Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things to expect if you go to Daytona...

I just got back from Daytona for the first time. Whenever I go to a new track, I like jotting down some notes and analyze whats good and whats bad about the track itself. By doing this I hope I can help out a fellow fan who is looking to go a race and wants to know what to expect. Here are some some items to take note of if you plan on going to the 500 or Firecracker in the near future.

Plan on bringing up to $60 for parking. Daytona offers free parking, however it is almost a mile away from the track. There is a shuttle, but if your like me waiting for a shuttle is an inconvenience. Parking closer to the track will cost you at least $10, but still expect to walk a ways if you only pay this much.

Make sure you have a place to stay. This past weekend, hotels were sold out all the way up to Jacksonville. So book in advance, but remember the closer to the track, the more expensive a room will be. If you don't mind the heat or a potential rainout (wish is common in Daytona, especially this time of year) look into camping out.

Visit the Daytona Experience, located right outside turn 4. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven in there. I did not get to tour the museum (I won't get into those reasons) but I recommend doing so. It costs only $25.

While at the DE, I ate at the Turn 4 Grill. Sounds pretty good, right? Well it turned out to be nothing more than your typical track concession stand. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the hot dogs. Defintely the best track dog I've had, and it was "only" $3.

No matter the size of the track, I appreciate having a big screen TV on pit road so I can see anything I might have missed. Daytona and Talladega are the only tracks I have been to that have them, and that's because of the size of these tracks (I am sure road courses would have them too for this reason, but I have yet to attend Sonoma or the Glen). Point being, if your thinking about sitting closer to the track, you can still follow the action on the big screen.

If you missed it, Darius Rucker (from Hootie and the Blowfish) played a pre-race concert on the Tri-Oval grass. I would like more tracks to do this as it makes the wait for the race more enjoyable.

One of the best crowds I have ever seen. The fans were really into the racing and I was surprised by the lack of drunk people. Don't get me wrong, many were drinking and having a great time, but it was nice not see anyone passed out hours before the race started.

I was expecting really bad traffic after the race. Several people told me to enjoy a three hour wait stuck in the parking lot before I reached the highway. Fortunately, for whatever reason, this did not happen. I spent 15 minutes stuck at a red light before I was back on I-95.

In conclusion, put Daytona next on your racing checklist . It has somewhat of a Disney World feel to it. There is much more to do during your stay there than any other track, and, lets face it, it's the most famous track in the world. Getting to see inside the stands for the first time is an amazing feeling. And I plan on being back next February for the 500.

No comments:

Post a Comment