When the 58th annual Daytona 500 starts, NASCAR drivers will be pushing their whips around left turns fast, very fast. Keep reading to learn why they call it the 500, how quickly the cars really go, and more fascinating facts about NASCAR’s Great American Race.
Where is Daytona? Where can you buy yourself a NASCAR racecar? Why do the drivers wear colorful onesies? Can you drive the fast machine on the freeway? HollywoodLife.com can not answer all your questions about the Daytona 500, but we did pick out 5 incredible facts about NASCAR’s most epic race to share. Keep reading to learn more about this adrenaline pumping sports event.
1. The track is deadly.
The surroundings in Daytona Beach, Florida may be tranquil but the track where the race is held is lethal. There have been 36 fatalities since the track opened in 1959. Notably, Dale Earnhardt Sr. crashed and died in the final lap of the 2001 race.
2. There are few winners and many losers.
57 drivers have won the race and thousands have lost. Lee Petty won the first race in 1959, beating Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish. Richard Petty is the master of Daytona with 7 victories, more than any other driver. Joey Logano was the last person to win in 2015. The youngest driver to ever win was Trevor Bayne at 20-years-old while Bobby Allison was the oldest when he won at 50. In 2016, 40 racers will battle it out to reach the checkered flag first.
3. Lucky 17?
Darrell Waltrip won the race on his 17th try. Not so crazy? How about this, he was driving the #17 car at the time! What?!?! #MindBlown.
4. The race is expensive.
Want to enter the Daytona 500? It will not be cheap. The engines alone on these beasts cost over $100,000.00. Teams will pay their drivers about $200,000 regardless of how they finish, however last year’s winner took home over $1.5 million in prize money. The speed machines always need lots of new parts and brakes alone run about $35,000. Trailers cost another 400 grand, yikes! This sport is not for the frugal.
5. The cars are fast.
The racers will move at about 150 miles per hour during the Daytona 500 but speeds can top out at over 210 MPH. It is called the 500 because the drivers will travel about 500 miles to win the race, however they will only need to complete 200 laps as the track is two and a half miles long. Daytona is called a tri-oval track cause it is shaped a little like the letter D.
You may not be able to afford to buy a NASCAR, but you can go buy yourself a Chevrolet. Chevy is the manufacturer with the most wins with 23 victories. How about it HollywoodLifers? Who will you be rooting for in the big race?