NASCAR’s Daytona 500 might just be the most ‘American’ motorsport event. The Indy 500 may draw a slightly bigger crowd and have a more broad international appeal, but the Daytona 500 has a culture of its own that should make it a headliner at the top of anyone’s motorsport bucket list.
Run annually since 1959, it’s a spectacle with a lot of history behind it held in a place that is hugely significant area for motorsport fans, as Daytona Beach is the birthplace of stock car racing and as such is a mecca for motorsport in the USA.
The fans that attend and the locals treat this event as the highlight of the year. It’s a real spectacle or speed and sound on track mixed with fan-facing activities in the build up to the race such as concerts, autograph sessions and historic racing car displays off track. The 500 is far more than just a race…
Nevertheless, the racing itself is undoubtedly the highlight, with the 40+ NASCARs taking to the oval in all its glory. Daytona is a restrictor-plate race on the flat-out super-speedway, so the cars race in packs, at full speed for the duration. This means plenty of overtaking and thrills and spills. The view from the grandstand is astonishing too, featuring a full panoramic view of the entire circuit.
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Getting up close to the teams as they work on cars in the paddock
Sitting atop the main speedway grandstand for the start of the race
Meeting your favourite drivers at an autograph session