Daytona 500

MaKayla Munn, Staff Writer

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“Start your engines!” The Daytona 500, the Superbowl of stock-car racing. It is an annual 500-mile-long race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. This race is one of the four restrictor plate races on the cup schedule. It’s considered to be one of the most important and admirable races for NASCAR. “I don’t watch it, but I know what it is,” said junior, Amaya Hamilton. The winner of the race will be presented with the Harley J. Earl Trophy, 1 million dollars, and their car will be put on display at the Daytona 500 Experience Museum.
The first Daytona 500 took place in 1959 as the first race in the newly opened Daytona International Speedway. Lee Petty defeated Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish on February 22 and won the first Daytona 500. During the third lap in the Daytona 500, fans hold up three fingers in remembrance of Dale Earnhardt Senior who died in the 43rd Daytona 500 after a fatal crash in 2001.
The 59th Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26 around 2:00 p.m. Eastern time. Some of the popular racers include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, Tony Stewart, Chase Elliot, and Danica Patrick. Students at Three Rivers will watch closely to see if their favorite racers come out on top. “Tony Stewart, he’s always been my favorite since I was little and when he was number 20,” said junior, Dalton Vedder.
The Daytona 500 event starts February 17 and ends February 26; that’s 10 days of the ultimate NASCAR experience! During that time there are many fun things to watch and do. Lady Antebellum will be preforming the pre-race show, and Owen Wilson will be attending as the Grand Marshal. There are qualifying races, tours, museums, fan zones, bands, introductions, and more to keep one entertained until the beginning of one of the biggest races of the year!

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