Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, Grand-Am and Motocross. The track features multiple layouts including the primary 2.5 miles (4.0 km) high speed tri-oval, a 3.56 miles (5.73 km) sports car course, a 2.95 miles (4.75 km) motorcycle course, and a .25 miles (0.40 km) karting and motorcycle flat-track. The track’s 180-acre (73 ha) infield includes the 29-acre (12 ha) Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing. The speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.
The track was built in 1958 by NASCAR founder William France Sr. to host racing that was being held at the former Daytona Beach Road Course. His banked design permitted higher speeds and gave fans a better view of the cars. Lights were installed around the track in 1998, and today it is the third largest single lit outdoor sports facility. The speedway has been renovated three times, with the infield renovated in 2004, and the track repaved in 1978 and 2010. On January 22, 2013, the track unveiled artist depictions of a renovated speedway with five new entrances, another pedestrian bridge, and an expanded grandstand.
Homestead-Miami Speedway is a motor racing track located in Homestead, Florida. The track, which has several configurations, has promoted several series of racing, including NASCAR , the IRL IndyCar Series, and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Since 2002, Homestead-Miami Speedway has hosted the final races of the season in all three of NASCAR’s series: the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. Ford Motor Company sponsors all three of the season-ending races; the races have the names Ford EcoBoost 400, Ford EcoBoost 300, and Ford EcoBoost 200, respectively, and the weekend is marketed as Ford Championship Weekend. The Nationwide Series (then known as the Busch Series) has held its season-ending races at Homestead since 1995.
The facility opened in 1964, costing a reported $1.5 million to build. The track was originally named “Palm Beach International Raceway” and was owned by local contractor Joe Bucheck Jr. and his brother Edward. In March 1965 the inaugural race was held at the track. Some 10,000 spectators attended the event, which was a series of sports car events.
In September 1965 racing promoter Alec Ullman was set to move the 12 Hour Race In Sebring, which had been hosted at Sebring International Raceway for the previous 16 years, to the facility. Those plans eventually fell through due to the $1.5 million it would cost to expand the site. In November 1969 a controversial rock concert was held at the facility after months of legal battles. During the rock festival artists such as Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Sly & The Family Stone and Jefferson Airplane performed. Since then, several artists including Eric Clapton have performed there. Another concert featuring Led Zeppelin, Bachman–Turner Overdrive and J. Geils Band was in the works in 1975 but organizers cancelled it when they decided the facility couldn’t handle the estimated 50,000 fans that were expected to attend.
In April 1971 the Grand American Series of Professional Drag Racing had one of the first major drag racing events held at the track. The facility hosted an air show November 7, 1971. The Air Force Thunderbirds were scheduled to perform but had to cancel due to flooding on the track. In 1979 famous sports car and Indy 500 racer Lyn St. James made her professional debut at the facility, which ended in a major accident in which her car crashed into the swamps and sank in the mud
Sebring (pronounced “sea bring”) Raceway is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States, its first race being run in 1950. Sebring is one of the classic race tracks in North American sports car racing, and plays host to the 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the legs of the unofficial triple crown of endurance racing.
The raceway occupies a portion of Sebring Regional Airport, an active airport for private and commercial traffic that was originally built as Hendricks Army Airfield, a World War II training base for the U.S. Army Air Forces.
The course of the track is 3.74 miles (6.02 km) long. It is a seventeen-turn road course with long straights, several high-speed corners, and very technical slower corners. Many of the turns and points along the track are named for the early teams and drivers. There is very little elevation change around the track and little camber on the surface, providing a challenging track for drivers, especially when it rains.
The track layout from 1952 to 1966 (1st variation). Length: 5.38 mi (8.356 km) Lap record: Dan Gurney, Ford GT40, 2:54.6, 1966
Sebring is renowned for its rough surface. The course still runs on old sections of World War II-era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams. The transitions between sections are quite rough and often, sparks fly from the undercarriages of the cars as they traverse them. Much of the track has intentionally been left with its original concrete runway surface. The track surface has 3.04 miles (4.89 km) of asphalt and 0.7 miles (1.1 km) of concrete. Mario Andretti, a 3-time 12 Hours winner, said that one of the hardest parts about the original Sebring track was finding the track to begin with! There had been many accounts of drivers retiring due to accidents at night, quite simply because they got lost on the runway sections and couldn’t find the track again. Some drivers got lost even during the day, mostly because the track was poorly marked down with white lines and cones.