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NASCAR: Wildfires Continue in Daytona; Pepsi 400 Postponed

3 July 1998

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway officials announced today that the Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, originally scheduled for Saturday, July 4, has been postponed until the night of Saturday, October 17. The race will be preceded by two nights of practice and qualifying.

"The wildfires plaguing Daytona Beach and surrounding communities intensified Wednesday night to a level that makes postponing this race the right thing to do," said Speedway President John Graham. "Our manpower, facilities and resources will remain completely devoted to our community until this crisis is over."

All Pepsi 400 tickets will be honored on the rescheduled date. This marks the first postponement in the 39-year history of the race.

Action was taken to postpone the race after Speedway representatives consulted with city and county officials and received a full description of local conditions and state-wide road closures. The fires have not directly affected the 480-acre Speedway facility.

For several weeks, four Speedway-owned fire trucks and more than 30 employees have assisted in the effort to control the blazes and provide food to both firefighters and government employees working in emergency operations positions.

Nearly 50 International Speedway Corporation employees who arrived in Daytona Beach Tuesday and Wednesday from the company's facilities in Watkins Glen, N.Y., Talladega, Ala., and Darlington, S.C. went to work Wednesday night fighting fires. These employees are all professional firefighters. The company also loaned its firefighting equipment, including Pierce pumper trucks to the fire units.

In addition to manpower and equipment, the Speedway is donating food and water stocked in preparation for the event to the area's firefighting force.