Daytona Speedweeks and the Great American Race

Henry and I have only been following NASCAR for two years. Ever since the first time we watched the Daytona 500 on TV in 2016 I knew I wanted to go. So this year we went. And it was even more fun than I thought it would be.

NASCAR stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. The biggest race of the year is at the beginning of the NASCAR season. Every February, the Daytona Speedweeks is held at the Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 – the Great American Race- ends a fun filled week of entertainment on the midway and qualifying races for the Daytona 500 as well as two other NASCAR races.

We arrived in Daytona on Thursday afternoon. During the next few days we went to three races, drove along A1A on the way to lunch at Racing’s North Turn restaurant in Ponce Inlet, had lunch at Caribbean Jack’s on the Intercoastal waterway, watched the Thunderbirds practice, and didn’t have time to catch our breath until Monday morning.

Our first NASCAR race was the Can-Am Duel on Thursday night. Here’s a short video to give you an idea of how fast these cars are going and how loud they are.

Our second race was Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night. We arrived at the track early so we could wander around the midway to see some of the exhibits and do a little shopping. We entered the grandstands with plenty of time to walk around for different views of the track.

The trucks were fast and loud and the race was exciting. A great way to spend a Friday night!

Panoramic view of Daytona Speedway from near start-finish line
Daytona Speedway
Trucks lined up before the race

After two night races in a row, we decided to take it easy and skip the Saturday Xfinity series race. Instead, we watched the United States Air Force Thunderbirds practice in the morning before enjoying lunch at Caribbean Jack’s on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Sunday was the day of the 60th Daytona 500 and a long day at the track for us. We had tickets for the Fanzone so we arrived in the morning to have plenty of time to go out in the middle of the track and get up close to the pit area, see the cars, and enjoy some of  the pre-race festivities.

A look at the stands from track level
Cars lined up before the race

We had a great view of the whole track from our seats in the upper section. After a concert by Rascal Flatts and the driver introductions, each driver rode around the track in a pickup truck.

The stages are set for the pre-race entertainment and driver introductions
The cars lined up before the race

After the national anthem, the USAF Thunderbirds performed a flyover.

U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds flyover before the race

Drivers, start your engines!

Start/Finish line at Daytona 500
Daytona 500
Pit stop for Kyle Bush #18 and Joey Lagano #22
RV’s filled the infield

The race was exciting with the lead changing several times. A huge wreck near the end of the race knocked out all of the leaders and #3 Austin Dillon was the winner.

Watching a race on tv is fun, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. I was fascinated seeing all the things that go on before the race, at how well organized and perfectly timed everything was. The sight and sound of the cars going by at almost 200 miles per hour is mind boggling. Most fans have a favorite driver and it was fun seeing them all decked out in their favorite driver’s gear.

In case you are wondering, our favorite driver is #78 Martin Truex, Jr. He was in second place until the last wreck but he did finish the race.

I’ve already made reservations at the RV park for next year!

11 thoughts on “Daytona Speedweeks and the Great American Race

    1. Judy, I took the videos and panoramic photo with my phone but most of the others were with my camera. We were high above the track and I was glad they let me bring it in so I could zoom in for some close ups. There enough going on before the race to entertain everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid, we stayed at a full hookup park about a mile from the track. It’s about the only choice if you want hookups so I reserved for next year before we left. The only other options are dry camping in the Speedway or dry camping in one of the pastures that are converted into campgrounds during big events. We met some interesting people including some that have been going to the race for over 30 years!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh what a awesome adventure! Fun! Fun! Fun!

    The videos were fabulous so we could feel and hear the race! Great idea! Loved it.

    I enjoyed the panoramic shot!

    We have two racetracks here in the Phoenix area. And we may have to go to a race.

    And don’t get me started on an Air Show! We go whenever we can see the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels!

    Fun post! I felt your enthusiasm!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by. We’ve been to SEC football games, college bowl games, and major league baseball games but nothing compares to the Daytona 500. Even if you are not a race fan there is too much going on to be bored. And everyone was having a good time.


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