The DAYTONA Rising renovation project is expected to be completed in 2016 Photo credits: Daytona International Speedway Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Construction crews began dismantling the backstretch grandstands at Daytona International Speedway on Monday, marking the next phase in the DAYTONA Rising renovation project. Full removal of backstretch seating is scheduled to be complete later this year, speedway officials said in a news release. The entire $400 million project -- which includes a 101,000-seat stadium-style complex on the frontstretch -- is scheduled to be done in time for the 2016 Daytona 500 . The speedway unveiled 40,000 new seats on the west side of the 2.5-mile track, along the short chute to Turn 1, in time for this year's Speedweeks festivities. The frontstretch press box, which also accommodates race control and luxury suites, is slated to be demolished ahead of the Coke Zero 400 there in July. Daytona officials broke ground on DAYTONA Rising in July 2013. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Hear what the drivers had to say about the multi-car crash and the possibility of rain in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
SAFER barrier to be installed in Turn 1, Turn 4; asphalt in Turn 1 RELATED: Learn about the SAFER barrier Daytona International Speedway announced Wednesday that it plans to install SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier and lay down asphalt to improve safety at the World Center of Racing in advance of its July race weekend. The announcement come less than a month after Kyle Busch suffered a compact fracture to his right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot following an accident in the Alert Today Florida 300 XFINITY Series race. In a statement, the track said it "performed an extensive review of the facility and developed a significant plan for additional safety initiatives" with its parent company, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), and NASCAR. Before NASCAR returns to Daytona for July 4th weekend and the Subway Firecracker 250 XFINITY race and the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race, it will implement the following measures: · Additional 20,000 square feet of asphalt in Turn 1 · Realignment of a portion of the inside retaining wall from infield road course exit to Turn 1 · Installation of SAFER barrier (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) on realigned retaining wall and existing retaining wall in Turn 1 · Installation of SAFER barrier on retaining wall at pit road exit · Installation of SAFER barrier between the exit of Turn 4 to pit road entry The realignment of the retaining wall in Turn 1 and installation of SAFER barrier on the realigned and existing retaining wall in Turn 1 address the area where Busch hit the wall. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III, who vowed to eventually ring the entire racing surface with SAFER barrier after Busch's accident on Feb. 21, also said SAFER barrier would be installed on the backstretch if possible. "In addition, based on material availability and timing, we will install SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall and will complete as much as possible prior to the July NASCAR weekend," Chitwood said. "Following the July races, we will complete any remaining installation of SAFER barrier on the outside backstretch wall, and continue to install SAFER barrier on the remaining areas of the property. "We will provide additional updates regarding our safety initiatives as circumstances warrant. The safety of the competitors and our fans is our top priority." While much of Daytona's 2.5-mile track features the impact-absorbing SAFER barrier, the area struck by Busch's car did not. His No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing car skidded across grass into the infield retaining wall in Turn 1. Busch has missed the first three races of the season and is out for an undetermined time with Matt Crafton sitting in for him at the Daytona 500 and David Ragan filling the role in the No. 18 Sprint Cup ride. "We should have had a SAFER barrier there today; we did not," Chitwood said in February. "We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now." "This is not going to happen again," he continued. "We're going to live up to our responsibility. We're going to fix this and it starts right now." Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track to put the barriers in place, completing its initial installation in May of 2002. A second generation of the barrier was installed at IMS in '05. Kansas Speedway completed its first SAFER barrier project in August of '04 and other NASCAR-sanctioned facilities have since upgraded their facilities to include the system as well. Since the season-opening weekend at Daytona, tracks have added safety measures to their facilities and continue to investigate ways to make their venues safer. However, no NASCAR-sanctioned track currently features the energy-reducing materials on all of its interior and exterior walls. NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce contributed to this article. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Go behind the scenes with all the action in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
Check out what all the top finishers from Daytona had to say about their run in the Coke Zero 400.
A happy-go-lucky Kyle Busch and other drivers comment on the Coke Zero 400.
Red flag lasts 26 minutes after race was stopped 11 laps in
Catch up quickly before the Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona
Race rescheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday on TNT, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR
A statistical look ahead to the Sprint Cup Series return to Daytona