Daytona 500 the biggest event in Florida

One of the biggest events associated with Florida is the annual Daytona 500 auto race. The event is held at Daytona International Raceway, which is organized by NASCAR.

Daytona International Raceway opened in 1959. At that time, the first edition of the Daytona 500 was held, which took three whole days to decide who would drive first to the finish line. In the end, it was Lee Petty who became the first winner of the Daytona 500. Since 1982, the annual race has been the official start of new NASCAR seasons.


Why the Daytona 500?

Competitors have 500 miles of distance to cover, which means 200 laps, one of which is 2.5 miles. The race takes an average of 3.5 hours. Including pit stops or possible weather conditions.

Tactics and driving style 

The Daytona track is characterized by high specificity, which puts a premium on driving tactics. The entire lap is driven with gas to the floor, so braking skills or getting out of corners as quickly as possible are not particularly important here.

NASCAR cars put up a lot of aerodynamic drag, which has a significant impact on performance at 300 km/h. A low-pressure area is formed behind the vehicle, which tries to suck the car in by slowing it down. In order for the vehicle to go faster, something must fill this area. Usually, this is the car behind, so that the vehicle is able to go faster. At the same time, the driver in the rear also benefits, because his car drives in a lower pressure area and creates less aerodynamic resistance. This is what explains why it is more profitable for riders to drive in a group than alone – which results in significant losses with each lap.

Drivers thus ride in two or three rows for 500 miles, trying to get themselves in the best possible position at the end of the race. Some stick to their group, others try to change it or form a completely new one. This is why tactics are of paramount importance here.

Consequences of one mistake

Riding in such a large crowd, there is no room for the slightest mistake. And this happens even to the best. One of the characteristic elements of the Daytona 500 is large-scale car crashes, sometimes involving up to a dozen cars. You can see an example of a car crash in the video below in the excerpt from 8:36.

The following footage also shows these smaller crashes (2:39) and larger (5:37) crashes of riders.


NASCAR vehicles are built to a very strict set of regulations, where manufacturers only affect details to make them more like factory models.

Among other things, the transmission has only 4 gears (plus reverse) transmitting 800 horsepower to the rear wheels. NASCAR cars reach speeds in excess of 300 km/h. At the same time, the fuel is gasoline with 15% ethanol.


Who can participate in the race?

NASCAR racing has unique characteristics. Both the behavior of the cars, the tires and the Daytona track is something not experienced by drivers competing in other racing series. To be successful in NASCAR, in addition to sheer talent, experience is important. In order to be allowed to compete at Daytona, one must first prove his skills at other NASCAR races. Therefore, only full-time NASCAR drivers stand at the start of the Daytona 500.

This form of entertainment is for the true athletes, where the process of getting into the ranks of competitors is time-consuming and laborious.

However, if you want to experience adrenaline-fueled entertainment, or explore the Florida coastline in a unique way – come to Coast to Coast, which offers Slingshots and more.

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