1801 W. International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
General Information: (386) 254-2700
Ticket Information: 1-800-PITSTOP (748-7467) or 866-761-7223
Administrative Fax: (386) 257-0281
Ticket Office Fax: (386) 947-6866
2.5 mile tri-oval with 31-degree banking in the turns
18-degree banking in the tri-oval and 6-degree banking on the straightaways
Grandstand Seating: 101,000 [was 147,000, 168,000], with 124 suites
Length: 28 feet
Width: 16 feet
Track Websites and Social Media:
Daytona International Speedway Website
Daytona Rising Redevelopment Project
Track Stats - Racing-reference.info
Daytona 500 qualifying is a different with the Qualifying Races, see the rules on the Qualifying Rules page - Daytona 500 section.
Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday's first practice session through the Budweiser Duel 150 mile qualifying races. If a team makes a change before the Duel, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field and the Daytona 500 (as of 2015). After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the Happy Hour practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the Daytona 500.
Double Yellow Line at Daytona = do not pass: In order to emphasize the yellow-line rule at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway where passes are not permitted, NASCAR has made the single yellow line into a double-yellow line. The second yellow line was painted on the inside of the existing yellow line.
2016 Daytona 500 Race Winner: #11-Denny Hamlin, 157.549mph, started 11th
2015 July Race Winner: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 134.941mph, started 1st
Track Race Record: Buddy Baker, Feb 1980, 177.602mph
Oldest Race Winner: Bobby Allison, 50 years, 2 months, 11 days, 2/14/1988
Youngest Race Winner: Trevor Bayne, 20 years, 0 months, 1 days, 2/20/2011
Worst Starting Spot to win: #14-Tony Stewart, started 42nd, 7/7/2012
2016 Daytona 500 Pole Winner: #24-Chase Elliott, 196.314, finished 37th
2015 July Pole Winner: none, qualifying cancelled due to rain
Track Qualifying Record: Bill Elliott, 210.364mph, February 1987
Track Qualifying Record with restrictor plate (single car run): Ken Schrader, 196.996, February 1989
Track Qualifying Record with restrictor plate (group qualifying): #24-Jeff Gordon, 201.293mph, February 2014
Oldest Pole Winner: Mark Martin, 52 years, 5 months, 23 days, Daytona, 7/1/2011
Youngest Pole Winner: Chase Elliott, 20 years, 2 months, 17 days, 2/14/2016
Only Woman Daytona 500 Pole Sitter: #10-Danica Patrick, 196.434, finished 8th
Most Wins - All-time: 10 - Richard Petty
Most Wins - Active: 4 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Most Wins - July race: 5 - David Pearson
Most Poles - All-time: 13 - Cale Yarborough
Most Poles - Active: 2 - Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Labonte, David Gilliland
Most Top 5's: 28 - Richard Petty
Most Top 5's Active: 13 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Most Top 10's: 37 - Richard Petty
Most Top 10's Active: 19 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Most Finishers on a lead lap: 33, 2/16/2003 & 2/22/2015
Fewest Finishers on a lead lap: 1 - eight times, most recently 2/15/1976
Most Wins by Manufacturer: 44 - Chevy
Harley J. Earl trophy for winning the Daytona 500, who was Earl? If there's one trophy a driver dreams of putting his hands on, it's the Harley J. Earl trophy. Awarded to the winner of the Daytona 500, the Harley J. Earl trophy is one of the most prized possessions in motorsports. Named after Harley J. Earl, a famous General Motors designer and friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy rests year round inside The Daytona 500 Experience , "The Official Motorsports Attraction of NASCAR," and bears the name of every Daytona 500 champion.
Each year, the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy makes a trip outside the attraction to the hallowed grounds of Gatorade Victory Lane at the "World Center of Racing" for a meeting with the Daytona 500 champion.
While the Daytona 500 champion doesn't take home the Harley J. Earl trophy, the winner of the "Great American Race" is awarded a replica Harley J. Earl trophy, which has a black base with a scaled-down replica of the Firebird One that Earl created in 1954 at the peak of his career with General Motors.
For the 50th running of the Daytona 500, the trophy was painted gold. The Harley J. Earl trophy is just one of three trophies awarded on the day of the Daytona 500.
The winning crew chief of the Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Cannonball Baker trophy, which is named after the famous coast-to-coast racer who was elected the first national commissioner of NASCAR in 1948 while the owner of the winning Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Governor's Cup.(DIS PR)
Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker and youngest grandson of Earl, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. " 'Motoramic masterpieces' is how I like to refer to them," he said.(3-24-2009/2-21-2015)
56 Daytona 500 races, four rain outs, one postponed: four Daytona 500's out of the 56 run have been shortened by rain:
1965 won by Fred Lorenzen, ran 129 laps for 322.5 miles
1966 won by Richard Petty, ran 198 laps for 495 miles
2003 won by Michael Waltrip, ran 109 laps for 272.5 miles
2009 won by Matt Kenseth, ran 152 laps for 380 miles.
2012 won by Matt Kenseth, postponed from Sunday, Feb 27 to Monday, Feb 28.(2-23-2014)
Fastest Pole Speeds for the Daytona 500:
Speed (mph) Driver Year
210.364 - Bill Elliott, 1987
205.114 - Bill Elliott, 1985
205.039 - Geoff Bodine, 1986
201.848 - Cale Yarborough, 1984
201.293 - Jeff Gordon, 2015
198.864 - Ricky Rudd, 1983
196.966 - Ken Schrader, 1989
196.515 - Ken Schrader, 1990
196.434 - Danica Patrick, 2013
196.317 - Benny Parsons, 1982
196.049 - Buddy Baker, 1979
196.019 - Austin Dillon, 2014
Drivers who have won the Daytona 500 in a backup car:
1969: LeeRoy Yarbrough
1983: Cale Yarborough
1992: Davey Allison
2009: Matt Kenseth
Last time a Daytona 500 winner won the pole for following race?: Jamie McMurray in 2010, who won the Daytona 500 and then won the pole for the following race at Auto Club Speedway finishing 17th.(3-1-2015)
see more stats below in the Daytona Stats section
Chitwood named Chief Operating Officer of ISC; Wile moves from Darlington to Daytona: International Speedway Corporation announced that Joie Chitwood III, Executive Vice President, ISC and President of Daytona International Speedway, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ISC. Concurrently, the Company announced that Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway, has been promoted to President of Daytona International Speedway. "Joie has played a tremendous role in the success of our flagship racetrack at Daytona International Speedway since 2010," stated ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy. "Most recently, his leadership of the DAYTONA Rising project, while simultaneously operating the facility, has demonstrated his operational acumen." Chitwood moves into the newly-formed role of COO following oversight of the Company's largest development to-date - the $400 million transformation of Daytona International Speedway into the world's first motorsports stadium, along with the 2010 repave of the Speedway. In his new position, Chitwood will oversee ISC enterprise facility operations, along with strengthening key industry initiatives.
