Toyota Off-Road Experience, Space Shuttle Exhibit Created by Entech Innovative at Daytona Speedway


As the main general contractor for the Spring 2016 Daytona International Speedway renovation worth half-a-billion dollars, Barton Malow was nearing completion of the multiple corporate-sponsored themed areas including the Toyota Injector, an off-road driving experience down a dirt road with ruts, rocks and a two-foot deep swamp area.


In parallel with the driving exhibit, Entech also engineered, built and installed a NASA Space Shuttle display simulated with a Toyota truck pulling it through the streets of California as part of its famous television commercial campaign. The shuttle looked as if it was being pulled toward the guest when Entech Innovative added a 3D shuttle nose cone to the display.


Having just successfully completing the Florida Hospital branded elements of the raceway, Entech Innovative Engineering was asked to develop a thorough and detailed schedule to successfully deliver the Toyota ride and drive exhibition. The Rockledge, Florida, based company again teamed with the experiential marketing company MC2 to bring the Toyota message to life and create a life-long relationship with the brand.


The custom track was created using 12-inch diameter wooden poles in various lengths to form the perimeter retaining walls. The poles were lined with two layers of 2-by-12 lumber to act as walls to contain compacted fill. Wire mesh and concrete were then installed to form what became the driving surface.


After the guest experiences the most immersive test drive of their life through the simulated off-road track, a 12-foot tall incline challenged drivers just ahead. This was a thrill for the guests as they had limited sight lines and were unsure of what was over the crest of the hill ahead.


And with all specialty engineering projects, Entech Innovative enjoyed solving the challenges. For the track, drilling holes for the 12” diameter poles in the existing asphalt pavement was challenging. We cut the asphalt with a saw and utilized a skid steer with an auger to drill the holes for the 72 poles.


Containment of the compacted fill dirt within the retaining walls included ¾-inch diameter threaded rods installed between the two walls as fill dirt was added. This prevented the walls from being pushed apart from the weight of the dirt and the soon to follow vehicle traffic.


The elements included a first banked curve that emulates the banks behind the experience at the historical Daytona International Speedway. The guests then experience a mini version of a Florida swamp when the SUV took a dive into a man-made mini swamp-like lake.


Coming out of the swamp, the suspension got a test going over the famed rock garden. Finally, at the top of the 30-degree incline “hill” on the Ride and Drive was an area for a Photo Op. And with all projects where safety is a factor in every element, large cables and turnbuckles were installed to prevent guests from veering off course.


Entech Innovative was able to bring to life the renowned moment the Toyota Tundra towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor, an exact size replica.


Using two-pound white foam, Entech Innovative received assistance from their friends at Acme Design to cut the foam into shape and send Entech the formed billets to get the fiberglass and other scenic elements added to their structure. The fiberglass and painted looks mimicked the Shuttle Endeavor down to the finest details.


The structure was comprised of structural steel channel and I-Beams to support the 300-pound foam/FRP nose that protrudes through the graphic. The structure then hangs onto other structural steel that was already a part of the facility for the grandstands with a capture plate for added safety.

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