The 51st Daytona 500 will be Feb. 15, 2009 at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida. Why book early? Because this race is consistently the most popular race in the NASCAR season. We sell more of this race than we do any other and for good reason.
The Daytona International Speedway has something interesting to offer to every level of race fan. I will never forget my first trip to the track. It was 2003 and it was also my first trip to see any NASCAR race - talk about starting at the top. I had sold packages to NASCAR for years but had never been able to find time to go see one for myself. I took off most of the entire week to take in everything Speedweeks had to offer. The weather was incredible. I remember sitting on the beach in the morning watching the sunrise and then heading to the track everyday to watch the races. Then back to the beach at night to hang out at the Ocean Walk.
Every day at the track is an adventure. You have to plan your day... Get there early and first go to the drivers trucks and look for the signs that say when that driver will be signing autographs. It can be a bit overwhelming so bring a pen and paper to keep track of who you want to see and when you can see them.
Daytona Experience museum is cool but really crowded on race day. If you can, skip it and go the day after the race. You will save a lot of time on race day and be able to fully enjoy the exhibits without having to rush.
Do go to the Dale Earnhardt tribute statue. This picture will be the one that you will end up showing your friends first.
Do at least one day of Hospitality. If you can afford to do the hospitality every day, do it. Being able to meet drivers, eat great food, and being able to sit down inside a nice hospitality tent is worth the price. Plus you get unlimited breakfast, lunch, and drinks with most of the Passes we sell.
Do get a pit pass. We offer pit passes included with the hospitality pass price. I was walking down pit road back in 2003 when this pit crew guy comes out of the Michael Waltrip pit stall and hands me a lugnut. I still have it. A great souvenir!
The Daytona 500 packages we sell also include the most important 'Bus Transfers to and from the track'. If you have ever attempted to drive yourself to a NASCAR race you know what I am talking about. Back in 2005 I had the disadvantage of not being able to ride the bus with our group. Long story but I ended up having to park in a lot about 2 miles from the track. It took us about 3 hours to get out of the parking lot because other cars had parked us in. If you are into tailgating after the race you won't mind this delay but if you want to get going right after the checkered flag then a package with a bus transfer is for you.
Do you have a memory of your trip to the Daytona 500 too? Maybe you also have a lugnut souvenir with a story behind it? I would love to read your stories.