NASCAR’s birthplace, the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, to get significant makeover

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NASCAR’s birthplace, the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., is going to be – well, streamlined.

According to Wednesday’s Daytona Beach News-Journal, the hotel where NASCAR was formed back in 1947, will soon undergo extensive renovations to bring back some of the hotel’s luster of days gone by.

The hotel, located just north of Daytona Beach’s downtown area, was reportedly purchased last month for $950,000 by Eddie Hennessy, son of the founders of the Pevonia International cosmetics company, Phillippe and Sylvie Hennessy.

Eddie Hennessy told the newspaper that he plans on restoring the Streamline’s original art deco theme and renovate it into a South-Beach-style boutique hotel.

“My goal is to clean up the hotel, the block, the drug stuff going around,” Hennessy said. “We’re bringing the hotel back to its original state, only more modern.”

NASCAR will once again be well-represented in the building that gave birth to it, with plans for a stock car racing-themed lounge for race fans to visit and enjoy.

Over the last several decades, the hotel had fallen from its once luxurious grandeur. It also was overtaken by larger and more modern hotels nearby.

“I hope that the new owners come in and bring the hotel up to the standards we have on the east side and west side (of Volusia County),” Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Volusia County, told the News-Journal. “We seem to be on the right track now.”

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Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”