NASCAR drivers OK with Daytona pothole patch

Kevin Harvick and other NASCAR drivers are pleased that the

pothole at Daytona International Speedway is being fixed by a

concrete patch and not more drastic measures.

“That’s the right thing to do to try to preserve the race track

as much as they can,” Harvick said Friday. “I don’t think it

would be the right thing to do to repave it just because unless

it’s just the absolute last resort. I think a patch is OK just

because the track has so much character. … Fixing it right is the

main thing so it doesn’t keep spreading. “

The damaged portion of the asphalt surface in Turn 2 that forced

two delays totaling more than two hours Sunday during the Daytona

500 is being repaired with a concrete patch that will be about 6

feet wide and 18 feet long.

Four-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson believes he got a flat

tire from the pothole but doesn’t blame the hole for a rear axle

break on the way to finishing 35th. He described himself as

“excited” with how Daytona officials are making repairs.

“Daytona has separated itself because it’s rough and the

asphalt is real porous and wears the tires out, so I’m happy to

hear they’re just trying to fix that area,” he said. “I’m hopeful

that patch gives us a few more years to use the race track as

is.”

The concrete patch should hold until the high-banked track

undergoes a $20 million repaving scheduled for as early as 2012.

The current surface was paved in 1978.

Jeff Burton has mixed feelings even though he’d like to keep the

track much like it already is.

“It is rough. It’s not that I want them to pave it; I’m really

mixed about it,” Burton said. “It needs work done to it, it is

too rough, it needs to be smoothed out. It would be awesome to pave

it and do it in a way that it has the grip level that it has today.

I think that’s impossible to do, but it would be great if we could

do that.”

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