Daytona Speedway is one of the most historic motorsport venues in the United States. The most recognizable feature of the track is its tri-oval design, which makes it quite different from the other American racetracks (which are mostly dirt). With a capacity of over 200,000 spectators, it is also one of the largest venues of its kind in the world. In 2017, it was rated the 4th most visited paid tourist attraction in the country. Since its opening in 1927, the track has seen many famous names compete on its circuit, including Louis Armstrong, Amelia Earhart, Dale Earnhardt, and more recently, A-list celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Johnny Manziel.
The capacity of any sports venue changes over time, so it’s always a good idea to verify the exact number of seating spaces available before making your plans. Here, we will discuss how many seats are in Daytona Speedway and where you can find them. We will also take a look at the layout of the various seating areas so you can get an idea of what kind of experience you can expect. Lastly, we will run down the history of the track and its biggest events, so you can get an idea of what made it famous in the first place.
What Is The Capacity Of Daytona Speedway?
Located in southeastern Florida, Daytona Speedway is frequently hailed as the mother of all American racetracks. The main oval features three distinctively-shaped turns, the first of which is the esses, the second is the tri-oval, and the third is the flat triangle. This unique layout gives the track a whole new dimension beyond the traditional left/right configuration of an oval. The overall design is such that the cars travel on an up-and-down motion, like waves on the water. This helps the drivers get an idea of where the center of the track is located and how fast they are traveling throughout the entire duration of the race.
In the summer of 1927, the track opened for business with much fanfare. It was initially built with a capacity of 100,000 for horse racing and car racing, and has since retained its status as one of the premier motorsport venues in the United States. In 2010, it was renamed the Daytona International Speedway in honor of its original founder. Since the inception of the racing organization in Florida, over 2.7 million racing fans have visited the speedway to watch some of the most legendary races in American history.
With its unique design, large spectator turnout, and glamorous nightlife, Daytona has long been a destination of choice for celebrities and their friends. In fact, the circuit is so famous that it was the inspiration for the setting of the film Grand Prix.
How Many Seats Are There In Daytona Speedway?
As we mentioned above, the stadium has always been a popular spot for spectators, and over the years, it has gained notoriety for having the largest capacity of any sports venue in the country. While the exact number of seats at Daytona remains a mystery, it is estimated to sit anywhere from 190,000 to 215,000 depending on the configuration. In 2012, the track announced a new seating section, known as the New England Grandstand, which was built directly behind the start/finish line and holds around 7,000 people. In 2015, they opened a new area of seating in the South Stand, which has over 15,000 seats and offers a different view of the track than the rest of the stadium. Today, you can choose from either of these grandstands to get a different perspective on the action at hand.
Where Can I Sit In Daytona?
If you are a fan of auto racing and want to catch a glimpse of a big race with the seats right in front of the action, then head to the grandstands. These are the three main areas of the stadium – North, West, and South – and they are the ones closest to the action. The best spots in these areas are behind the first, third, and fourth row of seats, respectively. You will also find some excellent spots in the terrace area, which is directly behind the South Stand. This is the historic place where some of the greatest races in American history were watched by spectators, so it is no wonder why it is still so popular today.
Along the back straightaway, you will also find the paddock area. This is where cars and trucks are getting prepped for the big race. If you go this way, you will be in the center of the action and can feel the rush of air as the cars speed by on their way to the starting line. The downside is that this is the area closest to the road and therefore, the most exposed to the elements.
What Events Are Happening At Daytona Now?
Now that you know how many seats are in the stadium, it’s time to figure out what is going on at the moment. As a general rule, during the offseason (spring and fall), there are very few races due to the cool weather and temperature fluctuations that make it uncomfortable for spectators. The biggest events that take place during this time are the Classic, the Rolex 24, and the Festival, all of which are associated with the Daytona International Speedway. The Classic is an exhibition of vintage cars and bikes that features cars from the 1920s to the 1950s, while the Rolex 24 is the largest annual endurance race in the world. The Festival is a week-long celebration of motorsport that takes place in the middle of February and features many different types of events from motorcycle races and car shows to trade events and concerts. You can find out more about the Classic, Rolex 24, and Festival by visiting their websites listed below.
History Of Daytona International Speedway
While much has changed at the Daytona over the years, one thing that has remained consistent are its annual events. One of the most iconic moments in the history of the stadium came on July 4, 1960, when four men on an ATV crashed through the fencing and caused a riot. This incident earned them a yearlong ban from the speedway, and the riots that followed were some of the biggest in Florida history. In the aftermath of the tragic accident, the track was re-fenced and the incident was the inspiration for the 1971 comedy film Silent Night, Deadly Night. The banned men returned in 1974 with a vendetta against auto racing, and their attempt to bring down the capacity of the speedway led to its biggest change ever. In 1977, they erected a large white grandstand directly behind the start/finish line. This was to prevent other drivers from speeding, as the men in question still sought to bring down the track’s capacity by a few thousand seats. While this led to some inconvenience for fans, it also introduced a whole new era of NASCAR that is still flourishing today.
Top Events At Daytona
Since the early 1980s, NASCAR has taken over the sporting world and has firmly established itself as the premier motorsport series. The most recognizable name in NASCAR is Dale Earnhardt, who is arguably the greatest race driver of all time. The nine-time champion passed away in 2001 at the age of fifty-two, and today, it’s considered a sad day when a race at the speedway does not include a reference to the great man.
While Dale Earnhardt’s name still reigns at the track, it is not quite the same. Since 2003, the speedway has had a 250-foot commemorative statue of the late driver at the entrance to the grandstands. On the last lap of every race, they fly the American flag from the top of the tower in honor of their fallen hero. In 2017, they unveiled a new sign inside the tower, displaying the names of all the racing greats who have competed at the track over the years. Today, you can find many top-tier drivers training for big races like the Monster Mile and deciding which of them will be crowned champion on the last lap of the year.
Knowing how to sit at a sports venue and which events are on this year is essential for anyone who enjoys motorsport and wants to follow it from afar. Not only does this article teach you where to sit, but it also gives you an idea of what events are going on at the moment and which ones you should look forward to. Along with the Classic, the Rolex 24, and the Festival, you can make your plans to attend the Monster Mile in early February, which is the biggest race of the season. If you want to get a good view of the track from a unique perspective, you can always make your way to the New England grandstands located directly behind the start/finish line. We hope this article has helped you in your quest to become a better fan of motorsport and perhaps find a new favorite track.