Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Dad Would be Smiling Today

The first time my parents went to Florida they stayed at Daytona Beach.  One highlight of their trip was touring the Daytona International Speedway.  I can't tell you how many times I heard my dad talk about the race track; it really impressed him.  Today we went to Daytona Beach and toured the Speedway, and I could hear my dad the whole time!  I can only imagine the conversations we would have if he were still living.

Grandstands at Daytona International Speedway
What makes the DIS so special?  Well, it is the birthplace of NASCAR.  NASCAR was the brainchild of racing enthusiast William France.  He envisioned a sanctioned sport with unified rules and a points system which would draw large numbers of fans.  With no formal racetrack in Daytona, portions of NASCAR races were held on the beach at Daytona Beach.  In time, France built a race track, the Daytona International Speedway.  It has a seating capacity of almost 168,000.  To optimize viewing, the turns are tilted at 31-degree angles, and while race cars speed by at 160+ mph, a constant speed of 70 mhp must be maintained so as not to slide off the turn.  (This is the part that impressed my dad the most.)  While not the oldest racetrack, it is home to the Daytona 500 which opens the NASCAR circuit every year in February.  Today NASCAR is the number one spectator sport.
The 31-degree banking of the turns
2010 Daytona 500 Winner, Jamie McMurtry
Victory Lane

Good seats!
We were hoping to drive on Daytona Beach, but due to hide tide, we will have to save that adventure for another visit.  
Bummed we didn't get to drive on this beach.
You can see all the sand from the cars that came off the beach.

We didn't get to go trick-or-treating this year because of our travels, but Aidan and Naomi did have costumes and came to my door while we were still at our condo in Bonita Springs.  Don't they look cute?
Pirate Weird Beard

Naomi, the Sweet Witch
Still hoping to see the shuttle launch on Wednesday.  We're praying for good weather!

Today's trivia questions:

34.  This racetrack was built in 1909 and has permanent seating for 257,000 people.  What is it's name?

35.  What is the nickname of the Daytona 500?

36.  How many laps does a driver make in order to drive 500 miles at the Daytona International Speedway?

No comments:

Post a Comment