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Snow is no picnic Iowa Speedway

Published: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 10:55 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 9:57 p.m. CST

staying focused on providing a safe and reliable way to get to Iowa Speedway in often brutal winter weather.

Another huge consideration during a snow event is the physical plant itself. Have there been any exposed pipes that may freeze and then burst, causing a major maintenance nightmare? What about the HVAC systems, doorways, restrooms, and facilities such as the Newton Club that are frequently utilized during winter months? And are the internal access roads to the Suite Tower and infield facilities cleared enough to allow access in the event of a maintenance crisis?

The racetrack surface itself is subject to the abuse of winter weather, which is why our maintenance crew takes pains to do any indicated repairs, such as re-sealing seams or small cracks in the pavement prior to November each year. Thankfully, Iowa Speedway’s 7/8-mile tri-oval was paved using state-of-the-art construction standards, and the asphalt mix contains a polymer substance that minimizes cracking due to extreme temperature variations. Precisely the environment — from the scorching heat of summer to the sub-zero temperatures of winter — to which we are subjected in central Iowa.

The net result of careful conservation and maintenance of our racetrack surface is preservation of the essential integrity of the asphalt for many years, making it unnecessary to undergo extensive and very expensive repaving projects as frequently as some other tracks have been forced to undertake. So, despite having 6 to 18 inches (or more) of snow covering our Rusty Wallace-designed oval, that is the least of our maintenance staff’s worries when the flakes are flying.

Needless to say, when winter has howled its last bitterly cold note, Tyler’s staff heaves a collective sigh of relief, and even looks forward to the 20 hour days during major event weekends. Ask any one of them, and they’ll tell you in a second that painting walls, repairing the SAFER Barrier and preparing the facility for an event is far preferable to pushing a snow blower or wrestling a skid loader around with a bucket full of heavy snow!

Spring is coming, and we can all just about taste the excitement of another racing season. First up, however, will be the 7th Annual Daytona 500 party in our first-class Newton Club on Sunday, Feb. 24. The Great American Race will be aired on multiple screens throughout the 10,000 square foot clubhouse, food and beverages will be available, and we’re looking forward to kicking off Racing Season 2013 in style with several hundred enthusiastic fans.  

Tickets to our Daytona 500 party are just $10 per person, and are available at the same place our season, weekend and single event tickets are sold — online at www.iowaspeedway.com, and through our toll-free ticketing line, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946). Hope to see you all on a snow-free Feb. 24.

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