Daytona 500 is known as some time it is called by “The Great American Race.” It is so tough to qualify for this NASCAR motor car race each year. FOX TV channel will be televised the 2023 Daytona 500 and the green flag downs at 2:30 PM ET on Sunday, 19 Feb, 2023 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile motor car NASCAR cup series race championship that takes place every year in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and has been the opening race of the series since 1982. It is the most prestigious race in the NASCAR calendar and is also the one that has the largest amount of prize money. The Championship points that are awarded are equal to those given in all other races in the calendar. The fact that it is the biggest event on the calendar makes it very unusual for it to be held at the beginning of the season. In most other types of sports, the biggest event is held at the end of the season.
The Daytona 500 was held on the Sunday mid-February of the President’s Weekend from 1971 to 2011. This was changed in 2012 so that there was a bigger break between this event and the Super Bowl. However, bad weather forced the event to be postponed for one day so it wasn’t until 2013 that it was held on the new race day. From 2018 onwards the race will be held on the Sunday of President’s weekend again.
The winner of the Daytona 500 receives the Harley J. Earl Trophy which is named after Harley Earl, who was the second NASCAR commissioner. They will be able to keep this trophy until the next race takes place. The winning car is housed in the Daytona 500 Experience, a museum next to the Speedway that has a number of exhibitions relating to the race. The car will be exhibited in the condition that it finished the race in and remains in the museum for a year until the next race has taken place.
Daytona 500 Origins
Stock car racing was held at the Daytona Beach Road Course from 1902 to 1958. Races of up to 200 miles were held at this course before it closed to make way for the Daytona International Speedway which opened in 1959. The races that were held at Beach Road are largely considered to be the origins of the Daytona 500.
The first 500-mile race was held at the Daytona International Speedway in the year that it opened. By 1961 the race was commonly known as the Daytona 500 and this is the name that it is still known by today.
Each lap of the Daytona Speedway is 2.5 miles and includes four turns. Drivers have to complete 200 laps of the course in order to finish the race. There have only been five occasions in the history of the race where it has ended before the 200 laps have been completed. In four cases this was because of rain on the day of the race and there was also an early finish in 1974 because of the energy crisis.
Daytona 500 Qualifying Procedure
There are 43 cars that compete in the Daytona 500 and the qualifying procedure is unique to this race. There is a timed qualifying race that is held a week before the event and this determines the cars that will start in the first row. There are then two 125 mile qualifying races that determine the rest of the field. Spots on the field are also given to the top two drivers from the qualifying races that do not make it into the top 35 on owners points. The finishing order of the duels will determine who else makes it into the field. Once this process has been completed then there are 39 places in the race that have been taken. If the winner of the previous race has not qualified for this year’s race then they will be given one of the four remaining places. If the winner has already qualified then these four places will all be given to those who had the top qualifying times for the race who had not yet qualified instead of the three places that would otherwise be available.
Daytona 500 Television
CBS televised the first aired Daytona 500 race in 1979 and it has been shown on TV every year since. The 1979 race was the first time that a race of this length was shown flag to flag on television. CBS continued to show the race from this point until 2000.
NASCAR signed a $2.48 billion deal with both FOX and NBC for them to show the race for the next six years in 2001. This deal also included the rights to the Pepsi 400 race. In the years that FOX was showing the Daytona 500, NBC would show the Pepsi 400 and vice versa. This deal was in place from 2001 until 2007.
Since 2005 FOX has had the sole rights to the race and this will continue until at least 2024. They did have to wait until the previous deal with FOX had expired before they were the only network that could show the races. One of the biggest impacts that television has had on the Daytona 500 is that the race starts later than it did when it first started. One of the main reasons for this decision was to try and attract more viewers from the West Coast as it started at a time that was more suitable for them. This has also meant that lighting has had to be installed at the Speedway as the race can sometimes still be going on once it gets dark. There have been two occasions where the race has not finished until after 7 pm which takes it into prime-time viewing. In 2012 the race had to be pushed back to Monday evening due to the weather. This is the only time the race has ever taken place in the evening and the race did not finish until 12:40 am Tuesday. In 2014 the race was delayed for a record six hours and this meant that coverage clashed with the Winter Olympics.
The Daytona 500 typically attracts more TV viewers in the United States than the Indianapolis 500 which is arguably a bigger race. However, the Indy 500 attracts a larger global audience and there are also more people the attend the race as it is held in a larger stadium. More people have tuned in to watch the Daytona 500 than the Indy 500 every year since 1995.
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