In the wake of a pothole problem that twice interrupted Sunday's Daytona 500 for extended red-flag periods, Daytona International Speedway has begun installing a reinforced concrete patch to repair damage to the pavement in turn two, speedway president Robin Braig announced Thursday.

The repair process will take an estimated two days to complete, according to Bill Braniff, senior director of construction for North American Testing Company, the internal engineering arm of International Speedway Corporation, which owns Daytona International Speedway.

The finished product will be a concrete patch measuring approximately six feet wide by 18 feet long. The size of the patch, considerably larger than the original pothole, results from widening and squaring of the compromised asphalt and extending the patch on the 31-degree banking to pavement that is solid.

After curing for several days, the repaired track will be ready for a full schedule of motorcycle racing during Daytona 200 week, which starts Feb. 26.

According to Braniff, a combination of weather and the stress to the asphalt during the recent Speedweeks contributed to the problem.

"Recently we've had more than normal rain in the Daytona area and cooler than normal temperatures," Braniff said Thursday. "We could see that vehicles were bottoming out in that area."

Braniff said no recommendation has been made to repave the entire speedway.

"Any pavement has a finite life span," he said. "We evaluate the tracks all over the country and continue to evaluate them, and we're evaluating Daytona International Speedway. Right now, I can't say it's time for repaving."

Sunday's Daytona 500, won by Jamie McMurray in a green-white-checkered-flag finish, was the culmination of extensive activity on the track. Speedweeks featured practice, qualifying and races in NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, as well as Danica Patrick's stock car racing debut in the Feb. 6 ARCA race.

In late January, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, a Grand-Am race featuring 45 cars, was run at the track.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News