NASCAR will once again kick off their regular season at the end of February with the biggest race in stock car racing, the Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 is considered The Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing. Run every year at Daytona Motor Speedway since its inauguration in 1959, the race has become perhaps the most institutionalized in all of racing. From 1971-2011 the race was held in conjunction with President’s Day Weekend, but in the past three years, the race has been held in various weekend’s during February. Last year was the first time the race was held during the last weekend in February, like it will be again this year on the 23rd.
Due in part of its prestige and atmosphere, the Daytona 500 tickets are among the most expensive for all NASCAR tickets for the season. This year’s average secondary market ticket price of $255 dollars is the highest price for the Daytona 500, since the five years TiqIQ has been tracking pricing data for the race. Prices for this year’s event are up from the 2013 average price of $253, but up significantly more than the 2011 and 2010 average prices of $195 and $171.
NASCAR recently altered the qualifying rounds for some Sprint Cup Series races. The new qualifying moves away from single-car, two-lap rounds to knockout-group qualifying used with Formula One and IndyCar to make qualifying more entertaining, but those rules will not be in effect for the Daytona 500. Qualifying might also not be that big of a deal for the Daytona 500 since no driver has won from the pole position since Dale Jarrett in 2000.
Last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Jimmie Johnson, was able to grab the pole position is Sprint Cup points after his win and he eventually won the Sprint Cup Series at the end of the season. Johnson is one of the 10 drivers to win the Daytona 500 more than once. With another win, Johnson would join Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett as drives to have won the race three time. He would still have to win a lot of races to tie Richard Petty, who won the Daytona 500 a record seven times.
It has also been announced that country star Luke Bryan will be performing as a pre-show on the day of the race. Bryan is in the middle of his My Kind of Night Tour and will add a stop in Daytona to his almost 50-date tour. Luke Bryan tickets have been some of the most expensive in all arenas during his 2014 tour, making the events surrounding the race ever bigger.
The Daytona 500 is always one of the most exciting races of the entire NASCAR season regardless of the result. For those lucky enough to attend the race, there is not a better racing experience.