Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fast Facts: Daytona International Speedway




· Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, built by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. 42,000 spectators witnessed the first Daytona 500, held on February 22nd, 1959.
· In addition to the 2.5-mile tri-oval where NASCAR and ARCA races take place, there is a 3.56-mile road course (used for the 24 Hours of Daytona), a 2.95-mile motorcycle road course, and a 0.25-mile karting and motorcycle flat track. Lake Norman, found on the infield, has also hosted powerboat races in the past.
· The Sprint FanZone, opened in 2004, features many ways for fans to get close to the action in the pits. The FanDeck, on top of the garages, allows fans to view track and garage activities, and they can also watch NASCAR tech inspections. The garages include windows and slots for autographs, and the area also features entertainment, food and beverages, and other interactive displays and activities.
· The NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying record was set by Bill Elliott in his #9 Ford in 1987 (210.364 mph). Elliott returns to Daytona in 2011 and will attempt to make his 29th Daytona 500 start in the #09 Chevrolet of Phoenix Racing.
· The 1979 Daytona 500 was the first live telecast of the race, and what a race it was: the last lap featured the famous fight between Cale Yarborough and Donnie and Bobby Allison.
· The late Dale Earnhardt raced for the Daytona 500 trophy 19 times before finally winning on his 20th attempt in 1998. That wasn’t his first victory at the track however – he had won numerous Gatorade Duals, Bud Shootouts, IROC races, and Coke 400s during his impressive career.
· Find out more about Daytona International Speedway at its website, http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/.






Graphic: NASCARmedia.com

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