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. 7 Track grounds

I highly recommend making time to check out the track and surrounding areas before the race. Across from the speedway, in what used to be a giant concrete lot for the buses to drop people off, they built a large upscale dining and entertainment complex named Shoppes at ONE DAYTONA. It would be a great place to hang out before or after the race.

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At the track itself, there is a cool Dale Earnhardt statue that is pretty much a mandatory photo op. There is also a NASCAR version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with handprints from past race winners.

The museum is a must-see as well. It is full of Daytona 500 history and has the previous winner’s car on display. It may not be open on race weekend, however; I would refer you to the track website for specifics.

New features introduced as part of the major 2016 renovation are the four “injectors” that take fans via escalator from the street level to the main concourses adjacent to seating areas. The Chevrolet and Toyota ones are worth checking out; their concourses are set up like a showroom of the year’s new models.

Race time!

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Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for: it’s race day! You’ve obviously arrived, have somewhere to stay, and found parking, so now is the time to kick back and enjoy the event you spent so much time and money planning to attend. Enjoy the race, and may the best driver win!