After my financial commitment was made, this olelongrooffan was east bound and down and as I passed under this and I remembered this was going on.
And in an effort to keep those of you Counting Along With This olelongrooffan informed of the progress, I whipped into the parking lot of the Daytona International Speedway and inquired of one of the security dudes where the grandstand was that could be traversed at no cost to view the repaving. "Head over to the Daytona 500 Experience," I attended here, "and they will let you in," was his response.
And I did.
So I got over there and after walking through the souvenier shop, I headed out to the tram staging area to see what there was to be seen. I spotted the empty tram above and caught some of the now removed light pole lying on the ground. See that white wall at the top of that hill in the background of that light pole image? That is the NASCAR turn 4 wall with all the catch fencing removed.
I turned to the west to head up to those free grandstands NotSoLilJim, the youngsters and this olelongrooffan were at a couple years ago.
Before I could get out of the tram area, I noticed a sign saying that the grandstands were closed today. I was bummed. So, this olelongrooffan went over to talk to one of the tram drivers who was standing behind the check in counter. I inquired if the grandstands were indeed closed today. Yep, he said, too much heavy truck traffic in the area today and we don't want anyone to be injured.
Well, I was then really bummed out. I mentioned I had driven down from the Birthplace of Speed to get a few shots of the repaving for my blog. I then asked is there any other way to view the proceedings? He mentioned I could do the infield tour on one of these trams. I mentioned that the $15 admittance charge was a bit much for me at this time. Just then, he reaches down under that counter and pulls a used ticket stub out and told me to get in line and keep my mouth shut.
Yes Sir!! Sometimes really good things happen if you just let them.
Well Counters, this olelongrooffan grabbed a seat at the rear in the last row of the last tram car and waited for my benefactor to get the show on the road.
I have mentioned previously that these trams just barely fit through the "old" tunnel and here is proof of that. I am sitting in the far right hand seat and that mesh is the "door" to the row I am on. The red thing is the guardrail keeping vehicles away from the pedestrians walking through this tunnel.
Yeah, it is a squeeze.
These images are not representative of the order in which they were taken but you get the idea. The tram stopped just outside Victory Lane and the driver let everyone get out for image taking on the winners platform.
Well I am sure you Counters realize this may have been interesting for the touristas but I am here for the repaving. So I head over to get a shot of this grader moving the limerock base around near the Start/Finish line.
I actually took the next two after I had left the complex and captured that dozer and dumptruck from just outside the facility.
After we left Victory Lane, the tram pulled out onto pit road. Quite a bit quieter than the last time I was there.
I got these two images of the pavement removal machine while we were still at Victory Lane.
As a side note, all of the removed asphalt is being hauled to a secure, fenced in area to be sold at a later date or to be included with the purchase of ticket to the 2011 Daytona 500. Yeah, always a buck to be made around here.
A rare sight of turns 3 and 4 with no catch fencing and the SAFER barrier removed.
I did learn something new today. See that Sunoco tower in the folowing image? There is one of those at all four corners of the track and two NASCAR spotters sit in each on during a race to look for debris on the track and spot the flagman in case of an accident.
They are actually building a road for the "cantilever" equipment to drive on to hold the paving equipment in place on the high banks.
See that pavement "washout" in the center of the track. You can read all about it here.
And a section of track along the backstretch with the lightpoles and catch fencing still in place.
Someone on the tram mentioned that the Start/Finish Line is going to the Smithsonian. I have not yet been able to document this.
But this olelongrooffan has this to say about that. I'm not really sure how it could be removed in one piece and then transported to DC, but if it can be done, that would be really cool.
Well Counters, that's it. The fact this olelongrooffan struck a chord in that tram driver and prompted him to get me that courtesy ticket sure allows me to