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The Good Earth has not been kind to NASCAR this year. First we had the pothole that delayed the Daytona 500 for more than two hours. And now comes word that a gargantuan sinkhole has opened up in the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Here, check some more pics:
(Photos in slideshow courtesy of WBTV.)
How did this happen? Turns out the track was built on an old landfill. Perhaps not the sturdiest of foundations, but hey, it could have been worse. Talladega Superspeedway is rumored to be built atop an ancient Native American burial ground. (Wondering if track officials have ruled out the possibility this is Digger's handiwork.)
[Related: Another big feature at Charlotte Motor Speedway ]
Fortunately, the sinkhole is in the infield and won't affect the next race, scheduled for Oct. 16, in any way. Infield fans, however, would do well to keep their eyes wide open as they wander.
The sinkhole, which measures about 35-feet deep and 75-feet long, was formed by the combination of a burst pipe and unstable landfill ground. (See video of the sinkhole here.) But Charlotte Motor Speedway has assured its fans, via its Facebook page, that all will be well:
You may have heard about the sinkhole that developed in one of our infield display areas last Friday night due to recent heavy rains. The area was over a landfill and we found a 30 year old drain pipe that had deteriorated more than 35 feet below the ground surface. We are replacing the old pipe, backfilling the dirt and packing it down. No worries racing fans - it will be completed in time before Bank of America 500 week!
The track is also having a bit of fun with the sinkhole, listing the Top 10 items which may be present in its depths.
Still, that sinkhole's going to need filling. NASCAR fans and drivers being who they are, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone try to dump reigning four-time champion Jimmie Johnson's 48 car in the hole. Gotta try to slow him down somehow.
[Top photo courtesy Alan Cavanna.]
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