Wile, promoter of one of NASCAR's most successful events of the 2015 season - the Bojangles' Southern 500, will transition from leadership of Darlington Raceway to President of Daytona International Speedway. In just two years as President of Darlington Raceway, Wile transformed the facility's identity and impact on and off the track. He spearheaded a five-year strategy to reinvent Darlington Raceway with an inaugural Throwback Campaign during NASCAR's return to Darlington on Labor Day weekend, in addition to re-engaging the local community hosting nearly 15 annual events. In his new role, Wile will oversee promotion and operation of the new motorsports stadium beginning with its first major event, the Country 500 over Memorial Day weekend, followed by the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(ISC)(4-25-2016)
Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Receives Grant to develop Theater: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced that it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation of Los Angeles, with the money targeted to fund construction and development of the Robert E. Petersen Theater in the hall's new permanent home at Daytona International Speedway. The MSHFA, which has moved to Daytona Beach from Novi, Michigan, will be housed in the speedway's expansive ticket and tours facility that greets thousands of motorsports fans each year at the "World Center of Racing." A vital component in the relocation will be the new theater, along with a Robert E. Petersen "Tribute Room" that will greet guests entering the attraction. The first phase of construction and development is expected to be completed by June - in time for the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on June 29 and the July 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the speedway, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation has donated more than $300 million to their namesake and renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, children's charities and to various organizations and causes since its 1996 formation. In 1948 Robert E. Petersen founded HOT ROD magazine followed by many more automotive magazines including MOTOR TREND, CAR CRAFT, ROD & CUSTOM, CIRCLE TRACK, MOTORCYCLIST and 4 WHEEL & OFF ROAD.(DIS)(4-21-2016)
ISC advanced ticket sales down: Jeff Gordon's retirement and injured driver Tony Stewart's absence are among factors International Speedway Corp. officials cited Tuesday for advance ticket sales being down about 10 percent from a year ago for some upcoming races. ISC officials also said the focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup may be playing a role in fans purchasing tickets for those events instead of races earlier in the season. "Star power is very impactful in our sport as it is in any sport," said John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp. on a conference call with investor analysts. "We've got to be better going forward and think strategically about retiring drivers," Saunders said, "and how you connect their retirement to the rising stars, the young stars, such as the Chase Elliotts and Ryan Blaney drivers." There are a number of drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series who likely will be in Cup full-time soon, including Erik Jones, who turns 20 in May, 23-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr., 24-year-old Ty Dillon and 24-year-old Daniel Suarez. Those young drivers will compete for the championship in a Chase format this year with NASCAR adding that to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
Also, discussed on the call with investor analysts:
- Saunders said on the digital platform they've seen consumption from the 18- to 34-year old demographic double year over year but didn't provide details.
- Advanced ticket sales for the July Daytona race are pacing ahead of last year.
- ISC has one of their available Sprint Cup series race sponsorships either open or not announced and two for Xfinity events this season.
- Average ticket price for NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Daytona International Speedway was about $160.07, an increase of more than 19 percent from last year primarily related to new seats sold at higher prices with the Daytona Rising project that reduced capacity from 147,000 to 101,000.
Daytona selects Tripleplay to display content to 1400 screens: World leading IPTV, Digital Signage and Video Streaming solutions manufacturer, Tripleplay, has been selected by Daytona International Speedway (DIS) to deliver live streaming content, communications, digital menus and interactive TV services to 1,400 screens around its new motorsports stadium. Additionally, Tripleplay becomes the latest partner to join the Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW. The Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW is designed specifically for companies supporting the technological advances at the new motorsports stadium. Participation in the Platform also enables them to showcase their involvement through an onsite marketing presence. Screens will be located within hospitality and corporate suites with integration into AMX control systems, concession stands and retail units for product promotion and live digital menu boards, infield video display boards and stadium concourses for live race playback and advertising. Tripleplay's platform has been implemented by some of the world's biggest sports venues and teams including All England Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon), Manchester City FC, Twickenham Stadium, Stade France, Chelsea FC, New York City FC, Amalie Arena and The SSE Hydro, voted world's number 1 live music venue in 2015.(DIS)(2-29-2016)
Daytona could benefit from additional tax break: After scoring $40 million in tax incentives from Volusia County and Daytona Beach, International Speedway Corp. could get another $10 million in tax relief for its One Daytona project through a complex impact fee rule change that figures to only benefit the area's most deep-pocketed developers. County Council members signed off this month on an exemption to impact fees that applies only to developers who own adjoining parcels and demolish a structure on one of them while making upgrades to the other. If that scenario seems hard to envision, picture this: By demolishing its old grandstand as part of the Daytona Rising renovations at Daytona International Speedway, International Speedway Corp. earns credits that can be applied to reduce impact fees when it builds across the street at the One Daytona mixed-use complex. The council approved the change on a 5-1 vote after about 15 minutes of discussion and no public comment. The lone dissenter, Councilman Doug Daniels, said the county was being overly generous to a wealthy developer and showing favoritism toward ISC. Impact fees are a one-time tax billed to new residential and commercial development. They are intended to help cover a community's costs for roads and other infrastructure improvements that are imposed by the new development. Deputy County Attorney Jamie Seaman confirmed that ISC faced anywhere from $3 million to $10 million in financial benefits with the impact fee change, depending on how the credits are applied. If ISC used up all of the impact fee credits at One Daytona - where a P.F. Changs, Fairfield Inn, Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theaters are going to be constructed - it would face a large impact fee bill down the road once it develops other planned parcels, including condominiums and apartments. The company could choose to hold off on using those credits until it begins work on those projects, Seaman said.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-24-2016)
82nd Airborne Division Chorus to perform National Anthem for Daytona 500: Before the engines rev at the Daytona 500 this weekend, the All-American Chorus will take the stage to perform the National Anthem and its popular chant about airborne operations. The 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, Fort Bragg, NC, has been invited to perform at the 58th annual Daytona 500 - billed as the most prestigious auto race in America. More than 101,000 people will be watching from the speedway, and the performance will be broadcast live on Fox for millions of viewers at home. "There are going to be a lot of crazy NASCAR fans hootin' and hollerin'," said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino, of Task Force All American. "No stage fright - or lip-synching, either." The chorus was formed in 1964 to sing Sunday services in the 82nd Airborne Division Chapel. Now, the chorus performs at more than 250 events annually. Each member of the chorus has a full-time Army job and must audition to be part of the chorus. Candidates are put on a probationary period, requiring them to learn about seven new songs each week for four weeks.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-18-2016)
Actor Gerard Butler Named Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500: Actor Gerard Butler, star of the high-octane action thriller London Has Fallen that opens in theaters nationwide March 4, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Butler will deliver the most famous words in motorsports, "Drivers, start your engines." Along with the command, Butler will take part in other pre-race ceremonies including riding in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race and attend the drivers meeting. "We're honored to have Gerard Butler serve as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Gerard is a talented actor and we look forward to hearing his starting command to kick off the first DAYTONA 500 held in the new motorsports stadium."
