DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There are few sporting events quite like the Daytona 500. For 62 years, the track along the beach has been a bucket list event for both racing and sports fans around the world.
NASCAR announced Wednesday that a limited number of fans will be allowed at the sport's most hallowed track for the 63rd annual running of the Great American Race on Feb. 14, 2021.
“The Daytona 500 is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sports, and fans from all over the world converge in Daytona Beach to be a part of motorsport’s biggest day,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “While we won’t be able to have a capacity crowd here in February, we are excited that we can host the DAYTONA 500 with those in attendance, as well as for the millions who will tune in live on FOX."
According to NASCAR, Daytona will work to admit fans who have already purchased tickets to the 2021 Daytona 500. However, fans with tickets may be reseated to ensure social distancing. The reseating process should be completed in January.
Fans with tickets will be able to attend all Speedweek events.
Fans should expect to be screened before entering the facility and must wear face coverings at all times. Fans can find more information by visiting the Daytona 500 website or calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
“The Great American Race will once again have the aura and atmosphere that fans have come to know and love," Wile said. "From the pageantry of our pre-race festivities to the rumble of 40 engines roaring around the high banks, it’s the biggest stage in motorsports.”
Denny Hamlin won his 3rd Daytona 500 at last year's event prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. NASCAR postponed its season for several months before becoming one of the first sports to return to action without fans. Later, NASCAR became one of the first American sports leagues to allow fans at a limited capacity.
While there were cases of COVID-19 in NASCAR, most notably to Jimmie Johnson, there was not a major outbreak that prevented the postponement of events. NASCAR's response to COVID-19 set a precedent used by other sports leagues in the months to come.
- The Daytona schedule as of Dec. 2 is as follows:
- Feb 9: Busch Clash
- Feb. 10: Daytona 500 Qualifying presented by Kroger
- Feb. 11: Bluegreen Vacations Duel
- Feb. 12: Truck Series NextEra Energy 250
- Feb. 13: Xfinity Series NASCAR Racing Experience 300, ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200
- Feb 14: 2021 Daytona 500