When it comes to pure decibel levels, Daytona International Speedway must be among the loudest sports venues in the U.S. When a pack of 43 monster-horsepower Chevys, Fords and Toyotas bunch together, the rumble can at times be heard 15 miles away on the beaches of north Volusia. Add to that the roar of 160,000+ fans during the Daytona 500 and pumped-in music across the180-acre complex and you've got one noisy gathering.
That's what makes this moment above, photographed during this weekend's 'Preseason Thunder' at Daytona, the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup testing session that prefaces the running of the 500 in late February, so unusual. With only the muffled sound of an afternoon seabreeze audible in my foam earplugs, I watched as Jeff Burton's crew quietly pushed his #31 Chevrolet onto pit row.
With no crowd, no announcer, no music and only brief interludes of rumbling cars, the silence at the track throughout the day was striking. Combined with the visuals of empty stands and an empty pit row, the resulting scene produced this moment of quiet symmetry.
Click here for more photos from the Daytona Preseason Thunder test sessions.
-- Joe Burbank
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