Florida is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive, the 3rd-most populous, the 8th-most densely populated of the U. S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States; the Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, the 58th most populous as of 2018. In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was ranking 26th in the nation; the unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the 8th highest among all states.
The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida; the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845, it was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues; the state's economy relies on tourism and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century.
Florida is renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U. S. state of Florida. Florida's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of daily life. Florida is a reflection of multiple inheritance. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, continues to attract celebrities and athletes, it is internationally known for golf, auto racing, water sports. Several beaches in Florida have emerald-colored coastal waters. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States 1,350 miles, not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. Florida has a total of 4,510 islands; this is the second-highest number of islands of any state of the United States.
It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U. S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south; the American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, is the only continental state with either a tropical climate or a coral reef; the Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States, the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major Native American groups included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, the Tocobaga of the Tampa Bay area, the Calusa of southwest Florida and the Tequesta of the southeastern coast.
Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513, he named the region Florida. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land, he described seeing a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced Christianity, horses, the Castilian language, more to Florida. Spain established several settlements with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was abandoned by 1561.
In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine was established under the leadership of admiral and
2002 NASCAR Busch Series
The 2002 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series season began February 16 and ended November 16. Greg Biffle of Roush Racing was crowned champion. List of full-time teams at the start of 2002; the EAS/GNC Live Well 300 was held February 16 at Daytona International Speedway. Joe Nemechek won the pole. Top ten results 3-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 99-Michael Waltrip 17-Matt Kenseth 57-Jason Keller 47-Shane Hmiel 10-Scott Riggs 24-Jack Sprague 71-Kevin Lepage 92-Andy Houston 48-Kenny WallaceFailed to qualify: Dan Pardus, Mike Wallace, C. W. Smith, Mike Harmon, David Boggs The 1-866RBCTerm.com 200 was held February 23 at North Carolina Speedway. Jeff Green won the pole. Top ten results 57-Jason Keller 60-Greg Biffle 7-Randy LaJoie 10-Scott Riggs 18-Mike McLaughlin 24-Jack Sprague 1-Jimmy Spencer 46-Ashton Lewis 33-Tony Raines 14-Larry FoytFailed to qualify: Cam Strader, Lance Hooper The Sam's Town 300 was held March 2 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jeff Burton won the pole. Top ten results 9-Jeff Burton 99-Michael Waltrip 2-Johnny Sauter 71-Kevin Lepage 21-Jeff Green 24-Jack Sprague 7-Randy LaJoie 48-Kenny Wallace 60-Greg Biffle 59-Stacy ComptonFailed to qualify: Jeff Fuller, Mike McLaughlin, A. J. Alsup, Mike Harmon, Dion Ciccarelli The darlingtonraceway.com 200 was held March 16 at Darlington Raceway.
Jeff Burton won the pole. Top ten results 9-Jeff Burton 60-Greg Biffle 21-Jeff Green 57-Jason Keller 48-Kenny Wallace 18-Mike McLaughlin 33-Tony Raines 92-Todd Bodine 24-Jack Sprague 59-Stacy ComptonFailed to qualify: Phil Bonifield, Shane Hall The Channellock 250 was held March 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Scott Riggs won the pole; this race was known for several major story lines. There were two separate altercations post-race, the most notable being a physical confrontation between Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle following an incident between the two drivers on lap 241 in which Harvick crashed hard; the other happening just on the other end of pit road in a verbal confrontation between Jimmy Spencer and Jack Sprague after Spencer turned Sprague, five laps down, in the last turn on the last lap while chasing down Jeff Green for the win. Green would win while Spencer lost two spots in that incident to drop to fourth, it was known for privateer driver Ken Alexander and rookie Johnny Sauter causing or getting caught up in multiple incidents with Alexander being a nuisance on the track throughout the race, both dropping out before the race's end as well as a hard crash on the last lap between Mark Green and Larry Foyt with Green suffering a broken left foot.
