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February 21, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!: NASCAR 2016 - Niedermeyer's Dead Horse

Welcome to another year of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series racing.

It couldn't possibly be a more beautiful day for racing in Florida. The forecast for the 58th running of the Daytona 500 is for a high of 74 degrees with only a few clouds in the sky. Then again, it's Florida. The forecast could change on a moment's notice and advise us to be on the lookout for torrential downpours and swarms of locusts.

I haven't been to a race at Daytona Speedway in 40 years, so it's changed a lot in that time. Driving past it as you head from I-95 to Daytona Beach, you can't miss it. It's a massive structure. A few Track Facts from their website:

- The Speedway covers 480 acres with 180 of those being infield. In the infield is a 29-acre lake, Lake Lloyd.

- The track is a 2.5 mile Tri-Oval. Pit road is 1,600' feet long.

- Until recently, seating capacity was 147k, which did not count infield capacity. Following renovations, capacity is still a whopping 101.5k, (More on that later)

It's a big ass facility.

Despite the growth in the popularity of NASCAR, the Speedway itself was seriously lacking as a facility. Top row seats required walking 7-stories of stairs. Many of the seats were folding metal chairs. Bathrooms were too few, and were outdated. The issues went on, and on, and on. Then... Daytona Rising
.

This year's 500 fans will enjoy the results of the $400M Daytona Rising renovation which includes new, wider seats, each with a back and armrests. Elevators and escalators ensure those seated in the tops rows will walk only a few feet to get there. And, once they arrive, the view will be improved due to the elimination of the Superstretch bleachers which previously obscured the miles-long view of Daytona Beach itself.

Behold.

Last year:


This year:

In addition to the improved seating, the more numerous and quality bathrooms, dining pavilions, corporate boxes, and clubhouses mean it's really now like a massive NFL stadium.

It's an amazing transformation as can be seen in this time lapse video of the more than two-year long renovation.



I would absolutely love to meet the Morons for a race at Daytona. If any of you might enjoy that kind of thing, let's set it up.


The 2016 paint schemes.

I like this one:

and this one


Chase Elliott and Matt Kenseth will be in the 1 and 2 positions. The full lineup can be found here.


I also see that there's a fantasy league, which might be fun.


Okay, that's it for this week. I can't promise much, but 'll try to put up something each week.


Race time: 1:00 pm on Fox.


Enjoy the race, folks


UPDATE: I have been remiss in my duties.

How about a pic or two of Samantha Busch to make it up to you.



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posted by Open Blogger at 12:35 PM

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