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CATEGORIES (articles) > American Motorsport > Race Circuits > Daytona International Speedway Race Circuit

Daytona International Speedway Race Circuit

Daytona International Speedway
The World Center of Racing
Facility statistics
Location 1801 West International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
Broke ground 1956
Opened 1959
Owner International Speedway Corporation
Operator International Speedway Corporation
Construction cost $3 million USD
Architect Bill France
Former names
Major events
NASCAR Nextel Cup
Daytona 500, Pepsi 400, Bud Shootout, Gatorade Duel

2006 NASCAR Busch Series
Hershey's Kissables 300, Winn-Dixie 250

2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
GM Flex Fuel 250

Seating capacity
240,000 (NASCAR)
Current dimensions
Track shape Tri-oval
Track length 2.5 miles
Track banking Turns - 31 degrees
Tri-Oval - 18 degrees
Straights - 2 degrees

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. It hosts races of motor vehicles of various kinds, including go-karts, dirt bikes, motorcycles, sports cars, modified pickup trucks, and stock cars. The facility also includes a 3.56 mile (5.7 km) road course and a 180-acre infield, including the 29 acre Lake Lloyd.

Course history

NASCAR was founded by William France Sr. at Daytona Beach, Florida in 1947. The original premiere event in the series was held at the Daytona Beach Road Course. France began planning a new track for the premiere event in his fledgling series in 1953. On August 16 1954 he signed a contract with city officials to create this new track that would become famous as the Daytona International Speedway. Ground was broken on November 25 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track, and the large hole in the infield was filled with water and is now known as Lake Lloyd. The speedway opened on February 22 1959 to a crowd of 41,000 people.

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.

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 racing season begins at Daytona starting with the testing sessions. The year's racing begins with the 24 Hours of Daytona race in the Grand American Sports Car series. Then the racing begins for the Nextel Cup with the Budweiser Shootout and the Gatorade Duel. The Craftsman Truck Series begins with the GM Flex Fuel 250. The Busch Series begins with the Hershey's Kissables 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.

Lights were installed in 1998 so that the Pepsi 400 could be held at night. However, the race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires that summer. The Pepsi 400 has been held under lights ever since.

It also contains an attraction called Daytona USA. The winning car from the Daytona 500 is placed in front of the attraction building each year.

See also: List of NASCAR race tracks

Deaths at the speedway

In the history of the Daytona International Speedway (as of 2005), many people have been killed at the speedway. Marshall Teague became track's first fatality, in a practice crash in 1959. Slick Johnson died from injuries in an ARCA race in 1990. 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 — died on the final lap in 2001.Ray Paprota struck and killed track worker Roy Weaver in 2004 during the IPOWER Dash Series 150.

Current races

Aerial view of Daytona International Speedway (undated), courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection

  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Budweiser Shootout
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Gatorade Duel
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Daytona 500
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup - Pepsi 400
  • NASCAR Busch Series - Hershey's Kissables 300
  • NASCAR Busch Series - Winn-Dixie 250 presented by PepsiCo
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - GM Flex Fuel 250
  • IROC Round One (2.5 mile oval) & Round Three (New in 2006, to be run on the infield road course)
  • ARCA RE/MAX Series - Daytona ARCA 200
  • Daytona 200 Superbike racing (motorcycles)
  • Daytona Supercross (motocross racing) (motorcycles)
  • Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona
  • Grand-American Sports Car Series - Paul Revere 250 by Brumos

Main Entrance at night


  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Qualifying: Bill Elliott, 42.783 sec. (210.364 mph), 1987 (before restrictor plates)
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Race (500 miles): Buddy Baker, 2 hrs. 48 min. 55 sec. (177.602 mph), February 17, 1980 (before restrictor plates)
  • NASCAR Nextel Cup Race (400 miles): Bobby Allison, 2 hrs. 18 min. 21 sec. (173.473 mph), July 4, 1980 (before restrictor plates)
  • NASCAR Busch Series Qualifying: Tommy Houston, 46.299 sec. (194.389 mph), 1987 (before restrictor plates)
  • NASCAR Busch Series Race (300 miles): Geoffrey Bodine, 1 hr. 54 min. 33 sec. (157.137 mph), February 16, 1985 (before restrictor plate)
  • NASCAR Busch Series Race (250 miles): Dale Earnhardt, Jr., 1 hr. 37 min. 35 sec. (153.715 mph), July 4, 2003
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying: Joe Ruttman, 47.984 sec. (187.63 mph) 2000
  • NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race (250 miles): Mark Martin, 146.622 mph, February 17, 2006
  • Most wins at Daytona: Dale Earnhardt (34: six Winston Cup Budweiser Shootouts, twelve Twin 125s, seven Busch Series Goody's/NAPA 300s, one Daytona 500, six IROC races and two Pepsi 400s) ([1] daytona_wins.sml)

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