Demolition begins on Daytona International Speedway’s iconic Sprint Tower and press box

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One of the biggest – and potentially more emotional – parts of the Daytona Rising project is taking place today at Daytona International Speedway.

The dismantling of the Sprint Tower section of the DIS grandstands, including the press box, began Wednesday morning, the latest part of the $400 million Daytona Rising transformation of DIS, which was first opened in 1959.

Daytona Beach News Journal writer Godwin Kelly is tweeting about it. You can follow Kelly and his updates on the tower dismantling @godwinkelly.

You can also watch the dismantling live on the track’s web site.

There have been a lot of memories for folks who have sat in the Sprint Tower stands for years, if not decades.

That’s especially true for Kelly, who maintained the same seat in the DIS press box for 27 years, when the structure was first completed and opened.

Daytona Rising began on July 8, 2013, and is expected to be completed next January, just in time for the 2016 edition of Speedweeks and the Daytona 500.

The crane that is doing most of the heavy lifting today is a whopper: “Big Red” rises 490 feet tall and weighs more than 1.14 million pounds, according to figures released by the Speedway.

Here’s Kelly’s story from Tuesday detailing the whole dismantling process, which is expected to take about 30 days.

In addition, here’s some of the photos, videos and other info Kelly has posted from the demolition site thus far today:

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