The Daytona International Speedway
is a major draw to Daytona Beach
since it opened in 1959. The Speedway seats almost 168,000 people and hosts all kinds of racing including go-karts, motorcycles (on and off road), sports cars, modified pickup trucks, and stock cars and is the home of NASCAR‘s
biggest event the Daytona 500
, known as the Great American Race. The facility is also used for an annual spring car show and swap meet, and a Thanksgiving street rod meet, some of the largest of their kind.
They have many events all year long starting with the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest in January. Speedweeks and the Rolex 24
lead up to the Daytona 500, normally run the first part of February. Then in March, during Bike Week
, the motorcycles take over the track for a few days, the Daytona 200, an AMA pro race, is one of the most notable races run during this time. In July NASCAR comes back for a few days of races including the ever popular Coke Zero 400
, formerly known as the Firecracker 400, is always run around the 4th of July and normally includes a spectacular fireworks show. In October the motorcycles come back again for a few more races and demos featured during Biktoberfest
For only the second time in its history the entire 2.5-mile tri-oval at the Daytona International Speedway was repaved along with the skid pads, apron and pit road, the repaving began following the 2010 Coke Zero 400 Weekend. It was prompted after disastrous running of the 2010 Daytona 500 when a hole formed between turns 1 and 2 forcing the race to be stopped, twice.
The repaving was done by Lane Construction using an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt and approximately 50 truck loads of concrete for pit road. The asphalt used is a high-quality polymer modified asphalt with an elevated softening point, that withstands the stresses of racing.
Race fans were able to watch the progress of the repaving project from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. It was scheduled to be completed Jan. 1, 2011 but was done about a month ahead of schedule; it took 23 weeks and an estimated 20 million dollars.
The new surface got its first test in December when 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers conducted a two day Goodyear tire test. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the first to test out the new track and he "thought it was real smooth" and "drafting was real tight", it seems he liked it.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
One of the favorite things to do is a ride along on the Richard Petty Driving Experience
. In this activity guests get to ride around the Daytona Speedway track with an experience driver at speeds of up to 160mph, no wonder it’s so popular.
Guests can also enjoy a 30-minute guided tour of the Daytona International Speedway.
One of the reasons this track is used throughout the year is because it’s so versatile. It features multiple layouts including a 2.5 miles high speed tri-oval, a 3.56 miles sports car course, and a 2.95 miles motorcycle course, they also have a new .25 mile karting and flat-track motorcycle racing circuit. The track's 180-acre infield is legendary as well, race fans park out in the infield and party for days before a big event. The infield also includes 29-acre Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing events.
So when visiting Daytona Beach, even if you’re not a race fan, you have to stop by the Daytona International Speedway it’s a great thing to experience.