For NASCAR fans, the Daytona 500 is a sacred event regarded by many to be the most prestigious race of the year. Known as the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing,” it’s fair to say that this annual competition draws massive crowds and, on average, it reels in a global TV audience of 20 million viewers. So if you’re one of the eager fans awaiting the big race, here’s anything and everything you should know about Daytona Days!
Daytona 500 History
The history of this prestigious race can be traced all the way back to 1903, when a group of thrill-seeking daredevils leveled out the sands of Ormond Beach in Florida for some friendly competitive racing! In 1955, a man named Bill France took this concept to a whole new level when he announced his intentions to construct a massive track known as the Daytona Beach Motor Speedway. Four years after this announcement, the first official Daytona 500 was underway! France would go on to found NASCAR and bring international attention to this once unheard of sport.
Daytona 500 Fun Facts
In 2017, the Daytona 500 will celebrate its 59th year with the race being held on Sunday, February 26th at 2pm. For more information, check out these fast facts on the Daytona 500!
- Always a sell-out crowd, the race attracts approximately 200,000 fans each year!
- As you might have guessed from the name, the race is 500 miles long!
- 500 miles equals 200 times around the track!
- Average speeds are around 150 mph.
- While the race track is only 40’-wide and 2.5 miles long, the infield is 180 acres big!
- Ten drivers have died at the Daytona 500, including Dale Earnhardt in 2001.
- Winners of the Daytona 500 walk away with more than one million dollars (the largest purse of a stock car race!).
Planning Your Visit To the Daytona 500
If you want to experience the Daytona 500 in all its glory, there’s no better way to do so than by camping out in the 180-acre infield! Every year excited fans take to the center of the track to set up their RVs and watch the race amongst a rowdy community of like-minded NASCAR enthusiasts! While such a prime location doesn’t run cheap, the atmosphere inside the track is absolutely priceless. Enjoy the aromas of grilled meats, the sounds of beer cans being cracked open, and the unbeatable views of all the full-throttle, fast-paced action!
There are nine on-site camping locations to choose from both inside the track and along the outside. The more premium sites offer electric and water hookups, and Wi-Fi is available throughout all locations. Kids 12 and under can stay for free, so go ahead and bring your little campers along for the fun! First-class waterfront camping is available on Lake Lloyd along the backstretch of the track, while basic tent camping is offered within turns 3 and 4, so there are accommodations for every type of camper and every kind of budget!
Even if you’re not big into NASCAR, there are still plenty of exciting events and activities to keep you entertained during your stay at Daytona Days! Watch your little ones climb a rock wall and get their faces painted in the Kids Zone, fulfill the tradition of walking the track and signing the finish line, pick up some fan gear in the Fanatics Infield Superstore, and grab a bite to eat at the Budweiser Bistro!
Have you ever been to Daytona Days before? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment!