Truck meet expected to draw thousands to Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Mayor has some concerns having the event during one of the busiest weekends of the year

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The trucks roared into town on Friday for Daytona’s Truck Meet to start the weekend.

Truckers are either spending time using the track at the Daytona International Speedway or showing off their rides around town and at the beach, where some families have already started their holiday weekend.

Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry said he has some concerns having the event during one of the busiest weekends of the year.

“It is their behavior and how they interact with residents, businesses, and our beach,” Mayor Henry said.

Henry said it’s good hotels are full but believes it’s not necessarily the truckers who are spending the money. He believes the organizer should have planned for another time, especially during a pandemic.

“We are building ourselves and branding ourselves as a family-safe environment and when you got loud trucks driving through your city that may or may not be on their best behavior, it’s not necessarily projected in the message and image that we want,” he said.

But, Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri disagrees.

“This is a private event, the city has no control over stopping it, so they’re going to come anyway, regardless,” Chief Capri said.

Chief Capri said it’s been a manageable event over the last couple of years. The police department releasing the number of citations given out during the event. There were 2,151 total citations in 2018 and 1,855 citations in 2019.

Chief Capri said the organizer projects 5,000 trucks, and 35,000 spectators that he said will help boost the local economy and his department is ready should anyone get out of control.

“We have more than enough staffing, adequate staffing out there. We have neighborhood intrusion units to protect the neighborhoods from people may be coming through there,” said Chief Capri. “If you do something illegal, you’re going to go to jail. But, if you come here and respect the law and respect the city, you’re not going to have a problem. So, I’m not worried about it.”

News 6 tried contacting the event’s organizer several times for comment but have not heard back.

About the Author:

Loren Korn is a native Texan who joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2014. She was born and raised in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Journalism.