In Gramercy Pictures' London Has Fallen, the non-stop suspenseful sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen," Butler returns as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, alongside Aaron Eckhart as U.S. President Benjamin Asher, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs, and Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, now the Vice President. Butler has starred in such hit films as "Machine Gun Preacher" and "300." Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-16-2016)
Stadium Tickets for Daytona 500 Sold Out: Reserved stadium tickets for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project, are sold out. Ticket holders for "The Great American Race" will enjoy 101,500 permanent and wider seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and upgraded amenities throughout the 11 football-field sized neighborhoods in the world's first motorsports stadium. Premium hospitality, infield admissions and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access still remain for the Daytona 500 and fans have an opportunity to enjoy the new motorsports stadium during other Speedweeks 2016 events including the PowerShares QQQ 300, NextEra Energy Resources 250 and the Cam-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races. Tickets are available at Daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. "We're ecstatic to hold the first Daytona 500 since the completion of our $400 million Daytona Rising project," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "The demand for this historic race has been tremendous and we look forward to waving the green flag on February 21." This year's Daytona 500 will be attended by fans representing 44 different countries and every state in U.S.(DIS)(2-16-2016)
Daytona International Speedway to hold "Open House" for fans on Wed: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) will hold an "Open House" for the general public on Wednesday, February 17, giving fans the opportunity to explore the amenities featured in the new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016. Tickets are not required. DIS will offer self-guided tours around the stadium to showcase the vertical transportation, wider and more comfortable seats and 11 spacious social areas/"neighborhoods." The "Open House" will take place between 3:00 pm and 7:00pm and is free of charge. Attendees will also have the opportunity to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 from 5:00 to 7:00pm/et. In addition, making a 3:30 p.m. appearance on the main concourse of the Florida Hospital Injector will be 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who drives the #1 McDonald's and Cessna Chevy for Chip Ganassi Racing and is a Florida Hospital ambassador. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(2-16-2016)
Fanatics Revamps Trackside Superstore for 2016 Season: Fans visiting Daytona International Speedway's (DIS) new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016 will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of retail options as part of the Fanatics Trackside Superstore shopping experience. The experience will be highlighted by a Superstore located on the Speedway's revamped Midway featuring a customization area for fans to add imagery to leather products and headwear. Fans will also be able to purchase the Official Daytona 500 Champion's Hat (produced by New Era) from this location immediately following the race. In addition to the Superstore, the stadium will feature two large stores in the "World Center of Racing" Center injector/entrance (located on level one), Toyota and Chevrolet stores in their respective injectors, infield stores as well as other locations throughout the stadium. The locations will offer a variety of merchandise options for men, women and kids, in addition to tailgating gear and collectibles (DIS)(2-16-2016)
Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. Named Honorary Starter for Daytona 500: Newly elected Baseball Hall of Fame centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as Honorary Starter (wave the green flag) of the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Griffey received a record-breaking 99.32% of the vote (437 of 440) by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He played 22 seasons - 13 with the Seattle Mariners, nine with the Cincinnati Reds and less than one season with the Chicago White Sox. In his 22 seasons, Griffey was a 13-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and 1997 American League MVP; he is also ranked sixth on the career home run list (630). The 2016 Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 22-25, with the annual Induction Ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 24. Griffey will be the first player to represent the Seattle Mariners organization in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tickets for the 2016 Daytona 500 and 2016 Speedweeks At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-14-2016)
Updated Daytona International Speedway Mobile App: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced that a new version of its mobile app is now available for download on iOS and Android devices. As part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, the updated DIS mobile app helps race fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings at the new motorsports stadium during upcoming events such as Speedweeks 2016. The DIS mobile app offers a variety of features to help fans find their way around the new stadium including Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation. It also includes an interactive GPS facility map and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like a parking spot. Also included in the new version of the app is location-based proximity engagement technology. The DIS app offers dynamic experiences for fans as they enter each of the new injectors/entrances from DIS Founding Partners such as Toyota, Florida Hospital, Chevrolet and Sunoco. Additionally, the DIS app is fully integrated with the new DAYTONA Rewards program, with locations throughout the property to provide one unified mobile experience for fans. More info at DIS's website.(2-13-2016)
Wrestler John Cena Named Honorary Daytona 500 Pace Car Driver: WWE Superstar and actor John Cena will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Cena will pace the 40-car field to the green flag in a Toyota Camry. Cena, a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, has been at the forefront of WWE's programming for more than a decade, and most recently starred on the big screen in the Golden Globe-nominated "Trainwreck" as well as "Sisters" with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. He next will host FOX's upcoming reality competition series American Grit. Cena is also a wish ambassador for Make-A-Wish having granted more than 500 wishes. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-12-2016)
DIS Teams Up With Jeff Gordon For Special Daytona Ticket Package: Daytona International Speedway has teamed up with three-time Daytona 500 champion and new FOX Sports analyst Jeff Gordon for a special ticket package around the PowerShares QQQ 300 season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Feb. 20. The package, which is available to adults starting at $115 and children 12 and under for $10, includes:
ˇ One stadium seat for the PowerShares QQQ 300
ˇ Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access
ˇ A 15-minute question and answer session with Gordon in a climate-controlled room located on Level 2 of the new motorsports stadium scheduled to occur on Feb. 20
Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, recently completed his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and will make his debut in the broadcast booth with FOX Sports with the prestigious 58th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. Tickets for the Jeff Gordon Ticket Package for the PowerShares QQQ 300 are available at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/gordon or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-3-2016)
Daytona finishes upgrading SAFER around track: When drivers race at Daytona International Speedway over the next few weeks, they'll notice that all outside and inside walls on the track's 2˝-mile tri-oval, with the exception of pit lane, will have energy-absorbing barriers. It was nearly a year ago when Kyle Busch slammed into an unprotected concrete wall on the inside going toward Turn 1, breaking his right leg and left foot. Busch didn't race again for nearly three months after the Feb. 21 accident but rallied to win the 2015 Sprint Cup title. In reaction to that accident, DIS President Joie Chitwood pledged that night to have all walls covered by SAFER (steel-and-foam energy reduction) Barrier as soon as possible. When NASCAR teams returned in July, there were still some non-covered walls on the insides of the turns and the backstretch. DIS officials had been criticized for being slow to add more SAFER Barrier while spending $400 million on a new project to turn its grandstands into a modern stadium. Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of DIS parent company International Speedway Corp., said ISC tracks have added 54,000 linear feet of SAFER Barrier in the past year. ISC operates 12 of the 23 tracks where the Sprint Cup Series races. Virtually all tracks have added more SAFER Barrier in the past year, an issue brought to the forefront by Busch's injury as well as NASCAR's newly formed Sprint Cup drivers council.(ESPN.com)(1-28-2016)
Daytona International Speedway Officially Opens New Motorsports Stadium: To celebrate the completion of a massive 2.5 year, $400 million reconstruction, it took a couple of huge pairs of scissors for Lesa France Kennedy and Jim France to cut a ribbon marking the official reopening of Daytona International Speedway's grandstand complex. The Wednesday afternoon ribbon cutting marked a "new chapter" for the Speedway, said France Kennedy, CEO for International Speedway Corporation, which owns the track her grandfather built in 1958. "It's also going to usher in a new era for the future of motorsports," she said. "We're opening the first true motorsports stadium and that speaks volumes about how far this sport has come and where we see our future heading."
It boasts a host of new amenities, including 1,400 video monitors, enhanced technology, modernized bathrooms and new food and drink vending areas. The original narrow seats were one of the first things to go, replaced with wider seats complete with cup holders. But, the one thing Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said he's proudest of are the new escalators that allow fans to get all the way to the top of the 101,500-seat grandstand area with a minimum of walking. The escalators, which the Speedway started using for races last year, have been wildly popular with fans. Even though Chitwood said they'll still be "tweaking things" behind the scenes over the next couple of weeks, fans will get their first look at the finished facility during this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-28-2016)
Smaller restrictor plate at Daytona: For Speedweeks at Daytona, there will be a minor reduction in the size of the restrictor-plate holes, which will decrease by 1/64th of an inch to 57/64ths.(NBC Sports)(1-26-2016)
Complete DAYTONA Rising Time-lapse: For over 28 months, more than one million HD photos of DAYTONA Rising were taken by Daytona International Speedway's eight EarthCam construction cameras. See the reimagining of an American icon by checking out this time-lapse highlighting this transformation over the past 2 and 1/2 years! See the video at Daytona International Speedway's Facebook page (1-26-2016)
Daytona International Speedway To Hold Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) will hold a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new motorsports stadium on Wednesday, January 27 at 4:00pm/et (DIS)(1-26-2016)
Son of NASCAR founder installs last seat at Daytona: The last of 101,500 Daytona Rising stadium grandstand seats was installed by the son of NASCAR founder William H.G. France with the help of a race fan at Daytona International Speedway Tuesday. Jim France, who is the chairman of International Speedway Corp., and Ted Swartzlander, 61, who has held the same six seats for two decades near the start/finish line, completed the installation in front of a mob of media. "My partner and I did an excellent job and I hope the supervisor appreciated our quality of work," said the 71-year-old France. "This is one of the most spectacular motorsports facilities that I've ever seen in my life. I've been to many places around the world and nothing compares to this." Bill France Sr., who founded NASCAR in 1948, built the track in 1958. It opened for business in February, 1959 with the running of the inaugural Daytona 500 and several other support races. The $400 million Daytona Rising project started on July 8, 2013. The facility will open to the public on Jan. 28 for the first day of Rolex 24 At Daytona activities. "I think this is something my father would have been proud of," France said as he scanned the new facility. "This is the kind of thing he would have brought about. The process we've gone through over several years, such as improve the garage area and fan experience and repaving the track. We spent $400 million for the fan-part of this venue. This is all for the fans." Daytona Rising stretches almost a mile along International Speedway Boulevard. "The fans coming here are in for a real treat," France said. "Anybody coming to Daytona Beach for a motorsports event will find this the finest experience in the world." Swartzlander owns a fabrication shop in Sanford. He has been watching Daytona races since he was a child and with France's help, installed the seat where he will watch the Feb. 21 Daytona 500.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-21-2016)
Dow and Ducharme Seating join "We Built Daytona" Partners: Daytona International Speedway announced that The Dow Chemical Company and Ducharme Seating have become the latest partners to join the "We Built Daytona" marketing platform as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project.
