Daytona Int’l Speedway expanding family friendly areas

The Local 6 Orlando News reported this story on this evening's news:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona International Speedway is building a new interactive fan area adjacent to the backstretch grandstands outside Turn 3.

Construction has begun and will be completed in time for the 52nd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 14. Included in the 136,000-square-foot area will be a go-kart track, a children's play area, a Ferris Wheel, show cars and a fan hospitality area called the SPEED Trackside Tavern, Local 6 news partner Florida Today reported.

The enhancements will necessitate the removal of 12,000 of the easternmost seats in the 57,000-seat backstretch grandstand phased in during the 1990s. They will be used at other International Speedway Corporation facilities in the future.

The work follows enhancements announced earlier that include:
•Two additional gate entrances on the front stretch in the area of the old dog track.

•Relocation of the Turn 1 tram stop closer to the center of the front stretch grandstands.

•New exterior pedestrian boulevard that will eventually stretch from Turn 1 to Turn 4.

•New signage, landscaping and area lighting.

•Raising of the height of the catch fence from 14 to 22 feet. The estimated two miles of fencing will stretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 and from Turn 2 to a gate near the entrance to Turn 3.

•Construction of a quarter-mile dirt motorcycle flat track outside Turns 1 and 2.
Also, a new start time has been set for the 500. It will begin shortly after 1 p.m., 2½ hours earlier than 2009 and the earliest start since 2003.

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