It’s February and you know what that means….
Racing in Daytona….This is the Kentucky Derby of Nascar, The Superbowl of Stock car races, the first race of the season, the biggest purse of the year and unquestionably the most exciting event in racing !! It’s also a well disguised reason for me to get out of Chicago and head somewhere warm for a few weeks… I have a reason to go to somewhere. !!
The Daytona International Speedway held it’s first race in 1959, so even tho last year was the 50th running of the Daytona 500…this year is the 50th anniversary of the 1st running…
The Daytona track is different than most tracks because it was built to lend speed to the cars. Each lap is 2.5 miles, so we are running 200 laps for the Daytona 500. The track is an oval and the slopes of it’s banks range from 18 – 31 degrees — either slope would work great for a ski slope. The banks need to be sloed at this angle, so they do not fly off the track at the high speeds. Daytona is a restrictor plate track — to slow the cars down and stop them from going airborne while racing.
Here are all Daytona 500 winners and their average speed in miles per hour.
|Year||Race Winner||Avg. Speed|
|1969||Lee Roy Yarborough||157.95|
|2004||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||156.345|
If you notice not much has changed from 1959 until now….
The average race speed in 1959 was withing 1 m/p/h of 2008’s speed….
See ya at the track !!