Oct 24, 2001
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From a press release issued by Sears Point Raceway:<BR><BR>Crews Ready to Begin Construction of Underground Tunnels, Hillside Terrace Seats<BR><BR>SONOMA, Calif. (IMMEDIATE RELEASE) - Preliminary work is just about complete on several key areas of the $50 million Modernization Plan as construction crews work at a feverish pace to prepare the "new" Sears Point Raceway for the 2002 racing season.<BR><BR>Excavation is finished on the two underground pedestrian tunnels that are being built, one under start/finish and the other under Turn 10. Actual construction of the tunnels will tentatively begin the first week of November. Each tunnel will be 20-feet wide, with the start/finish tunnel spanning 128 feet, while the Turn 10 tunnel will be 270 feet long.<BR><BR>The tunnels will help expedite pedestrian traffic flow around the property on busy event weekends, as well as provide spectators with dramatically improved sightlines of the racing action. The tunnels replace the bridges that were used as thoroughfares at start/finish and Turn 10.<BR><BR>"Our goal was to reinvent the Sears Point Raceway experience for our customers while maintaining the tradition of superlative competition on the track," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sears Point Raceway. "I believe we will present motor racing in a setting where the overall experience will be a positive one for the fans."<BR><BR>Grading is also complete above Turn 7 on the road course and workers will soon begin construction of hillside terrace seats in that area. These will be the same hillside terrace seats that were embraced by fans above Turns 2-4 on the road course for the 2001 season. Each seat will be 24 inches wide, which is 33-percent wider than the average bleacher seat. Fans will also have three feet of leg room for comfort. Terrace seats will also be built above Turn 9 once the grading is complete in that section of track.<BR><BR>Another major project is the new permanent grandstand on the west side of start/finish. Crews will begin laying the foundation in early November, which will lead to the construction of the grandstand. The grandstand will feature flip-down stadium seats with cup holders. These seats will offer fans tremendous sightlines of road-race action, plus they will be situated right above pit row. This will give fans a view of pit stops unparalleled in motorsports.<BR><BR>Other projects still pending are the repaving of the drag strip, creation of a 660-foot concrete launch pad for drag racing, enlargement of pit road to accommodate a 43-car starting grid, increased run-off at Turns 8, 8a, 9 and 10 and the construction of a go-kart track on the south side of the property.<BR><BR>Most elements of the Modernization Plan will be complete by the Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Winston Cup weekend, June 20-23.<BR><BR><BR>