Daytona 500Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
Charter a Private Jet to the Daytona 500
Every February when much of the country is covered in ice and snow, Daytona 500 drivers zoom past hundreds of thousands of racing fans who come to the Florida city on the Atlantic coast for sun and sand -- and to mark the start of the annual NASCAR racing season.
Starting in 2016, those fans will be cheering on their favorites from comfy seats in – or the infield of -- a newly renovated Daytona International Speedway. The new track with its $400 million in renovations and improvements is a far cry from the original Daytona “speedway,” a strip on Ormond Beach appropriated by resourceful racers at the turn of the 20th century.
We Can Get You There
If you have a need for speed or a desire to see where NASCAR racing got its start, Paramount Business Jets can arrange a charter flight for you to the Daytona 500 into any of the nearby Florida airports, including:
- Daytona Beach International Airport, KDAB, DAB, Daytona Beach, United States (1 miles)
- Spruce Creek Airport, 7FL6, 7FL6, Daytona Beach, United States (8 miles)
- Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, KOMN, OMN, Ormond Beach, United States (8 miles)
- Big 'G' Airport, 0FD0, 0FD0, Ormond Beach, United States (11 miles)
- New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport, KEVB, EVB, New Smyrna Beach, United States (12 miles)
- Deland Municipal-Taylor Airport, KDED, DED, Deland, United States (15 miles)
- Leffler Airport, FA63, FA63, Alamana, United States (16 miles)
- Massey Ranch Airpark Airport, KX50, X50, New Smyrna Beach, United States (17 miles)
- Flagler County Airport, KFIN, FIN, Palm Coast, United States (21 miles)
- Blue Ridge Flightpark Airport, 34FD, 34FD, Oakhill, United States (25 miles)
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NASCAR Born in Daytona
The first Daytona 500 was run in 1959, four years after Bill France Sr., a mechanic and race-car driver who had 20 years earlier moved to Florida from Washington, D.C., came up with the idea.
France’s bad luck was actually Daytona Beach’s good fortune. The banker-turned mechanic had actually planned to move to Miami when he left Washington but his car broke down in Daytona Beach. He liked it there so much, he decided to stay.
In the 1950s and earlier, stock cars, which are essentially souped-up street cars, raced on tiny tracks throughout the Southeast.
The sport had a cult following but that would change with France’s vision of what would become the Daytona International Speedway. Its popularity soared.
France also saw the need to organize the racing group to eliminate crooked promoters and other middleman who exploited the drivers.
And so, the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing – NASCAR – was born.
New Stadium for a New World
The vast majority of NASCAR fans are white males but the sport is hoping to change that. NASCAR wants to appeal to the millennial generation and develop a more diverse fan base.
- That thinking went into the recent renovation of Daytona speedway. There are improvements -- such as dozens of video screens and social media technology -- to attract younger fans. The new speedway, designed by the Detroit-born Rossetti sports and entertainment architectural firm, also has:
- Large-scale entry portals into the stadium are called fan “injectors,” a racing term referring to the fuel delivery system in engines. These portals are sponsored plazas that lead fans into the stadium through a series of escalators and elevators mimicking the Daytona driving experience.
- Neighborhoods: Fan amenities and social areas are congregated away from the track. There are 11 “neighborhoods” the size of football fields with bars, retail and dining areas.
- Expansive new stadium seating with improved views and rows that have no more than 24 seats for easier access.
- A taller grandstand with three new concourse levels.
- 14 new elevators, escalators, twice as many restrooms, 60 luxury suites and more than 100,000 wider, more comfortable grandstand seats.
- And, in 2017, the land across the street from the speedway will be developed into a retail-dining-entertainment complex that will surround NASCAR’s headquarters, the International Motorsports Center.
To imagine the immensity of the Daytona International Speedway, its architects say, take the University of Michigan’s 100,000-seat stadium, cut it in half and then stretch it out over two-thirds of a mile. Or, imagine three Empire State Buildings laid end-to-end.
The Infield Is Where It’s At
Despite the luxury that abounds in the new stadium, most NASCAR fans think the best place to see the race is in the center of the action – the 180-acre infield.
All kinds of people from all over the world drive RVs or drag tents inside the track’s 31-degree banked turns to watch the action on the track or on big screen TVs, grill out, have a brew or two or even cool off in inflatable pools.
Just remember that perhaps the most important rule for spectators is: Refrain from intoxication to the point of impairment or resulting in irresponsible behavior risking yourself or other guests.