Daytona 500 Experience
The history of automotive competition in the Daytona Beach area goes back to 1903. It is recorded that a friendly wager between two gentlemen debating who had the fastest horseless carriage spawned "The Birthplace of Speed." On February 22, 1959, Daytona International Speedway, the "World Center of Racing," hosted the first Daytona 500. The posted awards for the "500-Mile International Sweepstakes" totaled $67,760. A field of 59 cars took the green flag for the start. A crowd of over 41,000 was on hand to witness the beginning of another chapter in the history of racing in Daytona. Today, the Daytona 500 remains one of racing's premier events each year.