# How Long Is The Daytona 500 Speedway? [Expert Guide!]

The Daytona 500 is one of America’s most iconic sporting events. Held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida, the NASCAR Grand Slam will be contested for over 180 laps around the challenging Daytona International Speedway. But just how long is the Daytona 500?

The answer is highly dependant on the track’s configuration, what season it is, and whether you’re talking about the actual track length or the quarter of a mile that makes up the actual race. Let’s take a look.

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## Is It Three Miles Or More?

As the name would suggest, the Daytona 500 is held in Daytona Beach, Florida, which is actually located on the other side of the state. The track itself is a bit of an enigma and can be either three or four miles in length, though it’s more likely to be four miles. Regardless, it’s quite a ways from Selmonterrey to Daytona Beach, and quite a few obstacles (and mile markers) in between. So, to give you an idea of how long it is, you could do the following calculation:

Distance from Selmonterrey to Daytona Beach = 495 miles

Time to reach Daytona Beach = 3 hours

Distance from Daytona Beach to the finish line = 7.5 miles

Assuming you reach the finish line without incident, you will have driven a total of 500 miles. This is in addition to the 270 miles you covered to get to Selmonterrey. So, in essence, you’ve driven a total of 800 miles in four hours, which is an average of over 200 miles per hour. Not bad for a day’s drive!

## How Many Degrees Off Is The Start/Finish Line?

The grandstand and the infield of the Daytona International Speedway are adjacent to one another, creating a small town-like atmosphere for both. This proximity causes the start/finish line of the NASCAR event to be offset from the main road (US 1) that runs through downtown Daytona Beach. This road becomes Main Street in the center of town, separating the races and the town itself.

So, while the track is located in the center of Florida, it’s actually set back from the coast. This inland location gives the Daytona 500 some unique challenges. For example, if you were to follow the coastline, you would reach the famous Atlantic Ocean in less than an hour. However, the most challenging aspect of the Daytona 500 is that it is quite a ways from one end of the track to the other. This makes it quite difficult to follow the entire race from one location. A good strategy would be to drive in the same direction as the majority of the cars and catch the occasional glimpse of the action. This will give you a good sense of what is going on out there.

## What Is The Track Configuration?

Let’s take a quick look at the track’s configuration now that we know how long it takes to get to and from the event. The turns and the straights of the Daytona International Speedway are quite different from those you would find on an outdoor track. The turns are tighter and a lot faster, while the straights are longer and a little less demanding. This is mainly due to the surrounding terrain, which is quite flat and open compared to the natural terrain of an outdoor track. The combination of these factors makes the Daytona International Speedway quite a bit different from an outdoor track and quite a bit more challenging to negotiate.

## What Is The Weather Like?

The weather in Florida is quite peculiar and can vary significantly from week to week and even from day to day. The temperature will be quite high (in the 70s Fahrenheit) during the day, and somewhat low (in the 50s Fahrenheit) at night. As you might imagine, the humidity is through the roof and can make the air feel like it is literally boiling. And, as if it wasn’t challenging enough to negotiate a complex track, the frequent and intense lightning storms added an extra layer of challenge. This is why you never drive at night on the Daytona International Speedway. The thunderstorms will make you feel a bit nervous, if not a little anxious. But fear not, the track has excellent emergency lighting and signage to make it easy for you to follow the action even in the dark.

## Is It One Of The Most Popular Events In The Country?

The Daytona 500 is one of the most popular sporting events in the country, if not the world. The sport is actually named after Daytona Beach, Florida, the location of the annual event. The 2018 edition of the Daytona 500 is expected to be the best-attended in history, with over 100 million people set to witness the greatest race in American sports. It has held the record for the most-viewed television event in history (300 million), and it is one of the most-watched sports events in the United States, period. These are staggering statistics, and it is clear that this American classic is enjoyed by many, many more across the country. The 2018 edition of the Daytona 500 is expected to break all sorts of records, and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it one of the most-populated sporting events in the country, it is also one of the most-watched, most-attended, and most-loved sporting events in the entire world.

## What Is The Drinking Culture Like?

Drinking is certainly a part of the culture at the Daytona International Speedway, and it is an integral part of the fan experience. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the drinking game is quite possibly the most-popular spectator sport. Many bars and restaurants in the area are quite busy during the week of the Daytona 500, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. Though the drinking age is twenty-one, it is not uncommon for underage fans to be let into the bars and restaurants surrounding the track. This is certainly a result of the high-spirited nature of the event, but it is also due to the relaxed drinking laws in Florida. You’ll often see beer cans all over the place during the event, and you’ll see plenty of people drinking alcohol of all kinds. This is also reflected in the menu at the local eateries, which is full of American classics like fried chicken, hot dogs, and other such fare. There is certainly no shortage of food options, so you’ll never be short of an energy boost, either.

## Do You Have To Stay In The Same Hotel?

Unless you have a death wish or are looking for a truly unique experience, you’ll probably want to stay at a hotel near the Daytona International Speedway. This way, you can make the most of the event and get a taste of what is happening in Florida without leaving your home. The hotels in the area are quite full during the event, which is usually a good thing. The rooms will be quite expensive, but it’s worth it to avoid missing a minute of the action. Though there are several options for non-hotel accommodations within a few miles of the track, you’ll want to avoid these places if you want to immerse yourself in the experience. As for the amenities, the typical hotel in the area will have a pool, a spa, and a restaurant or several restaurants. These are the things you might look forward to after a long day of watching cars go by. Of course, you might want to bring a book to read, or maybe even a deck of cards to play. It will be dark outside the room, so you might also want to bring a lamp or some other type of lighting. Remember, though, the more you know, the more you can do, the more you understand, the more you’ll appreciate, and the more you’ll enjoy. Bringing a sense of adventure and new experiences are often the best way to fully enjoy life. Sometimes it takes a little bit of bravery to do this, but it’s worth it in the end. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and make the most out of life, because at the end of the day, we all die.