" Dow, an integrated company at the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences, is providing the insulation for structures such as the Suite Tower and concourse buildings as well as closed cell spray foam and caulking applications throughout DIS.
" Ducharme Seating, a leading spectator seating manufacturer, is providing the 101,500 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats in the new motorsports stadium.
The "We Built Daytona" platform is designed specifically for partners involved in the construction of DAYTONA Rising and enables them to showcase their involvement through a marketing presence (once their role in the project begins). The companies join the comprehensive list of "We Built Daytona" partners including Jones Sign Company, Musco Lighting, P&S Paving, Kingspan Insulated Panels, USG Corporation (NYSE:USG), Sherwin-Williams, Big Ass Fans, ROSSETTI, Walter P Moore, M-E Engineers, Schneider Electric, CommScope, Inc., Honeywell and The Integration Factory. Following construction, partners can feature products in-use at the new DIS, providing them with a real-time showroom. Additionally, partners will receive special recognition as "We Built Daytona" partners within the stadium, along with brand exposure opportunities via digital display boards and corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during major events.(DIS)(1-14-2016)
Daytona expects certificate of occupancy to be issued: There won't be a marching band, ribbon cutting, fly over, or slew of dignitaries, but Tuesday is a monumental day for Daytona International Speedway and its $400 million Daytona Rising project. The city's permits and licensing department is expected to sign the Speedway's long-awaited certificate of occupancy for the newly renovated nearly mile-long structure, whose massive makeover began in July 2013. "Starting Tuesday, after two and a half years, I no longer have to put on a hard hat to visit the property," Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We are really close to getting the property in shape and ready to go racing later this month. This is a very important milestone." Is Daytona Rising, which boasts 101,500 seats, completely finished? No. But the heavy lifting is over. "This project isn't really over Tuesday, or running the Rolex 24, or running the Daytona 500," Chitwood said. "It will be a couple of months after the Daytona 500 when we truly get through all the punch lists and all those final items. "Will the public know? No, because it's all internal. You won't see big equipment or things like that. It will really be inside stuff, small changes and tweaks through the events and after." All of the Speedway's new vertical transportation, the elevators and escalators, were certified by the state last week. The city's building department has been doing inspections on a weekly basis because of the size of the structure.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(1-12-2016)
2017 Daytona 500 Race Date? A schedule on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds' website lists the Air Demonstration Squadron as conducting a flyover of the 59th Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, 2017. Daytona International Speedway spokesperson Andrew Booth confirmed the date of the 2017 race, noting that the Great American Race currently falls on the Sunday after Presidents' Day. The Thunderbirds also will be conducting the flyover for the 2016 Daytona 500, which is on Feb. 21. The Thunderbirds' site also lists a March 5, 2017 flyover at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but track spokesman Jeff Motley said it doesn't have any firm plans for a 2017 flyover.(NBC Sports)(12-23-2015)
Daytona International Speedway Lights New Identification Sign: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) held a special ceremony Tuesday night to officially light its new identification sign as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. Members of the France family helped light the 355-foot sign, complete with 3,619 LED lights. Before arriving at DIS in October, the massive "supersign" traveled nearly 1,500 miles from manufacturer Jones Sign Company's headquarters in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The new sign will welcome race fans and guests near the center injector/entrance upon completion of the project in January 2016.(DIS)(12-17-2015)
Daytona adds more SAFER barrier to inside retaining walls: Looking ahead to 2016, [track president Joie Chitwood III] Chitwood says the track will be safer for competitors and fans thanks to additional SAFER barriers and grandstand seats built higher and away from the catch fence. The Speedway had two chilling moments in 2015. Toward the end of the Speedweeks' Xfinity Series race, driver Kyle Busch broke his leg and foot when he crashed hard into the inside retaining wall. In response to the crash, Chitwood said every inside retaining wall around the 2.5-mile tri-oval now has steel and form energy reduction (SAFER) barrier protecting drivers when racing resumes in January. Since the end of Speedweeks, the track has added >8,600 linear feet of SAFER installation, which is designed to absorb the shock of impact of a crashing race car. Then on the last lap of July's Coke Zero 400, which was delayed several hours by rain, Austin Dillon's car launched from the track surface into the catch fence, injuring 13 fans, sending one to the hospital. With the Daytona Rising design, fans will be less likely to deal with catch fence debris in the event of an incident. "With the new stadium, the set-back and raised first row provides an additional element to make sure we have our fans in a safer environment for the racing on the track" Chitwood said. "Whether it is SAFER barrier, the set-back of the seats and height of the first row, I think we have done a really good job for 2016. The goal is to make sure fans have a safe and great experience, no different for our drivers."(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(12-12-2015)
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to perform flyover for DAYTONA 500: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform the flyover for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. It will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season opener after the completion of DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million frontstretch redevelopment project that will transform Daytona International Speedway into the first motorsports stadium in the world. The Thunderbirds will also commence the 2017 season with a flyover before the 59th annual DAYTONA 500. These performances will mark seven straight years, and eight total, that "America's Ambassadors in Blue" - officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron - will exhibit their world-class talent and precise choreography flying their signature "Delta" formation over the "World Center of Racing" at the end of the national anthem for "The Great American Race." The Thunderbirds feature six F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft. Assigned to Air Combat Command, the squadron is composed of 12 officers and more than 120 enlisted personnel serving in nearly 30 Air Force job specialties. They have a rigorous schedule, performing hour-long demonstrations across the United States nearly 40 weekends between February and November. Since the unit's inception in 1953, more than 350 million people in all 50 states and more than 60 countries have witnessed the distinctive red, white and blue jets in thousands of official aerial demonstrations.(DIS)(12-8-2015)
Tully's Coffee and Papa John's to feature new branded locations at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway announced that Tully's Coffee and Papa John's International will establish new branded locations at the Speedway as part of the amenities associated with the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The new locations, each measuring 650 square feet, will be featured on the concourse levels and include customized branding and activation for each company. "For the first time ever, we're thrilled to offer dedicated locations for our restaurant partners," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "These leading brands will provide elevated dining options for fans at our new motorsports stadium." Papa John's, the world's third-largest pizza delivery company, will feature four locations within the stadium. The branded locations will be operated by the local Papa John's franchisee group, QS America, LLC. In addition to its new location at DIS, Tully's Coffee, a leading specialty coffee retailer and wholesaler, will become the official coffee of the "World Center of Racing." The new locations will debut in January 2016 during the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend.(DIS)(12-2-2015)
New Technology Enhancements Part of Daytona Rising Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is pleased to announce several new technology enhancements as part of the unprecedented $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project that will help fans get and stay connected to the latest motorsports information and news. Just in time for Speedweeks 2016, fans will soon be able to connect to Wi-Fi at DIS with the help of ARRIS Group, a global telecommunications technology leader. In addition, fans will get to experience a new and improved mobile app, as well as interactive engagement stations to help guide them around the new motorsports stadium.
"In our ever-connected world, consumers expect to be able to interact with their social circles and share their experiences in real-time from anywhere, and we are certainly seeing the same in motorsports," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Bringing an unprecedented level of connectivity to DIS and motorsports in general was a non-negotiable when we began Daytona Rising, and we're excited to work with ARRIS to help us accomplish this goal."
ARRIS will provide Wi-Fi access to some of the most high traffic areas of DIS to offer fans more connectivity than ever before. Through a multi-phased rollout, fans will be able to log in throughout the concourses and neighborhoods in the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Fans in the Midway and Sprint FANZONE will be able to connect to the ARRIS network as well. This installation will be complete in time for Speedweeks 2016 with additional areas of the property gaining Wi-Fi access later in the year.
