Tom Deery: “We have never before seen what we saw last year at the speedway”
BABERVILLE, FL — In honor of Volusia Speedway Park’s 50th anniversary, the World’s Fastest Half-Mile has received a major facelift over the winter months. When DIRTcar Nationals kicks off in two weeks, on February 6, racers and fans alike will benefit from over $300,000 of upgrades geared toward keeping them safe at the premier dirt racing facility in the country.
The bulk of the work done at Volusia Speedway Park went into securing the track’s perimeter with over 1200 feet of new catch fence, concrete retaining wall and guardrail.
Immediately following last year’s DIRTcar Nationals — in light of the unprecedented incidents that involved a pair of Sprint Cars clearing the existing catch fence in the pit area — speedway officials began exploring enhancements to provide a higher level of protection for both drivers and spectators.
“We have never before seen what we saw last year at the speedway,” said DIRTcar Racing President Tom Deery. “Everyone agreed that it required action, and we’ve certainly delivered. We’re excited to kick off the new season with the highest level of protection we have ever provided.”
The renovation project began with replacing 850 feet of guardrail from turn 1 to turn 2 with a new 46-inch high concrete retaining wall at the track’s edge. Built into the concrete wall sits a 17-foot catch fence with a two-foot kick out along the top.
The new fence is comprised of two-by-four welded steel fence mesh and backed by a one-inch hex mesh with an additional half-inch square mesh along the bottom 30 inches. The entire fence is reinforced with steel cables running horizontally across the fence in 24- to 30-inch intervals.
Continuing the project into turns 3 and 4, a length of 386 feet of steel guardrail has been replaced or rebuilt. New posts have been embedded every six feet for added support. Atop the 60-inch guardrail (consisting of five 12-inch steel bands) sits another 12-foot catch fence.
In addition to the measures taken to increase safety, visitors will notice new signage throughout the facility. A retro look and feel celebrates 50 years of racing at the Barberville, FL racetrack, while helping race fans and competitors better navigate the area.
The biggest event in DIRTcar racing kicks off the 2018 season as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series, All Star Circuit of Champions, Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds, DIRTcar Late Models and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds take on the world’s fastest half-mile at Volusia Speedway Park. Start 2018 with Florida in February! For tickets, click or call 844-DIRT-TIX or visit DIRTcarNationals.com
For more information on Volusia Speedway Park and the weekly racing program, visit www.VSPRacing.com
Related: Volusia joins iRacing