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DIS To Fix Montoya Corner

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 17 2012


Long-term repairs to the Turn 3 area of Daytona International Speedway, site of a bizarre crash and fire during NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500 last month, will be implemented after today’s 71st annual Daytona 200 sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.

GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas powered his GSX-R600 Daytona SportBike around the 3.5-mile DIS road course in 1:49.560-seconds Friday afternoon to secure pole position for the prestigious American Motorcyclist Association event. Cameron Beaubier qualified second with a best lap of 1:49.742, while Joey Pascarella filled out the front row by finishing third at 1:50.155.

It was the second career pole for Cardenas, who also took P1 at the 2009 event in Laguna Seca, Calif. Cardenas has 16 victories in the Daytona SportBike class, most of any rider in history.

“I almost won the Rolex in 2010 but Danny (Eslick) managed to get me by a fraction of a second right at the end of qualifying,” said Cardenas, who rides for Team Hammer. “So it’s especially satisfying to finish the job this time. Of course, this is just qualifying and being on the pole is not worth any championship points so we need to carry this momentum into race day and have a strong showing. Then I will be satisfied. But certainly, this is a great start for the GEICO team.”

Meanwhile, DIS President Joe Chitwood III updated plans for repairs to Turn 3, where Juan Pablo Montoya crashed under caution into a jet dryer truck during the rain-delayed Sprint Cup season-opener on Feb. 27. The impact touched off a jet fuel fire that scarred the pavement but did not affect the outcome of NASCAR’s “Super Bowl,” won by Matt Kenseth for a second time.

“We’re looking forward to a successful Daytona 200 on Saturday,” Chitwood said in a statement. ”Since the jet dryer incident occurred, we have washed and cleaned the affected area of the racetrack in Turn 3 multiple times and applied street bond. We have worked closely with AMA Pro Racing officials and we’re both very confident it will not present any issues during the Daytona 200.

“Once we complete our motorcycle events, we are going to conduct long-term repairs to that area of the asphalt, which will include removing and repaving the affected areas. Lane Construction, the team which worked on the track repave in 2010, will handle the repave project. Once this work is complete, we expect to have no further issues related to the jet dryer crash and we’ll be ready to go for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola in July.”

| , RacinToday.com Saturday, March 17 2012
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