"ARRIS is providing high-speed Wi-Fi to Daytona-making it possible for fans to share, post and stream their experiences on race weekends," said Ron Coppock, President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing at ARRIS. "Daytona Rising redefines the NASCAR experience, and we're proud to support this vision. Our network technology and services will bring fans' experiences to life in and around the track, while they continue to transform the crucial communications link between drivers and crews."
In addition, a brand new version of the DIS mobile app will launch by the end of January to help fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings that the new motorsports stadium will provide. The updated app for iOS and Android devices will include several exciting mobile features such as Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation, location-based proximity engagement, and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like your parking spot powered by SPREO Indoor Location Solutions. It will also include an interactive GPS facility map and dynamic experiences with DIS Founding Partners in each of the new injectors/entrances.(DIS)(11-24-2015)
Anheuser-Busch Extends and Expands Partnership with Daytona: Anheuser-Busch announced today a multi-year partnership renewal with Daytona International Speedway (DIS) that extends its status as the exclusive official beer sponsor of DIS and the DAYTONA 500. The partnership will also provide Anheuser-Busch with naming rights to four locations within the new motorsports stadium as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, which is scheduled to open in January 2016.
Two of the bar locations to be featured in the new "World Center of Racing" central "neighborhood" zone and spacious concourses, while the other two will be located in other parts of the stadium. All four locations will enable Anheuser-Busch to advertise multiple brands from its portfolio of beers including Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois. Anheuser-Busch will also retain naming rights to the infield area - the Budweiser Bistro.
"Daytona International Speedway has been a tremendous partner for Anheuser-Busch ever since we first introduced the Busch Clash back in 1979, which was held each year at DIS the week prior to the DAYTONA 500," said Nick Kelly, director of experiential marketing, Anheuser-Busch. "We're looking forward to continuing this relationship that allows us to have a significant marketing presence at the track, and now we'll be able to deliver an elevated experience to our fans as a result of the DAYTONA Rising project."
Anheuser-Busch's partnership with DIS continues a period of investment and rededication to the sport of racing. The Busch family of beers recently announced it is reigniting its storied past in NASCAR by sponsoring Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team of Stewart-Haas Racing for select races during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season beginning with the Sprint Unlimited at DIS on Feb. 13. In conjunction, Anheuser-Busch will employ a comprehensive marketing approach to celebrate Busch's return to the sport of racing, including on-track, experiential, in-market and retail activations, as well as TV spots leading up to the DAYTONA 500.
"We're thrilled to kick off the next chapter of our longstanding partnership with Anheuser-Busch," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Our new motorsports stadium will provide enhanced opportunities to market their brands and connect with race fans." Anheuser-Busch shares a rich history with the sport of racing as well as DIS, dating back to the late 1970s. This represents the longest-standing partnership for DIS.(DIS)(11-20-2015)
New Solar Structures at Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) showcased construction progress related to FPL's new Solar Pavilion, one of three new structures that make up the FPL Solar Circuit at the "World Center of Racing." The commercial-scale distributed solar power installation at DIS complements the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The FPL Solar Pavilion and FPL Solar Patio, both of which are canopy-like structures that will offer shade for race fans, and FPL Solar Park collectively consist of more than 7,000 solar panels generating 2.1 megawatts of zero-emissions energy. The three solar structures will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE and Lot 10 parking area. The total weight of the structures (900 tons) represents the equivalent of more than 500 NASCAR stock cars.
"We're thrilled to see the new solar structures taking shape," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "These areas represent our commitment to providing a better fan experience as well as leveraging innovative ways to modernize our venue." The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to an average vehicle driving more than 2 million laps around DIS. Once connected to the FPL grid, the solar energy at DIS will help to power approximately 400 Florida homes per year.
"As an avid race fan myself, it's an honor to be part of the extraordinary redevelopment of one of Florida's most iconic sites and tourist destinations," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light Company. "The thousands of solar panels we're installing here will provide zero-emissions electricity for our customers and the Speedway's operations, helping power races that are viewed around the world. Importantly, our efforts here at Daytona are yet another example of our ongoing commitment to expanding cost-effective solar here in Florida for the benefit of our customers, both large and small." Upon completion of the installation in January 2016, DIS will become one of the top five U.S. professional sports venues in terms of solar energy capacity. The FPL Solar Circuit at Daytona International Speedway is one of several FPL solar projects that will add 225 megawatts of new, zero-emission solar energy by the end of 2016, cost-effectively tripling FPL's solar capacity and making Florida one of America's top solar energy producing states.(DIS)(11-14-2015)
Daytona announces PowerShares QQQ as namesake of XFINITY season-opener: PowerShares QQQ, has entered into a multi-year partnership to serve as the title sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), part of Speedweeks 2016. The 120-lap, 300-mile race will be known as the PowerShares QQQ 300, taking place February 20, 2016. PowerShares QQQ" is an exchange-traded fund based on the Nasdaq-100 Index. The events during Speedweeks 2016 will be the first to be held at DIS following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Race fans will experience new amenities such as wider and more comfortable seats, spacious concourses, escalators and elevators, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions and merchandise stands and two new larger video display boards.(Daytona International Speedway)(10-28-2015)
Tickets for 2016 Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on sale: Tickets for the 58th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, will officially go on sale Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9:00am/et. Fans will be able to purchase tickets to the Independence Day holiday weekend classic scheduled for Saturday, July 2 in one of three convenient ways: Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, by calling 1-800-PITSHOP, or visiting the Daytona International Speedway Ticket and Tours Building. The new motorsports stadium will feature 101,500 new, wider more comfortable seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social "neighborhoods" and three concourse levels that will span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Reserved stadium seats for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $55. Reserved stadium seats for children ages 12 and under are $20 and kids 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS)(10-28-2015)
Daytona & Talladega hosting country music festivals in 2016: Daytona International Speedway will host the inaugural Country 500 music festival featuring Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Kid Rock, TBA, Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson and dozens more over Memorial Day Weekend-May 27, 28 & 29, 2016. The complete Country 500 lineup, including the Friday night headliner, will be released on November 3 and tickets, camping and VIP packages will go on sale to the public the same day. Fans should plan to take advantage of the special early bird pricing ($199) for weekend general admission passes beginning on November 3. Also called "The Great American Music Fest at Daytona," the Country 500 festival will feature the biggest stars in country music spread over three days and nights, programmed on three huge performance stages-all specially designed and built for the festival. Country 500 will take place on the infield of the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, a historic first mega-music festival inside the hallowed grounds of one of the most iconic motorsports venues in America. Just as it is for the great races at the Speedway, Country 500 will allow fans to actually camp out in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations. Special VIP packages called "Crew Chief VIP Experience" and "VIP Pit Pass" allow for an exclusive upfront, golden-circle viewing area at the main stage with side stage access at the other performances areas plus access to comfortable hospitality areas, private cash bars and many other comforts and amenities. Visit Country500.com for all the Country 500 details.(DIS)
AND: Talladega Superspeedway, one of the most storied motorsports venues in America, is set to host a huge rockin' country music festival over the most American of holidays, Fourth of July Weekend, July 1-3, 2016. Dega Jam, which will take place in the infield of the biggest and baddest race track on the planet, will feature the most popular stars in country music. Spread over three days and nights and programmed on three specially designed performance stages, the mega-music festival will offer fans a thrilling new way to celebrate the entire holiday weekend. The complete artist lineup will be announced on October 25 with tickets and VIP packages on sale to the public the same day. Just as it is for the great races at the Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR's Most Competitive track, Dega Jam will allow fans to camp in the infield, literally inside the festival. A full-range of camping opportunities is available for virtually any budget, from pitching a tent to deluxe RV locations adjacent to the stages. Special VIP packages will allow for a variety of special privileges. VIP packages will be available in limited quantities. Visit DegaJam.com to sign up for the mailing list to receive information on tickets, camping, VIP opportunities and all the Jam details, including a list of participating area hotels and travel packages. (TSS)(10-16-2015)
Florida Georgia Line to Perform Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: Award-winning country music duo Florida Georgia Line, comprised of Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show prior to the start of the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 21, the first ever "Great American Race" to be held at Daytona International Speedway following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising frontstretch redevelopment project. "We are thrilled to secure Florida Georgia Line as the performers for the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "Florida Georgia Line is country music's premier duo and will provide race fans with an energetic performance prior to the start of the Daytona 500."