Top ten results 21-Jeff Green 18-Mike McLaughlin 23-Scott Wimmer 1-Jimmy Spencer 60-Greg Biffle 48-Kenny Wallace 7-Randy LaJoie 92-Todd Bodine 10-Scott Riggs 47-Shane HmielFailed to qualify: none The O'Reilly 300 was held April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Jeff Green won the pole; the race ended. Michael Waltrip flipped over on lap 45, he was uninjured. Top ten results 37-Jeff Purvis 24-Jack Sprague 87-Joe Nemechek 10-Scott Riggs 21-Jeff Green 29-Kevin Harvick 7-Randy LaJoie 25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. 17-Matt Kenseth 9-Jeff BurtonFailed to qualify: Dan Pardus, Mike Harmon, Jason Schuler, Dwayne Leik - This was Jeff Purvis' final career win before his hard crash at Nazareth. The Pepsi 300 Presented by Kroger was held April 13 at Nashville Superspeedway. Shane Hmiel won the pole. Top ten results 10-Scott Riggs 24-Jack Sprague 25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. 23-Scott Wimmer 57-Jason Keller 7-Randy LaJoie 27-Jamie McMurray 12-Kerry Earnhardt 59-Stacy Compton 19-Tim SauterFailed to qualify: none The Aaron's 312 at Talladega was held April 20 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Johnny Sauter won the pole. The race was most remembered for "the Big One" on lap 15, the largest crash in series history, which involved about 30 cars; this occurred when Shane Hmiel got into Scott Riggs and he hit Johnny Sauter. Sauter tumbled end over end while cars trying to avoid the wreck slammed into each other. Only three cars finished on the lead lap. Top ten results 57-Jason Keller 59-Stacy Compton 07-Tim Fedewa 92-Todd Bodine 66-Casey Mears 49-Andy Kirby 77-Jimmy Kitchens 14-Larry Foyt 48-Kenny Wallace 36-Hank Parker Jr. Failed to qualify: Rick Markle The Auto Club 300 was held April 27 at California Speedway. Jack Sprague won the pole. Top ten results 10-Scott Riggs 21-Jeff Green 59-Stacy Compton 24-Jack Sprague 57-Jason Keller 18-Mike McLaughlin 19-Tim Sauter 99-Michael Waltrip 7-Randy LaJoie 60-Greg BiffleFailed to qualify: Jack Sellers The Hardee's 250 was held May 3 at Richmond International Raceway. Jack Sprague won the pole. Top ten results 57-Jason Keller 46-Ashton Lewis 60-Greg Biffle 99-Michael Waltrip 54-Kevin Grubb 36-Hank Parker Jr. 40-Brian Vickers 23-Scott Wimmer 27-Jamie McMurray 19-Tim SauterJohnny Benson crashed hard in turn 3 early in the race.
He suffered broken ribs. The Busch 200 was held May 11 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Shane Hmiel won the pole. Top ten results 25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. 92-Todd Bodine 24-Jack Sprague 47-Shane Hmiel 18-Mike McLaughlin 7-Randy LaJoie 10-Scott Riggs 36-Hank Parker Jr. 27-Jamie McMurray 54-Kevin GrubbFailed to qualify: none The Stacker 2 200 was held May 18 at Nazareth Speedway. Jack Sprague won the pole; the race is known for a severe crash by Jeff Purvis, who blew his engine, spun out, & was slammed into by Greg Biffle, causing severe head trauma. Purvis has never recovered from the injuries he suffered, although he would return to drive a NASCAR stock car two years at the final Busch race at Nazareth. Top ten results 57-Jason Keller 10-Scott Riggs 5-Ron Hornaday 27-Jamie McMurray 7-Randy LaJoie 25-Bobby Hamilton, Jr. 21-Jay Sa
Drive for the Cure 200
The Drive for the Cure 200 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a NASCAR Xfinity Series stock car race that takes place at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. The 1985 race was extended to 400.5 miles, which still stands as the longest race distance run in Xfinity Series history. It is held before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' Bank of America Roval 400 in the playoffs. In 2018, the race was shifted to run the "Roval" infield road course configuration of Charlotte. With this, the race length was shortened from 300 miles to 200 kilometers, it would move up a week on the Xfinity Series schedule, the middle race of the first round of the playoffs. Chase Briscoe became the first Xfinity Series driver to win the race in its Roval configuration. 1976: Race postponed from October 9 to October 23 due to rain. 1977: Race shortened from 200 laps due to rain. 2003: Race postponed from Friday night to Saturday morning due to rain. 2006: Race extended due to a green–white–checker finish.
