Hurricane Matthew hit Daytona Beach, Florida hard, flooding streets and pulverizing structures with wind. The hurricane killed six in Florida after causing hundreds of deaths in Haiti, per ABC News. Daytona International Speedway was right where Matthew made landfall in Florida, and it received moderate damage in the storm.
A Daytona International Speedway statement on the damage reads:
Daytona International Speedway experienced moderate damage from Hurricane Matthew with impacts to lights, speakers, signage, fences, gates, awnings and palm trees. Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office and Tours and the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for facility cleanup.
Daytona also warned that a flooded photo of its backstretch that had been circulating around social media was from 2009, not from Hurricane Matthew. There was no flood damage to the facility this time.
Fortunately, it seems as though most of Daytona’s structure is intact, which allows them to help with recovery efforts. The track’s statement continues:
We are working with local, regional and state officials on recovery efforts following Hurricane Matthew. Daytona International Speedway is once again serving as a staging site for Florida Power & Light crews.
Over a million Floridians lost power in the hurricane, per ABC News. Photos show crews using the speedway’s big parking lots to meet up before heading out to restore service to thousands of area homes.
IMSA, NASCAR and the International Speedway Corporation (which owns Daytona, among other race tracks) are also headquartered in Daytona Beach. However, IMSA’s season is over for the year and NASCAR appears to be largely carrying on as usual with a very damp race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. No word on any damage to their facilities in Daytona Beach has been posted.
However, NASCAR communications rep Mike Lovecchio opted to ride it out from his home, posting periodic updates throughout the storm from a few blocks away from the beach:
Other locals posted videos of the storm in town as well:
Hurricane Matthew had been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane by the time it reached Daytona Beach.
The speedway itself had just completed a $400 million “Daytona Rising” renovation ahead of this year’s Daytona 500.