All race fans who purchase Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the Daytona 500 will be able to view Florida Georgia Line's Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. A limited number of Daytona 500 Pre-Race Concert ticket packages, available starting at $235, have been designed around Florida Georgia Line and include a Daytona 500 ticket, Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and VIP area access to the performance. Race fans who have already purchased Daytona 500 tickets can add Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access and VIP area access for $110. All VIP ticket packages will be available beginning at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.
Those wishing to attend the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will need to act quickly as there will be a limited number of tickets available due to the reduced seating capacity in the new stadium. Fans should also note:
ˇ Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.Daytona500.com.
ˇ Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Trioval Club, the Rolex 24 Lounge and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race wristbands are also available.
ˇ For all other Speedweeks events, children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint FANZONE.
ˇ Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the new official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway. Offering multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality, primesport.com/d/daytona-500-tickets is ideal for fans looking for the ultimate racing experience.(DIS)(9-26-2015)
After review of accident, Daytona will not change fencing: There have been no changes to the fencing at Daytona International Speedway following the last-lap crash in July that sent Austin Dillon's car into the barrier. Five fans were injured from debris from the accident, and it marked the third crash in three years in which spectators were hurt after last-lap airborne crashes. Daytona track president Joie Chitwood said Saturday the section of fencing ripped away in Dillon's crash has been repaired, but an analysis of the accident showed the fence did its job. "It did what it's supposed to, so we went quickly to repairing it so that we're ready for racing," Chitwood said at Chicagoland Speedway, where he announced Can-Am will sponsor the Daytona 500 qualifying races in February. Daytona rebuilt its catchfences in 2009. Two years ago, after a crash in which Kyle Larson's car sailed into the fence and debris injured more than two dozen fans, the designs of the crossover gates were altered. Since then, fans have been moved back roughly 15 feet as part of Daytona's ongoing $400 million redesign. The project included the removal of the first few rows of grandstands and the construction of a fence that prevents spectators from walking along the "rim road" that circles the track.(Associated Press)(9-20-2015)
Can-Am to sponsor Duel races at Daytona: BRP, the manufacturer of world renowned motorized recreational vehicles and engines, will serve as the title sponsor for the 150-mile qualifying races for the DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway, part of Speedweeks 2016. The races will be known as the Can-Am Duel At Daytona. The Can-Am Duel At Daytona, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 18, are a pair of 150-mile qualifying races that finalize the starting lineup for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500, the prestigious NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening event on Sunday, Feb. 21. The Can-Am Duel At Daytona will feature every DAYTONA 500 entrant battling for a coveted starting spot in "The Great American Race."
"We're excited about developing this new partnership with BRP, the world leader in recreational vehicles," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "With two thrilling and unpredictable 150-mile qualifying races, the Can-Am Duel At Daytona will provide a great platform for BRP to promote their Can-Am products at the 'World Center of Racing.' "
"BRP and its Can-Am products are synonymous with innovation and performance in the powersports industry," said Anne Bélec, senior vice-president, Global Brands and Strategy. "We feel that there's a natural fit with NASCAR racers and their fans. Thanks to our association with Kappa, Cyclops Gear and the GOFAS race team, we are now a sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the title sponsor of the Can-Am Duel, the ultimate test before the Daytona 500," she concluded.
The events during Speedweeks 2016 will be the first to be held at Daytona International Speedway following the completion of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising frontstretch redevelopment project. Race fans will experience new amenities such as wider and more comfortable seats, spacious concourses, escalators and elevators, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions and merchandise stands.(DIS)(9-19-2015)
Moving Daytona summer race to morning not under consideration: Don't count on NASCAR moving the start of the July Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway back to the morning, a series official says. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said this week on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that "I wouldn't look to us to go back to a morning race" at Daytona in July. The event, formerly known as the Firecracker 400, started at 10 or 11 am on July 4 to avoid the afternoon heat and showers. It was moved off the July 4 holiday to a Saturday afternoon start in 1988. The event has been run at night since 1998. "I don't think so," O'Donnell said. "I think the sport is so big now and there are so many partners that are involved. I know it might be easier to look at an 11 a.m. start. It's our job to look at all factors to grow the sport as much as we can and make it as fan friendly as possible."(NBCSports)(7-9-2015)
Fans hit by debris at Daytona hire lawyer: Two people hit by debris during the last-lap crash at the Coke Zero 400 have hired an attorney to represent them in any claims against NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway. Matt Morgan confirmed Tuesday he was hired by the spectators, who were among the four treated and released at the racetrack after Austin Dillon's car flew into the catch fence and was torn into pieces. "I have been retained by two individuals who were sitting three rows up from the point of impact at the Daytona Coke Zero 400 crash," Morgan said. "They were struck by a large piece of steel debris and various smaller objects. They were treated for their injuries in Daytona and are following up at their local hospital." Morgan, whose firm Morgan & Morgan is based in Orlando, Florida, and is well-known for its representation of accident victims, represented 13 victims of the Kyle Larson crash in the 2013 Xfinity Series opener at Daytona and reached settlements in those cases in May 2014. Since then, Morgan has been retained by an additional spectator, and no settlement has been reached.(ESPN.com)(7-8-2015)
ISC Statement on Safety: Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders: "Following February and the completion of Speedweeks in Daytona, International Speedway Corporation, in conjunction with NASCAR, initiated a thorough review and audit of impact-absorbing technologies at our properties. Based on those findings, ISC will install approximately 54,000 linear feet of additional SAFER Barrier at its facilities. From now through the end of 2016, ISC will work with Cheaha Construction, Smith Fence Company, and North Industrial Machine, all certified organizations with the University of Nebraska, on this installation. As safety remains at the forefront, ISC will continue to work with NASCAR to evaluate specific locations inside the turns for future safety enhancements."(ISC)(7-5-2015)
Why the Coke Zero 400 was run on July 5th and not July 4th? For 29 years, the summer race at Daytona International Speedway was a part of the nation's birthday. The event was always run on Independence Day, no matter what day of the week. The race was in the morning, and the drivers and their families were celebrating on the beach by late afternoon. The tradition that began in 1959 ended in 1988 when the event was moved into prime time on whatever Saturday was part of the holiday weekend. Now it has been moved once more, to Sunday night, to accommodate the return of NASCAR to NBC.
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said the change was simply about audience. "The Fourth of July is annually the lowest night of television watching of the year - fewer people watch TV that night because they are all out watching fireworks," Lazarus told The Associated Press on Saturday. "In order for us to start our relationship with as big a splash as we can, we wanted to give ourselves the best chance and opportunity to have a big audience. It was simply math." The switch still comes with challenges. By moving it to Sunday night, the race now goes head-to-head against the United States playing in the Women's World Cup final. NBC's pre-race show begins at the same time as the game, but the race doesn't actually go green for another 78 minutes. Lazarus anticipates, barring overtime and penalty kicks, only about 35 minutes of direct competition. He is hopeful, though, that World Cup viewers will flip to the NASCAR race when the game ends. "It's a mixed blessing - it will bring a lot of different people to the television set," he said. "We're hopeful, if we continue to market, that we'll get some people who wouldn't be home watching TV to transfer over and check us out."
