October 2012

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 48

Facility&Operations | ByJody Gill, CSFM PAINTING DAYTONA SPEEDWAY LOGOS tougher than passing on the high side R sponsors. Race fans certainly take the logos for granted and probably don't give much thought to how they are produced but imag- ine a big race at Daytona without the Day- tona logo front and center in the infield. Kenny Bogner and Missouri Turf have been painting the Daytona logos since 1998. I have been working for Kenny for several years now at the Kansas Speedway and now on the traveling crew for as many races as my day job will allow. Here is a recount of my re- cent trip to Daytona with Kenny; also with us were veteran logo painters Tony Wagoner and Kenny's son, Justin. After flying in to Daytona late Saturday night, our workweek starts early Sunday morning. As we drive to the maintenance fa- cility located behind turn 2, I notice the 3- story high wall of earth and turf that is the structural support for the near straight up banking of Daytona. The backside of the tracks turn is so steep that it must be mowed with a remote control mower. At maintenance, after uncrating the equipment and supplies, the first task is to sort through dozens of white, plastic 55-gal- lon barrels to find the correct patterns, or stencils if you prefer, for the 2012 Coke Zero 400 race weekend. Yes, I said 55-gallon bar- rels. These logos are so big that the patterns barely fit into the barrels for shipping and 22 SportsTurf | October 2012 ACE LOGOS have long been an important part of racing. They are just as much a specta- cle for fans as they are an effec- tive advertising tool for the storage. The Daytona letters and flags alone are 200 feet long and 80 feet high. This pat- tern is so large that it is in three separate pieces requiring three 55-gallon barrels for storage. For this race weekend, we have 11 pat- terns to layout and paint including, Subway Jalapeno 250, Sprint Cup, three Coke Zero 400's, 7-11 Qualify- ing Day, Nationwide Dash for Cash, TNT, ESPN and, of course, the Daytona logo. All patterns were located except for the Sprint Cup and We later found out that those patterns were still at the Kentucky Speedway and had not yet been shipped to Daytona. To anyone else, this would be a major problem but Kenny and Justin are not concerned. If the patterns don't make it by Wednesday, they will just lay it out using gridlines in the grass. I am always amazed how they can remain so calm when things don't go as planned. Since our rental car won't hold much paint, the speedway supplies us with one util- ity golf cart and a 1980-something half ton Chevy pickup. This truck is perfect because we really don't care if we get a little paint in the bed or on what's left of the seat and it runs well most of the time. Just have to re- member to tap hard on the gas pedal when it reaches 15 mph to get it to shift to second. I guess that makes it a semi-automatic trans- mission. On this first day the old truck is loaded with staples, strings, a rolling tape measure, dozens of cans of white aerosol paint and as many 55-gallons drums of pat- terns as will fit in the rusty old bed and we're off to the track. We drive under the backstretch bleachers, through an opening in the concrete wall and we are on the track. We make a left turn to- wards turn 2. As we approach the turn, I was truly in awe of the steepness of the banking. I really think that if we drove the old Chevy up the banking, we would almost immedi- ately start rolling over right back down to the apron. There was a track services crew replac- ing foam behind the safer barrier. It is so steep; they had to use a telescopic forklift to reach up to the wall from the apron to pro- vide support as they worked at the top of the steep bank. We continued our trek around the famous track until we reached the 7-acre infield. I turned off the noisy old truck and then heard nothing. The track was strangely quiet con- sidering there would be a major racing event here in about 120 hours. Daytona Grounds Manager, Sam Newpher, had the bermuda- grass perfectly cut to about ¾ inch. Kenny's first task is to lay out and string the centerline that stretches from pit entrance to pit exit, parallel to pit road through the infield. Then, using the start/finish line as the center line perpendicular to the string, he measures to- ward pit entry and again to pit exit to set lo- cations for each of the massive logos. The Daytona logo is set in the middle and below the string line, the Coke Zero logos are on ei- ther side of the Daytona logo and centered on the string line and all other logos are out- side of each of the Coke Zero logos and Image ©

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SportsTurf - October 2012