Given the proximity of Daytona International Speedway to the Atlantic Ocean, inter-state highway systems (I-4 and I-95), and Daytona Beach International Airport, it was essential in this corrosive environment hot-dip galvanized steel was specified by the owners. Hot-dip galvanizing played a major role in the overall safety design of the massive grandstands and press towers at the Speedway. William H.G. (Bill) France Sr., the founder of the speedway in 1957, also had an appreciation for the uniformity and visual appeal hot-dip galvanizing offered to the public.
"It is understood that due to the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the concern to have a low-cost maintenance facility, the engineers and owners have over the past 58 years selected hot-dip galvanizing as the coating of choice. Over 50,000 tons of new construction is underway which is a good testament for the merits of Hot-Dip Galvanizing." Lenny Santiago Sr. Director of Public Relations said.
The racetrack was designed by local Daytona Beach engineer Charles Moneypenny and William France Sr. France met with Daytona Beach engineer Charles Moneypenny to discuss his plans for the speedway. He wanted the track to have the highest banking possible to allow the cars to reach high speeds and to give fans a better view of the cars on track. Moneypenny traveled to Detroit, Michigan to visit the Ford Proving Grounds which had a high speed test track with banked corners. Ford shared their engineering reports of the track with Moneypenny, providing the needed details of how to transition the pavement from a flat straightaway to a banked corner.
Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Racethe Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 is the biggest, richest, and most prestigious race in America and annually kicks off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Although the Daytona 500 garners most of the attention, the enormous 480-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globeearning it the title of World Center of Racing. In addition to nine major weekends of racing activity, featuring everything from NASCAR to the Rolex Sports Car Series to the American Motorcyclist Association and the World Karting Association, the Speedway is also booked for more than two solid months each year for testing and development of various race vehicles. Motorized meandering aside, rarely a week goes by the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, athletic games, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training. Daytona International Speedway offers seating for over 200,000 race fans, which would make the facility one of the largest galvanized structures in the world.
The original constructing of the galvanized bleachers and grandstand began in 1957 and has continued over the past 57 years. Due to the year-round racing schedule involving stock cars, motorcycles and amateur racing, construction of new grandstand and towers had to be completed on very tight schedules. These aggressive schedules were truly a challenge for fabricators, erectors and galvanizers alike.
AGA Excellence in Hot Dip Galvanizing Lifetime Achievement Award Winning Project