2016: Race postponed from Friday night to late Sunday afternoon due to rain. Racing-Reference.info – Lowe's Motor Speedway Race Results
Premium Motorsports is an American professional stock car racing team that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team competed for most of its history in the Nationwide Series, before moving to the Cup Series in 2012; the team folded in late 2012 and Robinson moved into a partner role at NEMCO Motorsports, was a partner in the successor team Identity Ventures Racing. For 2015, Robinson began fielding NASCAR entries again, planning to run both the Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Mike Hillman's 40 team was absorbed by Premium in January 2016 and Tommy Baldwin Racing and their No. 7 car was absorbed by Premium in September 2017 and used it part time for their drivers at the end of 2017 and in 2018. The team fields the No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 full-time for Ross Chastain and the No. 27 Camaro part-time for Reed Sorenson. On September 21, 2017, Premium Motorsports' owner, Jay Robinson announced that he has acquired all assets from Tommy Baldwin Racing; the acquisition includes Baldwin's entire cup series inventory including everything from the team's race vehicles to their equipment.
It includes the trucks that were leased by TBR to the No. 52 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Team but Baldwin says there remain a few obligations from his No. 7 team to be fulfilled in future races. Justin Marks drove the car at Talladega, Hermie Sadler drove at Martinsville and Joey Gase drove at Texas and Phoenix. On January 22, 2018, Danica Patrick was announced to drive the No. 7 in the Daytona 500 in her final NASCAR start. She brought sponsorship from her former sponsor, GoDaddy; the team fielded a car prepared by Richard Childress Racing, used the charter that the No. 15 car used in 2017. Following the race, the charter went back to the No. 15. The No. 7 next appeared fielded by NY Racing Team in partnership with Premium Motorsports. It would be driven by JJ Yeley at Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600 and Pocono for the Pocono 400, it was fielded under the Premium Motorsports banner utilizing what had been the No. 55 crew. D. J. Kennington would be behind the wheel at Michigan, Reed Sorenson was scheduled to drive at Sonoma but the team withdrew midweek and entered Chicagoland with Sorenson instead.
Jeffrey Earnhardt was brought on for the next race at Daytona, bringing home an 11th-place finish in the crash filled race. Part-time Truck Series driver Jesse Little made his Cup Series debut at Kentucky with the team. In 2017, Premium Motorsports bought the charter from the No. 15 HScott Motorsports team, the car number was changed to No. 15 as a result. The team got a career-best 8th in Michael Waltrip's final race in the Daytona 500, able to avoid the carnage in the 2nd half of the race. After Daytona, Reed Sorenson went to the No. 15. At Talladega and Indianapolis Joey Gase drove the No. 15 finishing 25th respectively. At Dover, Ross Chastain made his Cup Series debut, where he finished 20th, the team's best non-super-speedway finish. Road Course Ringer Kevin O'Connell drove the No. 15 at Sonoma finishing 33rd, Gray Gaulding drove the No. 15 in the 2017 Overton's 400. Derrike Cope drove the No. 15 at Michigan. The No. 15 team returned in 2018 with Chastain driving at Atlanta. Chastain was to run every race in the No. 15 for the rest of the season.
It was announced that road course ringer Justin Marks would pilot the car at Sonoma and the Charlotte Roval with sponsorship from the Sufferfest Beer Company. This resulted in Chastain missing the Sonoma race, driving the No. 7 at the Charlotte Roval. Chastain returned to the team in 2019. After running 2 laps down at one point, Chastain would earn his first top-ten finish in a wild Daytona race and finished 10th. At the 2019 Daytona 500, Casey Mears drove a No. 27 Chevy Camaro ZL1, built and crewed by Premium, but entered as a Germain Racing entry. Pat Tryson was the crew chief; this was Mears's first Cup start since 2016. The No. 27 was next entered at Auto Club Speedway, this time as a Premium entry driven by Reed Sorenson with Tommy Baldwin as crew chief. In 2016, Premium Motorsports purchased the Hillman Racing No. 40 team and brought Mike Hillman as competition director. Hillman and Robinson attempted to field the No. 40 CRC Industries Chevrolet in the 2016 Daytona 500 for Reed Sorenson but failed to qualify.
