NASCAR Competitors Sound Off On Daytona International Speedway's Multi-Million Dollar Infield Renovation Project DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 28, 2004) -- Although NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kyle Petty thinks Daytona International...
NASCAR Competitors Sound Off On Daytona International Speedway's Multi-Million Dollar Infield Renovation Project
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 28, 2004) -- Although NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Kyle Petty thinks Daytona International Speedway is the world's most "perfect" race track, he's still excited about the multi-million dollar renovation project recently announced by the "World Center of Racing."
The project, which is scheduled to start following the 46th running of the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night, July 3, will include a new tunnel, new NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garages, new NASCAR Busch garages, a new Gatorade Victory Lane, a Fan Zone, new waterfront specialty vehicle parking, new scoring trilons and expansion of the existing media center.
Petty, son of seven-time Daytona 500 champion Richard Petty, made his first trip to Daytona International Speedway for Speedweeks in 1961. Petty was only about nine months old at the time.
When the 43-year-old Petty returns to Daytona International Speedway for Speedweeks 2005 to race his No. 45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge, the Speedway's infield will be new and improved.
"Daytona has been, will be always, the heart of what makes NEXTEL Cup racing, NEXTEL Cup racing and what makes NASCAR, NASCAR," Petty said. "Any change is going to be a plus. They're not going to change the place where you don't recognize it believe me.
"I applaud them for stepping up and doing something, because as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the most perfect, if not the perfect, race track in the world and it's the greatest place to go to."
Joe Nemechek, who wheels the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in the NEXTEL Cup Series, has also been coming to Daytona International Speedway since he was a kid.
"I went to Daytona as a kid with my parents," said Nemechek, a native of Lakeland, Fla. "I used to go there all the time to watch the old Firecracker 400. I just loved watching the cars. I would walk down by the fence. They went by so fast. Just the speed is my fondest memory."
Nemechek, who has won a couple of NASCAR Busch Series races at Daytona and was the pole winner for the 1999 Pepsi 400, is geared up about the infield renovation project.
"I am a Florida native (Lakeland) and always feel a special pride when I'm at Daytona International Speedway," Nemechek said. "It's a facility so rich in tradition and prestige. The plan to renovate the infield looks awesome to me and I can't wait to see the completion of the project. I applaud the Speedway officials for continuing to set the standard."
Tickets for the Pepsi 400 Weekend are still available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.