Lane Construction, of Chesire, Conn., might be considered your average construction company to an outsider. But they are far from ‘average,’ as the organization’s specialty is paving race tracks, especially big ones like Daytona International Speedway, one of the most talked about large-scale motorsports re-paving projects in recent memory.
But how did they do it? With its legendary 31 degrees of steep banking and 18 degrees accenting the famous tri-oval, laying asphalt at this facility is no small order. It’s a question answered on SPEED’s original series, Speedmakers (Thursday, May 12; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), which captured a process that dramatically changed the face of this year’s Daytona 500 and Daytona 200 during Bike Week.
Starting in July of 2010, the construction crew descended onto Daytona Beach, Fla., spending the next six months repaving the entire 2.5-mile racing surface, pit road and the aprons. The project covered more than 1.4-million feet of surface area and required 50,000 tons of asphalt, including the complete re-surfacing and widening of pit road.
“This was a monumental and historic undertaking on what many consider to be racing’s most hallowed ground,” said Robert Ecker, SPEED VP of Programming and Executive Producer. “The sheer physical demands of the task, coupled with the etched-in-stone completion date, required innovative engineering systems and state-of-the-art technology. It proved to be as daunting a task as anticipated, and the Speedmakers crew was on hand to capture the process in its enormity.”
“Repaving the ‘World Center of Racing’ was a monumental task with a lot riding upon its successful completion,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Lane Construction faced the challenges head on and their hard work resulted in one of the smoothest surfaces in racing and a record breaking Speedweeks 2011. I hope our fans enjoy this look back at all the sweat and innovation that went into repaving Daytona International Speedway.”
Among the topics covered include demolition and removal of the old pavement, the mobile asphalt production plant and the unique machinery it took to safely surface and test the high banks. Lane Construction’s past experience, which includes repaving projects at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, was critical in being able to finish the project in a timely manner, despite the multiple challenges that presented themselves along the way.