Located in the heart of Volusia County, Florida, the Volusia County Speedway is a motorsport venue that hosts one of the biggest car races in the state, the Daytona 500. The track was originally built in 1925 and has been host to some of the biggest names in racing. After several renovations, it now covers 5.917 miles and features 49 turns. The cars that are used there are pretty incredible as well; as you might expect, a lot of the racing cars were built in the ‘20s and ‘30s.
The History Of The Speedway
As was the case with most tracks back then, the roots of the Volusia County Speedway go deep into the roaring ‘20s. It all started with the great Florida land boom of the early 20th century and the subsequent growth of automobile culture. The Daytona area was one of the first to embrace the roadster as a mode of recreational transport and even held an annual automobile race called the Florida Sweepstakes. The race used to be a significant part of the area’s social calendar, attracting people from across the country. The Daytona Beach Race Course opened in 1926 and was a major success, hosting the first-ever Daytona 500 in February of that year. The track was renamed the Volusia County Speedway in 1968 in honor of the course’s first African-American driver, Wilbur D. “Red” Nugent.
What Makes It Big?
Simply put, the Volusia County Speedway is a huge track. That’s pretty much it. It measures 69 feet (21 meters) wide and stretches for 5.917 miles (9.7 kilometers) around the short oval. The entire thing feels incredibly spacious, as you would expect from a track that was built in the ‘20s, which had plenty of room for cars and spectators. What makes the speedway even bigger is that it hosts one of the biggest car races in the state, the Daytona 500. This is the biggest attraction of the track, with well over 200,000 people coming every year to see the big car races (including some very memorable moments, such as Jimmy Johnson and David Pearson racing against each other at the same time).
More Than Just A Race Track
In addition to the big car races, the track is also home to the famous Daytona International Auto Show, which is one of the biggest in the world. There are also several museums there, dedicated to different racing eras and vehicle makers. The track also features a banquet hall, shops, and hospitality suites. Plus, it’s in the middle of a major metropolitan area, so there’s plenty to do for people who aren’t in the mood for racing.
For fans of the big American sedans from the ‘20s and ‘30s who want to relive those glorious years, the Volusia County Speedway is definitely one of the best places to visit in the area. Seeing all those vintage cars zooming around the track is something that will remind you of why you fell in love with cars in the first place.