The 40 did not make another attempt for 2016. In 2012, the team announced its intent to compete in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the team planned to race the full series schedule, running Toyotas, using the No. 49. J. J. Yeley and Tony Furr served as the crew chief, respectively; the team had sponsorship for the Daytona 500 from America-Israel Racing, in order to educate people about Israel. One of the sponsors said that "being brought up Southern Baptist, I was always taught we stand behind Israel; this is a way. It's something I believe in." Yeley stated that JPO Absorbents will sponsor for about 8-10 races throughout the season. In its first outing, the team missed the field for the Daytona 500. On October 22, 2012, the team sold off its Cup Series equipment in an auction to NEMCO Motorsports and Joe Nemechek, with Robinson becoming a partner in the renamed NEMCO-JRR Motorsports. In October 2014, Mike Wallace, the regular driver for the Robinson-affiliated Identity Ventures Racing, ran the No. 49 Royal Teak Collection Toyota at Talladega.
At the 2018 Daytona 500, Justin Marks drove a No. 51 Chevy with Harry's Shave Club sponsoring. The points were leased from Rick Ware Racing. Mike Hillman, partnered with Joe Falk and his team was named as a partner for 2016, purchasing equipment from Hillman-Circle Sport LLC; the team returned in Martinsville for their 2016 debut. The nu
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Since 2017, it has been named for its sponsor, Monster Energy, but has been known by other names in the past; the series began in 1949 as the Strictly Stock Division, from 1950 to 1970 it was known as the Grand National Division. In 1971, when the series began leasing its naming rights to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was referred to as the Winston Cup Series. A similar deal was made with Nextel in 2003, it became the Nextel Cup Series. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, in 2008 the series was renamed the Sprint Cup Series, which lasted until 2016. In December 2016, it was announced that Monster Energy would become the new title sponsor starting in 2017; the championship is determined by a points system, with points being awarded according to finish placement and number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 26 races, 16 drivers, selected on the basis of wins during the first 26 races, are seeded based on their total number of wins.
They compete in the last ten races, where the difference in points is minimized. This is called the NASCAR playoffs; the series holds strong roots in the Southeastern United States, with half of the races in the 36-race season being held in that region. The current schedule includes tracks from around the United States. Regular season races were held in Canada, exhibition races were held in Japan and Australia; the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race, had a television audience of about 9.17 million U. S. viewers in 2019. Cup Series cars are unique in automobile racing; the engines are powerful enough to reach speeds of over 200 mph, but their weight coupled with a simple aerodynamic package make for poor handling. The bodies and chassis of the cars are regulated to ensure parity, electronics are traditionally spartan in nature. In 1949, NASCAR introduced the Strictly Stock division, after sanctioning Modified and Roadster division races in 1948. Eight races were run on the Daytona Beach beach/street course.
The first NASCAR "Strictly Stock" race was held at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. Jim Roper was declared the winner of that race after Glenn Dunaway was disqualified for having altered the rear springs on his car; the division was renamed "Grand National" for the 1950 season, reflecting NASCAR's intent to make the sport more professional and prestigious. It retained this name until 1971; the 1949 Strictly Stock season is regarded in NASCAR's record books as the first season of GN/Cup history. Martinsville Speedway is the only track on the 1949 schedule. Rather than having a fixed schedule of one race per weekend with most entrants appearing at every event, the Grand National schedule has included over sixty events in some years. There are two or three races on the same weekend and two races on the same day in different states. In the early years, most Grand National races were held on dirt-surfaced short oval tracks that ranged in lap length from under a quarter-mile to over a half-mile, or on dirt fairgrounds ovals ranging from a half-mile to a mile in lap length.
