The Daytona 500 is the equilivant to the Superbowl for all Nascar drivers. The 500 mile race is held in Daytona Beach, FL, and is regarded as the most important race of the whole season. Being the first race, drivers have extra pressure to perform well and make sure they stay at the top of the leaderboard. This is race is a fan favorite, and people travel from all around to get a glimpse of their favorite driver and to cheer them on from the stands.
The first Daytona 500 was held on February 22nd, 1959, in front of 41, 921 spectators. Unlike today, there were no caution periods in the race, making it one of the longest races ever. The final laps of the race were intense, with Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp racing side by side on the last lap. Although Beauchamp was declared the unofficial winner, Petty argued he won. It took three days for Nascar founder Bill France Sr. to declare Petty the winner, which helped the race maintain mention on the front page of the newspaper, which helped the race gain an audience and a fanbase unlike any other.
In July of 2013, Daytona International Speedway broke the foundation of what would be known as Daytona Rising. This $400 million dollar project is being called a reimagining of the track, and when finished will become a newer version of the American icon. “Five expanded and redesigned entrances will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels for optimum viewing enjoyment.”
“At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests.”
Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned veteran, the Daytona 500 is a race that you do not want to miss! Twists and turns on every lap keep fans on the edge of their seats, and the winner goes down in history for winning the most important race of any Nascar driver: The Daytona 500!