Daytona International Speedway is a superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is a 2.5 mile (4 km) tri-oval race track facility with a seating capacity of 168,000 spectators. Daytona races of motor vehicles of various kinds, including go-karts, dirt bikes, motorcycles, pickup trucks, and stock cars. The facility also includes a 3.56 mile (5.7 km) road course and 44 acre (17.8 hectare) Lake Lloyd in the infield.
NASCAR, the premier stock car organization in the United States, holds some of its most important races on this track. These include competitions in its Craftsman Truck Series (where pickup trucks are raced), Busch Series (the stock car junior league), and Nextel Cup series. The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona is also held at Daytona.
The NASCAR Championship's most important race, the Daytona 500, is held annually at Daytona International Speedway. It is a 200-lap, 500 mile (805 km) stock car race. The list of Daytona 500 winners is very long dating back to the inaugural race in 1959, and includes "The King" Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt.
In the history of the Daytona International Speedway (as of 2004),there have been numerous people have been killed at the speedway.Bruce Jacobi,Ricky Knotts,Friday Hassler and Talmadge Prince were killed in qualifying races. Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr, were killed in practice sessions for the 1994 Daytona 500; and Dale Earnhardt — the first person ever to be killed in the Daytona 500 — who was killed on the final lap in 2001.
The racing season begins at Daytona starting with the testing sessions. The year's racing begins with the 24 Hours of Daytona race in the Le Mans series. Then the racing begins for the Nextel Cup with the Budweiser Shootout and the Gatorade 125. The Craftsman Truck Series begins with the Florida Dodge Dealers 250. The Busch Series begins with the Hershey's Kisses 300, and then it is back to the Nextel Cup in "The Great American Race," the Daytona 500. The Nextel Cup also features the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona.
Daytona can be a place where your career can be made or broken. A place where your heart can be broken in "The Great American Race." You have to follow the draft in order to master Daytona. You also have to prove yourself several times in order to participate in the big show.
See also: List of NASCAR race tracks
- Maps and aerial photos
- Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=29.18785&longitude=-81.06583&zoom=7)
- Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=29.18785&lon=-81.06583&s=50&size=m)
- Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=13&lon=-81.06583&lat=29.18785&w=600&h=400)