One hundred ninety-eight of the first 221 Grand National races were run on dirt tracks. Darlington Raceway, opened in 1950, was the first paved track on the circuit over one mile long. In 1959, when Daytona International Speedway was opened, the schedule still had more races on dirt racetracks than on paved ones. In the 1960s as superspeedways were built and old dirt tracks were paved, the number of races run on dirt tracks was reduced; the last NASCAR race on a dirt track was held on September 30, 1970 at the half-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina. Richard Petty won that race in a Plymouth, sold by Petty Enterprises to Don Robertson and rented back by Petty Enterprises for the race. Between 1971 and 2003, NASCAR's premier series was called the Winston Cup Series, it was sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette brand Winston. In 1971, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned television advertising of cigarettes; as a result, tobacco companies began to sponsor sporting events as a way to spend their excess advertising dollars and to circumvent the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act's ban on television advertising.
RJR's sponsorship became more controversial in the wake of the 1998 Tobacco Industry Settlement that restricted avenues for tobacco advertising, including sports sponsorships. The changes that resulted from RJR's involvement in the series as well as from the reduction in schedule from 48 to 31 races per year established 1972 as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era"; the season was made shorter, the points system was modified several times during the next four years. Races on dirt tracks and on oval tracks shorter than 250 miles were removed from the schedule, transferred to the short-lived NASCAR Grand National East Series. NASCAR's founder, Bill France Sr. turned over control of NASCAR to Bill France Jr.. In August 1974, France Jr. asked series publicist Bob Latford to design a points system with equal points being awarded for all races regardless of length or prize money. This system ensured that the top drivers would have to compete in all the races in order to become the series champion.
This system remained unchanged from 1975 until the Chase for the Championship was instituted in 2004. Since 1982, the Daytona 500 has been the first non-exhib
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, United States. It lies about 51 miles northeast of Orlando, 86 miles southeast of Jacksonville, 242 miles northwest of Miami. In the 2010 U. S. Census, it had a population of 61,005, it is a principal city of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area, home to 600,756 people as of 2013. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Fun Coast region of Florida; the city is known for its beach where the hard-packed sand allows motorized vehicles to drive on the beach in restricted areas. This hard-packed sand made Daytona Beach a mecca for motorsports, the old Daytona Beach Road Course hosted races for over 50 years; this was replaced in 1959 by Daytona International Speedway. The city is the headquarters for NASCAR. Daytona Beach hosts large groups of out-of-towners that descend upon the city for various events, notably Speedweeks in early February when over 200,000 NASCAR fans come to attend the season-opening Daytona 500. Other events include the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 race in July, Bike Week in early March, Biketoberfest in late October, the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in January.
The area where Daytona Beach is located was once inhabited by the indigenous Timucuan Indians who lived in fortified villages. The Timucuas were nearly exterminated by contact with Europeans through war and disease and became extinct as a racial entity through assimilation and attrition during the 18th century; the Seminole Indians, descendants of Creek Indians from Georgia and Alabama, frequented the area prior to the Second Seminole War. During the era of British rule of Florida between 1763 and 1783, the King's Road passed through present-day Daytona Beach; the road extended from Saint Augustine, the capital of East Florida, to Andrew Turnbull's experimental colony in New Smyrna. In 1804 Samuel Williams received a land grant of 3,000 acres from the Spanish Crown, which had regained Florida from the British after the American Revolution; this land grant encompassed the area. Williams built a slave-labor-based plantation to grow cotton and sugar cane, his son Samuel Hill Williams would abandon the plantation during the Second Seminole War, when the Seminoles burned it to the ground.
The area now known as the Daytona Beach Historical District was once the Orange Grove Plantation, a citrus and sugar cane plantation granted to Samuel Williams in 1787. The plantation was situated on the west bank of the tidal channel known as the Halifax River, 12 miles north of Mosquito Inlet. Williams was a British loyalist from North Carolina who fled to the Bahamas with his family until the Spanish reopened Florida to non-Spanish immigration. After his death in 1810, the plantation was run by his family until it was burned down in 1835. In 1871, Mathias Day Jr. of Mansfield, purchased the 3,200 acre tract of the former Orange Grove Plantation. He built a hotel. In 1872, due to financial troubles, Day lost title to his land. In 1886, the St. Johns & Halifax River Railway arrived in Daytona; the line would be purchased in 1889 by Henry M. Flagler, who made it part of his Florida East Coast Railway; the separate towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach and Seabreeze merged as "Daytona Beach" in 1926, at the urging of civic leader J.
