Daytona is at the heart of NASCAR racing, dubbed the World Center Of Racing and home of the great American race, the Daytona 500. But even if you don’t happen to be there in time to catch the big race, there’s plenty for a true NASCAR fan to see, from the year’s winning car to a whole range of behind-the scenes tours. These tours will bring you up close and personal with the inner workings of the speedway, from the Spring Cup Series garage all the way up to the press box. You can even take a lap on the victory lane.
While the Daytona 500 Experience zone itself recently closed to the public, it’s still available for events. Large groups will be able to explore historical NASCAR memorabilia at their leisure at the Goodyear Heritage Museum, as well as test their skills alongside a real NASCAR pit crew. At the Acceleration Alley, guests can compete in full motion simulation cars built 80% to scale of real NASCAR cars, and both guests and tour groups can view the NASCAR 3D film in the Coca Cola IMAX theater.
If you just have a small group, though, don’t worry – various tours will go through the Daytona 500 Experience area, especially a quick stop to see the winning car as well as gear and other memorabilia from the winning driver and crew. Each of the four tours are tailored to specific interests – a 90 minute all-access tour that takes you to where the action happens, a 30 minute history talk and tour of the speedway itself, or a VIP tour that combines both, plus access to the Daytona 500 experience and 3-D movie, and even time in the Daytona speedway archives. So if you really want to get to know NASCAR from the inside out, a trip to the Daytona International Speedway isn’t to be missed.
Tours start between 10 AM and 4 PM daily, tickets go on sale at 9 AM on a first-come first-served basis, no reservations.
Price varies depending on which tour you take, ranging from $15 for a short tour to $50 for the VIP tour. Tickets are less expensive for children 6-12.
(hint: Almost all tickets have to be purchased the day of, but Daytona International Speedway offers discounts and special experiences for groups of 10 or more, so if you have a large party, make sure to call ahead)
How Much Time To Spend There:
If you time it right, you can catch more than one tour, but be sure to show up early to make sure you get the one you want before it’s sold out. If you have spare time, they have multiple gift shops as well as a restaurant to enjoy while you wait.
For more information about specific tours, the speedway, or to make group reservations, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com