When we were asked to go on a “mission” to visit the Daytona 500 Experience, I was excited because NASCAR is right up there in my hubby’s interests. And, apparently car racing goes pretty far back in my family, too, as witnessed by this picture from my grandmother’s photo album:
I was fortunate to marry into an interesting family; you see my father-in-law used to own a NASCAR race team which competed in the Cup races. (Yeah, I spent far more time watching races than a city girl ought to!) His family doesn’t go racing anymore, but NASCAR is still a constant presence in our household, no matter how much I may protest! In fact, here’s a post from this past Valentine’s Day, where my hubby paid more attention to the race than to me!
And even though I was far from being a diehard race girl, I did have fun writing about my experiences for a few magazines, including this article I did when I interviewed Richard Petty’s family.
And although we’d been to the Daytona International Speedway, we had never stopped in for the Daytona 500 Experience. If you even kind of like racing, you will immensely enjoy this experience! And, kudos to Chevy, because there were Chevrolets EVERYWHERE at this attraction. (I guess this is because Chevy has won the Daytona 500 21 times! (Ford is the runner up with a measely 11 times… he he…)
Not only can you see legendary racecars, photos, and trophies, you can also watch a fantastic I-Max movie. At the exit, you can see the actual car of the current Daytona 500 winner, Chevy driver Jamie McMurray. (It was rolled right from the track to its current parking spot in the attraction…very cool!) And, be sure to take a test drive in the track simulator, where you go 8 laps to see who’s the best of the best! (Yes, I admit, I wrecked my son… I had to get ahead somehow!) Here’s how I did:
Here’s a taste of what you can see and do at the Daytona 500 Experience… (And you get to see me changing a tire during a pit stop! For real!)
And then we were off on a VIP Hot Pass Track Tour, which runs only runs once a day Thursdays through Sundays, lasts around two and half hours, and takes you into every race fan’s dreams: the infield, the 500 Club, the press boxes, luxury sky boxes, and best of all, the Winner’s Circle! (Did you know that Lake Lloyd in the infield is big enough to have hosted fishing tournaments and ski exhibitions? Wow!)
The track was currently being repaved, which was kind of a neat thing to see. By the time they finish all the layers, the track will be 7 inches thick! (Hopefully the infamous hole will be a thing of the past!) And, if you want to own a bit of history, the current track is being sold off in pieces here.
Thanks WESH and Southern Chevy Dealers for sending us on this mission. And special thanks to David Casale from Guest Services who made sure I was treated like a VIP all day long, as well as Terry and Woody for the fabulous tour!