Written by April Martin
One of the wonderful things about living in Orlando, is our close proximity to some amazing places. While I would typically highlight places within the city limits I think the NASCAR races in Daytona are something every Orlandoan should do! This 4th of July actually marks the 13 year anniversary of my very first race. (Gosh! Seeing that number is a little scary!)
The first year I went to the races, I was not a fan of racing. I actually knew nothing about racing or the culture that surrounds it. However, I was instantly wrapped up in the excitement, the sites and sounds of all things NASCAR. The feel of the cars whizzing by you, literally, moving you a few feet from your seat as their speeds reach an excess of 200 mph. Pulling rubber out of your hair that is blown off the specialty wheels. The entire experience is something truly unique.
On February 22, 1959 the Daytona Intl Speedway held it’s first Daytona 500. However, racing in Daytona actually dates back to 1927 on Daytona Beach when Major Henry Segrave and his Sunbeam 1000 horsepower Mystery set a world land speed record.
NASCAR racing, which is steeped in tradition, fan allegiance and the occasional “big one” wrecks, bring tens of thousands of spectators to the area twice a year. Typically the Coke Zero 400 would be held on Saturday night, under the stars and concluded with a spectacular fireworks show after the race. However, the race was shifted by one day this year to avoid NBC affiliates broadcasting their local city’s fireworks. But don’t you worry, it will return to it’s normal schedule in 2016.
Daytona is only an hour from Orlando, making it very accessible to you. Take a day trip and enjoy all the track, the fans and the race have to offer. I promise you won’t be disappointed!