have to have the right piece of equipment and we had it today. I’m excited about this project.”
According to track president Robin Braig, the repaving will be completed in time for the 2011 Daytona 500. Until now, the holes in the track were patched using a Bondo body filler and reinforced concrete.
According to initial estimates, 50,000 tons of asphalt will be used on the project. All of the existing asphalt will be scraped off, down to the original lime rock base. It, in turn, will be leveled.
The start of the work on the track was not without meaning for Michael Waltrip, who said he will get a chunk of the tarmac and take it back to North Carolina.
"This place is special to our family. It’s part of who we are. I don’t come through that tunnel and not think about what this place means to me. I’m a traditionalist. I love Daytona and I love this being the Mecca of NASCAR racing,” he said.