Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Daytona Beach Labor Day Weekend

We hadn’t planned to go out of town for Labor Day. The weekend cruises were either booked up or too expensive, and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money. But at the last minute, we decided we needed to go somewhere. Orlando? Apalachicola? Daytona Beach? Yes, Daytona! We hadn’t been there in AGES.

We left Saturday morning and got to Daytona at 10:30, just in time for the 11 o’clock All Access Tour at the Daytona International Speedway. Ron had been to the speedway several times for car shows but I’d never seen it and I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like behind the scenes.

The tour lasted about an hour and a half and we got to see many areas of the property, riding from place to place in trams towed by our tour guide in a truck. Our first stop was on an access road overlooking the incredible 31-degree angle of the track at Turn 4 (31 degrees because at 32 degrees, the dirt starts to slide down). Then we drove onto the track itself. As we entered the raceway, I could almost feel the adrenaline and excitement of the drivers. We stopped at the checkered Start/Finish line where we all attempted to walk up the 18-degree track. It was a lot steeper than it looked! Next we had souvenir pictures taken at Victory Lane and visited the Drivers Meeting Room, where the teams meet for safety briefings and instructions before each race. Our final stop was inside the stadium itself, which is undergoing a $400-million renovation called Daytona Rising. When the project is finished, the stadium will have 101,500 new, wider seats, 14 escalators, and most importantly, twice as many women’s bathrooms. :-)

Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway