NASCAR: Insiders’ guide to the Daytona 500 – 7 things you need to know

Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Daytona 500, NASCAR
Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Daytona 500 guide: No. 4 – Scanners

A scanner is pretty much a necessity to really enjoy the race. If you plan on attending multiple races throughout the year, it’s a good investment to purchase your own scanner and headphones.

I would suggest Racing Electronics, because it is very user-friendly. You simply take it to the track, turn it on, and it updates automatically with each driver’s name, number and frequencies. You simply cycle through the list to listen to your driver, or you can also tune in to the Motor Racing Network (MRN) radio broadcast.

There are also scanner rentals at the track, but remember, there are tons of people there, and there will be a line to rent a scanner. Rentals are either by the day or weekend. Remember, there may also be a line to return the scanner after the race.

If you are going with multiple people, you may want to rent headsets with microphones so you can talk to each other during the race — or not, if you’re more of a strong, silent type of race fan.

If you simply plan on listening to the MRN broadcast, you can do so with your phone or radio with earbuds, but make sure you also have a pair of hearing protectors, because you will not hear through your earbuds alone, and regular over-the-ear headphones will not keep out the roar of the engines, either. It is very loud!

Fun fact: The MRN announcers are literally sitting inside the Sunoco signs placed at the four turns of the speedway. I have actually seen them climb into their “offices”.