Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Daytona 500 is a 200-lap, 500 mile NASCAR race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. In stock car racing, it is the most important race of the year. Not only is Daytona NASCAR's biggest race, it is also the circuit's first race of the year; this phenomenon is virtually unique in sports. Since 1995, television ratings for the Daytona 500 have been the highest for any auto race of the year, surpassing the traditional leader, the Indy 500. The event is also known as "The Super Bowl of NASCAR" and "The Great American Race."
The race is the direct successor of a race that was held on Daytona Beach itself; however, the Daytona 500 proper has been held at the Daytona International Speedway since its inaugural run.
It was the first 500-mile auto race to be televised in its entirety, when CBS did it in 1979, and continued until 2000. Since 2001, the race has alternated between Fox and NBC under the terms of the current $2.4 billion NASCAR television contract.
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Auto Club 500
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