Sears Point completes tunnels

SONOMA, Calif. - Construction work is complete on two underground pedestrian tunnels at Sears Point Raceway and both will be operational for the 2002 main-event season. The tunnels, which are part of Sears Point Raceway's $50...

SONOMA, Calif. - Construction work is complete on two underground pedestrian tunnels at Sears Point Raceway and both will be operational for the 2002 main-event season.

The tunnels, which are part of Sears Point Raceway's $50 million Modernization Plan, will expedite pedestrian traffic flow around the property on major-event weekends, including the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup and NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals.

One tunnel will be located on the west side of start/finish line adjacent to the new permanent grandstand. The start/finish tunnel will connect the paddock with the Turn 10 vendor area. The other tunnel will be located in Turn 10 and connect that area to the Gate 3 fan entrance and shuttle stop. The location of the tunnels will give fans much better access to the facility.

Each tunnel will be 20 feet wide, with the start/finish tunnel spanning 270 feet long. The tunnel under Turn 10 is 130 feet long. The tunnels replace the bridges that were previously used at Sears Point Raceway in those areas and will increase the sightlines of the road course and drag strip dramatically. Fans sitting in the new permanent grandstand at start/finish will now see about 65-percent of the road-course action, including the most high-speed segment of the circuit at Turn 10.

"These tunnels are going to be a huge plus during our major events," said Steve Page, president and general manager at Sears Point Raceway. "The strategic placement of these tunnels will enable our fans to better circulate around the property, whether it's to get to their seat in the new permanent grandstand, or to board a shuttle bus to move around the facility. Fans will also enjoy the tremendous sightlines that have opened up as a result of these tunnels. This will be unlike any other road course in that you will be able to see a large majority of the racing."

Sears Point Raceway began its comprehensive modernization project in September, 2000, and since that time more than 8,000,000 cubic yards of dirt has been moved. The project will be nearly complete by the Dodge/Save Mart 350 in June and it will transform Sears Point Raceway into one of the premier motorsports and entertainment venues in the country.

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Series Automotive , General