I will start out by saying that I am by no means a Nascar expert, but I’ve always enjoyed cars in general. I’ve never been to a Nascar race in person but have watched a few races on television. It’s hard to comprehend exactly how fast they are going around that track, and the knowledge that any little error can cause a major wreck just gives me so much respect for the drivers in those vehicles.
For even casual or non-racing fans I think everyone is aware of the Daytona 500. Living in Orlando I’m not too far way from the Daytona International Speedway but have never made the trip over until just recently. A friend of mine was interested in visiting the Buc-ee’s in Daytona Beach that I wrote about here. After that visit I’m always looking for an excuse to head back out for some Beaver Nuggets so we hit the road bright and early. Then after filling up on Buc-ee’s products we still had the whole day ahead of us with nothing planned so I thought it may be a great opportunity to visit the speedway.
It was pretty easy to find and after parking in the visitors lot we walked along the outside of the Speedway and I was completely taken back by how huge it was. There were no races going on so most of it was deserted outside, but we could hear the familiar sounds of cars flying around the track which I think was part of a tour you could take.
Even though there was no race going on during our visit, there is still some areas of the speedway property that we were able to explore.
Inside was an information area, as well as a fun gift shop which we will get to shortly, but where we spent most of our time was in the Motorsports Hall of Fame and museum. It was incredible.
This was a self guided tour, but they had people around to answer questions if you had any. One thing they were sure to let us know was that the museum wasn’t just about Nascar but all Motorsports. We definitely saw that inside with all different types of vehicles and other race vehicles throughout. I even found this cool Fabulous Hudson Hornet car from one of my favorite Pixar animated movies Cars.
One area of the museum that was really cool is where they have the current Daytona 500 Champion car. There is a whole section with pictures of the winning driver, the humongous trophy and the actual car. One of the guides told us that after the race this car is literally just driven off the track and right into this spot.
They even told us to go around the back of the car and look on the opposite side where there is quite a bit of damage from early in the race when the car got a bit too close to the wall.
After we finished with the museum it was time to head into the gift shop. As with many of the other places we visit they had an amazing assortment of items for sale. Plenty of t-shirts, but even die-cast models, seat covers, posters, artwork and so much more.
Out of the back of the gift shop is a little cafe where you can get some drinks and snacks. This is also where I found a pressed penny machine.
The machine cabinet was fun with the checkered pattern along the sides. It was a classic 3-design electric model so it saved my arms from having to crank our my pennies manually.
The designs on the pennies were really great as well. They include the Daytona International Speedway Logo, The Coke 200 Logo, and of course the Daytona 500 Logo. Special thanks to Summers Raceway for supplying some of the props I used in the above picture. If you like Hot Wheels racing be sure to head over to their YouTube channel and check out a race.
I really had a great time at the Daytona International Speedway, and am actually very interested in going back to see a race in person. I’m sure it would definitely be a unique experience. Even if you aren’t a Nascar fan I still think the speedway has a lot of fun things to do and explore, plus you’ll need to pickup a set of these cool pressed pennies.
Have a fantastic week, and Keep on Pressing!