Fact check: Image shows Daytona speedway after heavy rain in 2009, not after Hurricane Ian

The claim: Image shows Daytona International Speedway flooded by Hurricane Ian

After Hurricane Ian slammed Florida’s Gulf Coast, causing widespread power outages and devastating flooding, many social media users began sharing a photo that asserts the storm flooded a popular Florida racetrack.

The image shows a flooded portion of Daytona International Speedway, the site of the Daytona 500, with water reaching nearly halfway up the barrier that surrounds the track.

“Daytona Speedway is now a raceway for speed boats,” reads a Sept. 29 Facebook post, which was posted less than a day after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida and was shared more than 22,000 times in four days.

The photo was shared by multiple users, amassing more than 30,000 additional shares.

But the photo was taken years ago. It shows the track after it was flooded by heavy rain in 2009, according to Autoweek, which originally published the photo.

USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the post for comment.

Follow us on Facebook! Like our page to get updates throughout the day on our latest debunks

Photo shows flooding at track after heavy rain in 2009

The photo was taken after more than 17 inches of rain soaked the track, which is in Daytona Beach, Florida, over a period of several days in 2009, according to Autoweek, which did not respond to a request for comment.

An editor's note has been added to the automotive publication's original coverage of the flooding, initially published May 21, 2009, that indicates the photo was not taken after Hurricane Ian.

"Some social sites are touting these shots as the result of 2022's Hurricane Ian," the editor's note reads. "This story and these images are from a 2009 storm that hit Florida, NOT 2022."

The track wasn't damaged by the flooding in 2009, ESPN reported.

This isn't the first time the image has circulated online following a hurricane. After Hurricane Matthew hit Florida in 2016, track officials mentioned the 2009 photo while reporting that there was no flood damage as a result of that storm.

A video released Friday by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, which has an office in Daytona Beach, shows some flooding at the track following Hurricane Ian. Andrew Gant, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said the track visible in the footage is Daytona International Speedway.

Daytona International Speedway officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that an image shows Daytona International Speedway flooded by Hurricane Ian. The image was taken after heavy rain flooded parts of the track in 2009.

Our fact-check sources:

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image shows Daytona speedway after heavy rain in 2009