Few venues can boast such a vast history and schedule as Daytona International Speedway. With three different layouts, the self-proclaimed World Center of Racing has kept fan experience at its heart since its conception in the late 1950s.
Daytona has called itself the “World Center of Racing” for many years. It’s not hard to see why: the circuit’s speedway has been a permanent fixture on the NASCAR schedule, the road course and motorcycle layout host regular events and Lake Lloyd, situated in the infield section of the track, has hosted powerboat racing.
The Daytona International Speedway was built in 1959 by NASCAR founder William France, Sr. as a replacement for the Daytona Beach Road Course. The new banked course allowed for higher speeds and better views for fans. The height of the banking led to a much higher budget than expected, but the circuit opened in February 1959, just ahead of the inaugural Daytona 500.
The track has undergone numerous renovations over the years, including a major development in 1998 which saw lights added around the perimeter, making it the third-largest single lit outdoor sports facility in the world. The new lighting allowed it to host NASCAR’s ever-popular Coke Zero 400 race, which takes place each July close to Independence Day. More recently, in 2016, the circuit underwent a $400 million facelift to improve the fan experience.
Among the most high profile events which take place at the circuit are the Daytona 500, which has been held annually in February in every year since the circuit opened, the Daytona 200 motorcycle race, which first took place at the track in 1961, and the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona, which has been held early in the year since 1962.
Upcoming Events at Daytona International Speedway in 2020-2021
- August 28, 2020: Coca-Cola 250 (Nascar Xfinity)
- August 29, 2020: Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Nascar)
- January 30-31,2021: Rolex 24 (Sportscars)
- February 14, 2021: Daytona 500 (Nascar)
Daytona International Speedway is located next to the popular holiday town of Daytona Beach on the Florida coast
Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) is located right next to the speedway, but only has a limited number of connections, many of them seasonal. The much larger Orlando International Airport (MCO) is 70 miles from Daytona. One of the largest airports in the USA, Orlando offers a large range of domestic and international flight connections. Groome Transportation operates a daily shuttle service from Orlando Airport to Daytona.
Daytona International Speedway is located close to Highway 95, which runs along the eastern coastline of Florida. The speedway offers seven paid parking lots (including one infield lot) and one free lot – free shuttles are available from the free lot to the speedway during major race weekends. Click here for more information. Sample driving times to Daytona Beach from regional cities:
- Orlando (50 miles): 50 minutes
- Jacksonville (90 miles): 1 hour 20 minutes
- Tampa (135 miles): 2 hours
- Miami (260 miles): 3 hours 40 minutes
- Atlanta (435 miles): 6 hours 10 minutes
Daytona Beach is a popular resort town with a large supply of holiday accommodation, though demand and prices are obviously much higher for major race weekends.
Several well-rated chain hotels are located within a short walk of the speedway, including The Daytona Autograph Collection, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Courtyard by Marriott Daytona Beach and Hilton Garden Inn Daytona Beach Airport.
Alternatively, there’s a huge selection of prime beachfront hotels and resorts at Daytona Beach, many of which have excellent views of the Atlantic Ocean. Recommended resorts include the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort, The Shores Resort & Spa and the Hilton Garden Inn Daytona Beach Oceanfront.
Travelling with an RV? Several well-rated RV Parks are located close to the speedway:
Trackside camping is also offered for major motorsport events at Daytona International Speedway. Lots are offered for tents, motorhomes and RVs, including premium infield lots. Learn more about camping at the upcoming Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Take a tour of Daytona International Speedway with free entry to the Motorsports Hall of Fame America
Three different types of guided tours are available at Daytona International Speedway:
- Speedway Tour (30 mins): driving tour on the track, photo ops on the podium and with the Daytona 500 winning car. Adults $19 / Children (5-12) $13
- All-Access Tour (90 mins): driving tour on the track, photo ops, visit to the media room and grandstands. Adults $26 / Children (5-12) $20
- VIP Tour (90 mins): Personalized tour with small group size, $55 per person.
Located in the Ticket & Tours Building at the speedway, the Motorsports Hall of Fame America displays the vehicles and personal artifacts from hall of fame inductees representing all forms of motorsport in the USA, including Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal, Carroll Shelby and the Unser family. All tours above include free access to the Motorsports Hall of Fame America display.
The Nascar Racing Experience at Daytona offers passenger rides and driving experiences on the legendary oval.
- Passenger Experiences: get strapped in as a professional driver takes you on a lap of the circuit. Adult prices from $135 + tax.
- Driving Experiences: get behind the wheel of a Nascar, priced from $299.99 for 5 minutes of track time.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience also operates at Daytona on various dates through the year.
More maps are available on the Daytona International Speedway website.