The 2018 Daytona 500 will be on February 18th at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL.
The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long (200 laps) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series motor race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule. The first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, coinciding with the opening of the speedway, and since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the Cup series.
The Daytona 500 was first held in 1959, and coincided with the opening of Daytona International Speedway. The first Daytona 500 was won by NASCAR pioneer Lee Petty, who beat out Johnny Beauchamp. Since 1982, the Daytona 500 has been the season-opening race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse. Championship points awarded are equal to that of any other MOnster Energy NASCAR Cup race. It is also the series’ first race of the year; this phenomenon is virtually unique in sports, which tend to have championships or other major events at the end of the season rather than the start. Since 1995, U.S. television ratings for the Daytona 500 have been the highest for any auto race of the year, surpassing the traditional leader, the Indianapolis 500 which in turn greatly surpasses the Daytona 500 in in-track attendance and international viewing. The 2006 Daytona 500 attracted the sixth largest average live global TV audience of any sporting event that year with 20 million viewers.