Although both NASCAR and Daytona officials signed off on the switch to Sunday, it's not the most ideal situation for track President Joie Chitwood. Running the race a day later hurts attendance because campers usually return home on Sunday, and now the World Cup likely will cut into viewership. Chitwood understood NBC's desire for the Sunday night race, but is thankful the race will return to Saturday night in 2016. "In our conversation with them, it was just the one time," he said. "We all talked about what we could do special for NBC, and this was one of their components, and it made a lot of sense when we sat down and really talked about it. When you look at what they've done with 'Football Night in America,' they are just knocking it out of the part. They've really captured that. Hopefully, they can sprinkle a little bit of that magic on this event this Sunday. I don't think anybody a year ago, though, knew about World Cup soccer, so that's the way the breaks are."(see full article at the Associated Press)(7-5-2015)
ISC sees attendance increase at some tracks: International Speedway Corp., saw attendance up for its NASCAR Sprint Cup races during the second quarter of this year compared to the same time a year ago, the company stated this week. The company reported a 9% increase in attendance at Talladega Superspeedway in May and a second consecutive sellout for its Cup race at Auto Club Speedway (capacity 68,000) in March. John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp., said Martinsville Speedway's Cup race in March also saw an increase in attendance but didn't reveal by how much. He said attendance was down 3 percent for the June 14 Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Saunders said ticket sales were trending up until forecasts of rain for the race. Saunders said attendance was down for Cup races at Richmond and Kansas, citing the weather but did not say by how much. Saunders also said that Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, the August Cup race at Watkins Glen and the August Cup race Michigan race, are on track to meet or exceed attendance expectations. Daytona's grandstand renovation continues and there will be 52,000 seats available for the Cup race. Once the project is completed - in time for next year's Daytona 500, the seating capacity will be 101,000. Preliminary plans are being made for renovations at Phoenix International Raceway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway once the Daytona project is complete, Saunders said. During the second quarter, ISC saw retention rates for ticket sales go from 55% to 58%. "So, we're getting a significant number of first timers,'' Saunders said. "And I will tell you that in our consumer strategies, we very much segment how we promote to those first timers versus returning guests, or tenured guests. But we're seeing the retention rate grow which is good, but we are seeing new entrants into the sport.''(NBC Sports), see full ISC report at internationalspeedwaycorporation.com,(7-5-2015)
Daytona to offer Confederate flag exchange UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway will implement a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend for any fans flying a Confederate flag during the track's traditional Independence Day race weekend. DIS President Joie Chitwood said Tuesday that because fans had purchased tickets, he would not change the flag policy for this weekend so close to the event. He said the track will offer United States flags in exchange for Confederate flags. "We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we're not proud of," Chitwood told reporters after a news conference to announce a new track sponsor. "For us, we're celebrating the American flag this weekend. It's our nation's birthday. ... Going forward, we'll really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn't have a place in our sport and we've got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place."(ESPN)(6-30-2015)
UPDATE: Daytona International Speedway, along with the rest of the tracks that host NASCAR national series races, issued a statement Thursday asking fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at the racetracks. DIS had a box of U.S. flags ready to exchange for Confederate flags to anyone who asked while checking in Thursday for the race weekend. A track spokesman said that as of 3:00pm/et -- seven hours after the check-in started -- no one had asked to exchange the flag. Those checking in the campers did not ask if they wanted to exchange.(ESPN)(7-3-2015)
Changes made at Daytona crash scene: The section of Daytona International Speedway where Kyle Busch broke his left foot and right leg in February will look quite different this weekend. The speedway has reconfigured the inside wall with a combination of SAFER barrier and tire barriers near Turn 1, the entrance to the track's road course. That's where Busch smacked a concrete wall section Feb. 21, causing injuries that threatened to sideline him for the 2015 season. The new wall is positioned so that a skid into it would be shorter and make impact at a less dangerous angle. The speedway also paved over the grassy area that Busch slid through, as pavement offers more resistance than grass in a skid. That area isn't the only new area with SAFER barrier at the track. Daytona now has SAFER barrier around the entire outside wall, not just in the turns. It has added SAFER barrier to the inside pit wall just beyond pit road -- an area that Kevin Harvick hit in 2014 -- but needs to add some SAFER barrier in the turns to make the track completely covered.(see image of the wall at ESPN)(7-3-2015)
Industry asks fans to refrain from displaying Confederate flag: Statement from NASCAR Industry Members: "As members of the NASCAR industry, we join NASCAR in the desire to make our events among the most fan-friendly, welcoming environments in all of sports and entertainment. To do that, we are asking our fans and partners to join us in a renewed effort to create an all-inclusive, even more welcoming atmosphere for all who attend our events. This will include the request to refrain from displaying the Confederate Flag at our facilities and NASCAR events. We are committed to providing a welcoming atmosphere free of offensive symbols. This is an opportunity for NASCAR Nation to demonstrate its sense of mutual respect and acceptance for all who attend our events while collectively sharing the tremendous experience of NASCAR racing."(NASCAR with signatories of ALL race tracks of ISC & SMI and many others)(7-2-2015)
Work begins on safety initiatives at Daytona: As construction continues on the Daytona Rising project, which is designed to provide a different race-day experience for fans, work began Monday to provide a safer race-day experience for the drivers. Daytona International Speedway officials announced work has started on safety initiatives that include additional "soft wall" coverage as well as asphalt in one area formerly covered with grass. The addition of new Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier became a hot topic in the aftermath of Kyle Busch's Feb. 21 wreck, in an XFINITY Series race the day before the Daytona 500, that left him with a broken leg and foot. Daytona's next event is on Fourth of July weekend, the XFINITY Series' Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4 and the Sprint Cup Series' Coke Zero 400 on July 5. The current work is expected to be completed before then. Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release.
The specifics of the work: The inside retaining wall, inside Turn 1 and beginning with the exit from the infield road course, will be realigned and fitted with the SAFER Barrier. 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be put down to replace the grass in that area of the track - the lack of traction on grass adds to the inability to slow or possibly control a wrecking car. During his deconstruction of his February wreck, Busch spoke of the inability to get tire grip and possibly save his car from its eventual hit into the wall. Installation of SAFER Barrier on the retaining wall at the exit to pit road. Installation of SAFER Barrier between the exit of Turn 4 and the pit entrance, on the section of the inside retaining wall presently uncovered. Additional coverage of the outside wall of the backstretch with SAFER Barrier. After the July 5 Coke Zero 400, the Speedway will continue covering SAFER coverage of existing concrete walls.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(5-20-2015)
Daytona begins removing backstretch seats: On Monday morning, Daytona International Speedway began to remove the backstretch grandstand as part of the DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The full removal process will be completed later this year. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will now have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility's new amenities. Beginning in January 2016, Daytona International Speedway will feature approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats.(DIS)(3-24-2015)
Florida Power & Light and Daytona Plan to add Major Solar Installation to DAYTONA Rising Project: Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced plans to install commercial-scale distributed solar power at the "World Center of Racing," complementing the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. The plan comprises the installation of more than 5,000 solar panels on multiple canopy-like structures that will offer areas of shade for race fans while generating zero-emissions energy. The solar panels will be located outside the frontstretch, in the Sprint FANZONE and in one of the Speedway's parking lots. The electricity generated will help power the Speedway's operations and FPL's 4.7 million customers via the grid.
"A destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors to our state every year, reaching millions across the globe on television and online, Daytona International Speedway is a Florida landmark and an American icon. We are truly honored to be part of its incredible revitalization," said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. "By partnering with the Speedway on this exciting project, we're building a shining example of our affordable clean energy commitment and showcasing Florida's innovation and advanced economy for the world."
FPL is a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Official Renewable Energy Provider of both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. As part of a long-term partnership agreement, NextEra Energy Resources is continuing its entitlement sponsorship of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race that is held annually during Budweiser Speedweeks.
"We're very excited to continue our strong relationship with all of the NextEra Energy Companies," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "FPL's solar energy solutions will help us create a modern and advanced motorsports stadium while improving the fan experience."
When the installation is complete, DIS will rank fifth-largest among U.S. professional sports facilities for solar energy capacity, according to data from the Solar Energy Installers Association. The project's total generating capacity is expected to be approximately 1.7 megawatts, making it one of the largest distributed solar installations in Florida. The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to an average vehicle driving 2,000,000 laps around Daytona International Speedway.
