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2012 Daytona 500 Headquarters

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Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway

Logo courtesy of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway

2012 Daytona 500:

It has been called "The Great American Race" and "The Super Bowl of NASCAR." No matter what you call it there is no doubt that the 2012 Daytona 500 is the biggest, most-prestigous event on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule.

The events at Daytona in February are collectively called "Speedweeks." Speedweeks include the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duels and the Daytona 500 along with companion races by the ARCA, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. In all this is a great week for fans as the NASCAR season kicks off in style.

After the track was repaved in 2010 the 2011 Daytona 500 introduced a new type of two-by-two restrictor plate racing. The drivers discovered that two cars running nose-to-tail could run significantly faster than the large packs that have characterized racing at Daytona and Talladega for so long.

NASCAR made changes in the off-season to try to fix the problem and create side-by-side racing once again. Only time will tell if the problem has been fixed for the 2012 Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway:

The 2012 Daytona 500 is held at the Daytona International Speedway. DIS is in Daytona, Florida which is on the Atlantic coast in the central part of the state.

Daytona is a 2.5 mile tri-oval with 31 degrees of banking in the corners. The high speeds possible here mean that the cars must use restrictor plates in order to keep the speeds manageable.

Daytona International Speedway was built in 1959 and that year saw the very first Daytona 500 on the brand new 2.5 mile superspeedway. This race had a barnburner of a finish that wasn't officially decided for three days

Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp were battling for the win off of turn 4 on the last lap with the lapped car of Joe Weatherly in the mix. The three of them crossed the finish line side-by-side-by-side, Beauchamp on the bottom, Petty in the middle and Weatherly on top. Beauchamp celebrated in victory lane that day but three days later Petty was declared the winner when newsreel footage showed that he beat Beauchamp to the line.

Daytona International Speedway has been thrilling race fans ever since.

Daytona 500 History:

The Daytona 500 has had some fantastic moments. From great fights to great finishes on the track you can check out the Top Ten Greatest Moments in Daytona 500 History.

Or you might want to check out the highlights from some recent years' Daytona 500.

Daytona 500 Qualifying:

Daytona is unique in the way that it sets the lineup for the 2012 Daytona 500. No other race on the Sprint Cup schedule has a qualifying process like this. You can see the full explanation of the Daytona 500 Qualifying Process here.

All Daytona 500 Winners:

This complete list of Daytona 500 winners reads like a who's who among the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time. From Richard Petty to Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon most of the great ones scored in Daytona.

2012 Daytona Coverage:

Complete coverage including regular news updates will appear here throughout 2012 Speedweeks.

Here is a quick look at the 2012 Daytona Speedweeks schedule of events.

Saturday February 18th, 2012

Sunday February 19th, 2012 Thursday February 23rd, 2012 Sunday February 26th, 2012
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