Today we’re in Florida visiting the Daytona International Speedway taking the Daytona tour and visiting the museum.
Starting at 9:30 AM every day, the Daytona International Speedway offers guided tours that take visitors all around this historic track. The ticket office opens at 9:00 AM, and once you’ve found the correct ticket window, you’ll be able to purchase tickets for the tour. Prices for the tour are $25 for adults and $20 for children, and the tour lasts approximately one hour.
The tour begins with a journey on a tram-like vehicle, which takes visitors all around the speedway, including a close-up look at the pit road and garages, the famous tri-oval, and the start/finish line. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of drivers and teams preparing for a race. Today we only saw regular people doing the Richard Petty or NASCAR driving experiences, no famous racers!
Your tour guide will provide fascinating insights into the history and operations of the speedway. Whether you’re a seasoned race fan or a newcomer to the sport, you’ll leave the tour with a deeper appreciation for the excitement and dedication that goes into every race at the Daytona International Speedway.
Our first stop is the pit lane and the track entrance.
Victory Lane is a legendary location in the world of motorsports. It is the area where winning drivers celebrate after a race. The first Daytona 500 race took place in 1959, and since then, Victory Lane has been the place to be for drivers and fans alike. The celebrations at Victory Lane are always a highlight of the Daytona 500 and other races held at the track.
Victory Lane at Daytona has seen many memorable moments over the years. In 1979, Richard Petty claimed his record-setting 7th Daytona 500 win, cementing his place in racing history. In 1997, Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500 after 20 years of trying, creating one of the most emotional and memorable moments in Victory Lane.
None of these moments are more memorable than yours truly posing for a photo.
The view of the winner driver is of these bleachers, filled with photographers, sponsors, and reporters. And thousands of screaming fans along the front stretch.
Time to cross under the track to those bleachers above the start-finish line.
Throughout the years, many legendary drivers have crossed the start-finish line first here, including Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson.
In recent years, the start-finish line at Daytona has undergone some renovations and improvements, including the addition of a new video board and improved seating. These upgrades have enhanced the overall experience for fans and drivers at the track.
During a race, the pit road at Daytona is a hive of activity, with teams and drivers making split-second decisions and executing complex pit stop strategies to gain an advantage over their competitors. If you want to watch the action in the pits, you’ve got to sit along the front stretch.
Any racing fan knows the significance of turn 4 at Daytona. Turn 4 is a 31-degree high-banked turn that requires drivers to navigate at high speeds, often reaching over 200 miles per hour. The banking allows for maximum speed, but also increases the level of difficulty as drivers must navigate the tight turn while keeping their cars under control. The tight conditions make it a prime location for on-track battles and close finishes, adding to the excitement of racing at Daytona.
One of the most memorable moments in Daytona’s history took place in this turn during the 2001 Daytona 500 when NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt tragically died in a crash. This event was a turning point for NASCAR and led to significant changes in the sport, including improvements in safety measures for drivers. The death of Dale Earnhardt remains one of the most devastating moments in the history of motorsports, and is a somber reminder of the dangers of high-speed racing.
The tour ends here, so it’s back on the tram and back to the main building. Sadly, due to the race activity on the track, we weren’t allowed to walk onto the track. But they don’t lower the price, you just get less bang for your buck!
Located in the Daytona Speedway complex, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MHOF) is a must-visit destination for motorsports enthusiasts and fans of all ages. From the humble beginnings of early automobile racing to the high-speed thrills of modern motorsports, the MHOF showcases the people, machines, and moments that have made a lasting impact on the world of racing.
This is the place to see the previous year’s winning car preserved just as it was sitting in Victory Lane.
From drivers and mechanics to designers and engineers, the MHOF enshrines the legends of auto racing, motorcycle racing, drag racing, open-wheel racing, stock car racing, and more. The Hall of Fame’s exhibits feature interactive displays, video presentations, and a wealth of memorabilia, including race-winning cars, iconic helmets, and much more.
Whether you’re a lifelong racing fan or just looking for a fun and educational experience, this is the perfect place to learn about the history of motorsports and discover the stories of the people who made it all possible. With a wide range of interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, and educational programs, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is the ideal destination for families, school groups, and anyone who wants to learn more about the world of motorsports.
After looking at all of these awesome machines, it was time to climb in one for my own photo-op! No need to Dukes of Hazzard yourself into the car, they cut a traditional door into this one.
The death of Dale Earnhardt during the 2001 Daytona 500 sparked a wave of changes in NASCAR, particularly in terms of driver safety. One of the major developments was the widespread adoption of the HANS (Head and Neck Support) device, a restraint system that helps reduce the risk of head and neck injury in high-impact crashes. The HANS device was made mandatory for all NASCAR drivers in the aftermath of Earnhardt’s death and has since become standard in motorsports worldwide.
Readers of this blog know I love motorcycles, so I take note here at the Museum when they have motorcycles on display (see also the AMA Museum blog post).
Ricky Carmichael is considered one of the greatest motocross racers of all time. Carmichael won a total of 15 AMA Supercross and Motocross Championships and was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2019. He is remembered and respected by fans and fellow racers for his impressive skills and competitive spirit.
The Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayden was the 2006 MotoGP World Champion. Hayden was known for his hard-charging style and fearless attitude on the track. He was highly respected by his peers and fans alike, and his tragic death in 2017 shocked the motorcycle racing community. Despite his untimely passing, Hayden’s legacy lives on and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest American motorcycle racers of all time. The museum displays his 2006 Championship trophy.
The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America honors the legends of motorsports and celebrates the incredible achievements of the individuals who have made a lasting impact on the sport. The main atrium is an overwhelming collection of the machines that have made history.
With its engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and tribute to the legends of the sport, the MHOF is an amazing destination for racing fans and enthusiasts. So if you’re in Daytona Beach, Florida, be sure to pay a visit to this amazing museum and experience the thrill of motorsports history for yourself.
See ya, Dale! Thanks for the memories.
Looking to book your tour? Plan ahead by visiting their website here. Beware that track activity will prevent you from walking on the track, experiencing the banking, or touching the start-finish line.
Thanks Jonathan! Enjoyed viewing the tour! I look forward to visiting the track and museum in the future.