5 speedy facts about the Daytona 500 that you might not know

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47) and Chase Elliott (9) lead the field to start the first of two NASCAR Daytona 500 qualifying auto races at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Terry Renna) (Terry Renna, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DAYTONA, Fla. – If you weren’t aware, drivers will be starting their engines for the Daytona 500. Despite the track hosting thousands of races and welcoming millions of guests throughout its 61-year history, there’s still plenty of things that most people don’t know about the World Center of Racing.

The race will be the 62nd annual race held at the Florida speedway, and fans are gearing up for a great race.

We’ve got six facts that’ll get you warmed up.

1. The Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5-mile tri-oval with a 3,800-foot front stretch and a 3,000-foot backstretch.

2. The 500-mile race requires 200 laps to complete.

Stage 1 ends at Lap 65, Stage 2 ends at Lap 130 and the Final Stage is slated to end at Lap 200.

3. If you’re confused, let us explain. A stage consists of normal green flag racing followed by a stoppage on a designated lap. This can be signified by the waving of a green and white checkered flag, then a yellow flag.

4. NASCAR will dole out a record $23.6 million to the 40 drivers racing in the Daytona 500.

5. Richard Petty holds the record for the most Daytona 500 victories at seven.

6. The Daytona International Speedway can fit 101,500 people inside its walls.

Grand Marshals

On Sunday, President Donald Trump flew down to be the grand marshal at the race. This means that he gets to say...

Other grand marshals who have spent time at the track include:

  • 2019: J.J. Watt
  • 2018: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • 2017: Owen Wilson
  • 2016: Gerard Butler
  • 2015: Vince Vaughn
  • 2014: Chris Evans
  • 2013: James Franco
  • 2012: Kate Upton, Jane Lynch
  • 2011: Michael Bay, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
  • 2010: Junior Johnson
  • 2009: Charlie Crist
  • 2007: Nicolas Cage

After the race

Do you know what happens to the winning car after the race? It’s taken to the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, located on the grounds of the International Speedway.

After the race, the winning car will be moved inside the hall of fame for fans to get a chance to get up close to a piece of history.