FPL plans to begin construction on the solar installation by this fall, with the goal of connecting it to the grid by the end of the year. The installation will include high-tech data-gathering equipment that will provide FPL with real-time and long-term data to help the company continue incorporating more solar power into the grid in the future. Across Florida, before the end of 2016, FPL expects to triple its current solar capacity - adding a total of more than 225 megawatts of new solar power in Florida. The company currently operates 110 megawatts of solar at three large-scale plants, including the FPL Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center, part of a public-private partnership with NASA's Kennedy Space Center.(DIS)(2-21-2015)
Nine race fans settle over Speedway accident: Nine fans injured when a race car flew into a safety fence and sprayed debris in the grandstands at Daytona International Speedway last year have reached a settlement with the track. International Speedway Corp. will not release the amount of the settlement with the nine claimants represented by the Morgan & Morgan law firm, said Lenny Santiago, ISC senior director of public relations. Santiago declined to reveal details in the interest of the privacy of the fans involved. "I can say that we have reached settlements with several claimants related to the incident, but, as has been our practice throughout, we are not going to discuss any of the details," Santiago said. At least 28 spectators were injured including 14 who were taken to local hospitals when Kyle Larson's car crashed into the fence and sprayed a tire and other debris into the grandstands during the Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 on Feb. 23, 2013. Andrew Felix, an attorney with Morgan & Morgan, said the settlement covered all of the people represented by the personal injury firm, but he also declined to reveal the amount or any other details.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-2-2014)
NASCAR birthplace Streamline hotel sold and to be renovated: The Streamline Hotel, the 1940s-era beachside inn known as the birthplace of NASCAR, has sold, and the new owner plans to renovate the property. Eddie Hennessy, son of cosmetic company Pevonia International founders Phillippe and Sylvie Hennessy, bought the property at 140 S. Atlantic Ave. late last month for $950,000. He intends to restore the art deco building and turn the hotel into an upscale South Beach-style boutique inn. "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." Since buying the hotel, Hennessy has installed new management and has started some work on the facelift. He said he doesn't yet know when the major renovation work will begin, but added he looks to get started "as soon as possible." Hennessy said he plans to start the restoration with the hotel's rooftop bar, which is where in 1947 Bill France Sr. met with race drivers and track owners to form NASCAR. The hotel has a second bar on the ground floor that Hennessy said he intends to turn into a NASCAR-themed lounge. The Streamline will stay open while renovation work is done, Hennessy said. After renovating the rooftop bar, Hennessy will start work on the lobby, the hotel's ground-level bar, then the guest rooms. He said he isn't yet sure how much he will invest in the hotel's renovation.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-18-2014)
Daytona 500 qualifying is a different with the Qualifying Races, see the rules on the Qualifying Rules page - Daytona 500 section.
Rain Disruptions In The Daytona 500:
1963: First 10 laps run under yellow due to rain.
1965: Rain-shortened -- 133 laps (332.5 miles).
1966: Rain-shortened -- 198 laps (495 miles).
1979: First 16 laps run under yellow due to rain.
1992: Laps 84-89 run under yellow due to rain on backstretch.
1995: Red flag on lap 71 due to rain. Red flag lasted 1:44.
2003: Two red flags for rain. 1st: lap 63; 1:08. Rain-shortened -- 109 laps (272.5 miles).
2009: Rain-shortened -- 152 laps (380 miles).
2012: Race postponed from 2/26 to 2/27 because of rain.
2014: Red flag on lap 38 due to rain/severe weather. Red flag lasted 6 hours, 21 minutes
Won Daytona 500 & July Daytona race in the same year:
1962: Fireball Roberts
1968: Cale Yarborough
1969: LeeRoy Yarbrough
1982: Bobby Allison
2013: Jimmie Johnson
Daytona 500 and Championship in same year: nine times by five drivers has the Daytona 500 and the Sprint Cup Championship been won in the same season:
1959: Lee Petty
1964, 1971, 1974, 1979: Richard Petty (4)
1977: Cale Yarborough
1997: Jeff Gordon
2006, 2013: Jimmie Johnson (2)
First Career Sprint Cup win in the Daytona 500:
Seven drivers have gotten their first career Sprint Cup win in the Daytona 500:
Tiny Lund, 1963 [5 career wins]
Mario Andretti, 1967 
Pete Hamilton, 1970 
Derrike Cope, 1990 
Sterling Marlin, 1994 , won the Daytona 500 twice, also in 1995
Michael Waltrip, 2001 , won the Daytona 500 twice, also in 2003
Trevor Bayne, 2011 
Winners of both Sprint Unlimited & Budweiser Duel - never won Daytona 500 same year:
Ten drivers drivers have won both the Sprint Unlimited [started in 1979] and a Budweiser Duel [or Twin] in the same season / speedweeks 14 times, but none have also won the Daytona 500:
year, driver, Daytona finish, Daytona 500 winner
2014: Denny Hamlin, finished 2nd, won by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013: Kevin Harvick, finished 42nd, won by Jimmie Johnson
2011: Kurt Busch, 5th, won by Trevor Bayne
2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 9th, Ryan Newman
2007: Tony Stewart, 43rd, Kevin Harvick
2003: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 36th, Michael Waltrip
1995: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Sterling Marlin
1993: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Dale Jarrett
1991: Dale Earnhardt, 5th, Ernie Irvan
1989: Ken Schrader, 2nd, Darrell Waltrip
1986: Dale Earnhardt, 14th, Geoff Bodine
1983: Neil Bonnett, 22nd, Cale Yarborough
1981: Darrell Waltrip, 36th, Richard Petty
1979: Buddy Baker, 40th, Richard Petty
Top Finishes For Daytona 500 Champs in next race since 1982: Daytona 500 winners... how the success doesn't carry over to the second race.
Won the following race: - Twice (Jeff Gordon 1997 & Matt Kenseth 2009)
2nd Place - Five times (Davey Allison 1992, Sterling Marlin 1994, Dale Jarrett 1996, Jimmie Johnson 2006 & 2013)
3rd Place - None
4th Place - Once (Bill Elliott 1987) 5th Place - Twice (Dale Jarrett 2000 & Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2004) Only two drivers who won the Daytona 500 since 1982 have gone on to win the Sprint Cup Seires Championship, Jeff Gordon in 1997 and Jimmie Johnson in 2006.(Frontstretch)(3-3-2013)
Front row starters don't win Daytona 500 often: In the 57 runnings of the Daytona 500, only seven drivers have won from the pole position. Only two of these drivers accomplished the feat more than once -- Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) and Bill Elliott (1985, 1987). Dale Jarrett was the most recent polesitter to capture the Harley J. Earl Trophy when he won the event in 2000. The other drivers to win the Daytona 500 from the pole were Fireball Roberts (1962), Richard Petty (1966), Buddy Baker (1980) and Gordon (1999).
Winning the Daytona 500 from the outside of the front row is even rarer. Only six drivers have accomplished this feat, with Richard Petty the only one with more than one victory in the race from the second starting position. The most recent driver to win from this spot was once again Jarrett, in 1993. A.J. Foyt (1962), Geoffrey Bodine (1986), Darrell Waltrip (1989) and Ernie Irvan (1991) are the four other drivers.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2015)
Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:
Car Number (wins) - Drivers (years)
o #43(7) - Richard Petty (1964, '66, '71, '73, '74, '79, '81)
o #21(5) - Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
o #28(5) - Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992).
o #88(4) - Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(2014)
o #4(3) - Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
o #15(3) - Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
o #17(3) - Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
o #24(3) - Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
o #22(3) - Fireball Roberts (1962), Ward Burton (2002) and Joey Logano (2015)
Racing related deaths at Daytona:Racing related deaths at Daytona International Speedway since the track opened in 1959:
Kansas City, KS
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, May 6, 2016, 1:30pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 1:30pm/et