B. Kahn and others. By the 1920s, it was dubbed "The World's Most Famous Beach". Daytona's wide beach of smooth, compacted sand attracted automobile and motorcycle races beginning in 1902, as pioneers in the industry tested their inventions, it hosted land speed record attempts beginning in 1904, when William K. Vanderbilt set an unofficial record of 92.307 mph. Land speed racers from Barney Oldfield to Henry Seagrave to Malcolm Campbell would visit Daytona and make the 23 mi beach course famous. Record attempts, including numerous fatal endeavors such as Frank Lockhart and Lee Bible, would continue until Campbell's March 7, 1935 effort, which set the record at 276.816 mph and marked the end of Daytona's land speed racing days. On March 8, 1936, the first stock car race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course, located in the present-day Town of Ponce Inlet. In 1958, William France Sr. and NASCAR created the Daytona International Speedway to replace the beach course. Automobiles are still permitted at a maximum speed of 10 mph.
Daytona Beach is located at 29°12′N 81°2′W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 64.93 sq mi. of which 58.68 sq mi is land and 6.25 sq mi is water. Water is 9.6% of the total area. The city of Daytona Beach is split in two by the Halifax River lagoon, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, sits on the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered on the north by Holly Hill and Ormond Beach and on the south by Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona and Port Orange. Daytona Beach has a humid subtropical climate, typical of the Gulf and South Atlantic states; as is typical of much of Florida, there are two seasons in Daytona Beach. In summer, temperatures are stable and there is an average of only 9.2 days annually with a maximum at or above 95 °F. The Bermuda High pumps hot and unstable tropical air from the Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico, resulting in daily, but brief thundershowers
Darlington Raceway is a race track built for NASCAR racing located near Darlington, South Carolina. It is nicknamed "The Lady in Black" and "The Track Too Tough to Tame" by many NASCAR fans and drivers and advertised as "A NASCAR Tradition." It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, an oval with the ends of different configurations, a condition which arose from the proximity of one end of the track to a minnow pond the owner refused to relocate. This situation makes it challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends. Harold Brasington was a retired racer in 1948, who had gotten to know Bill France, Sr. while competing against France at the Daytona Beach Road Course and other dirt tracks in the Southeast and Midwestern United States. He began planning a new speedway after he noticed the huge crowds while attending the 1948 Indianapolis 500 and thought, "If Tony Hulman can do it here, I can do it back home." Brasington bought 70 acres from farmer Sherman Ramsey, started making a race track from a cotton and peanut field.
However, he was forced to create an egg-shaped oval with one corner tighter and more steeply banked because he promised Ramsey that the new track wouldn't disturb Ramsey's minnow pond at the west side of the property. Brasington was able to make the other turn at the east side of the property wide and flat as he wanted, it took a year to build the track. Brasington made a deal in the summer of 1950 with France to run a 500-mile race in Darlington on Labor Day that year; the first Southern 500 carried a record $25,000 purse, was co-sanctioned by NASCAR and its rival Central States Racing Association. More than 80 entrants showed up for the race. Brasington used a 2-week qualifying scheme similar to the one used at the Indianapolis 500. Brasington was inspired by Indianapolis when he had the 75-car field aligned in 25 rows of three cars; these practices have been curtailed over the years as NASCAR adopted a more uniform set of guidelines with regard to the number of cars which could qualify for a race.
The race was won by Johnny Mantz in a car owned by France. In recent years the track has been reconfigured. Seating has been increased to 65,000, although it has been limited by the proximity of a highway behind the back stretch and another pond. Darlington has something of a legendary quality among older fans; the track earned the moniker The Lady in Black because the night before the race the track maintenance crew would cover the entire track with fresh asphalt sealant, in the early years of the speedway, thus making the racing surface dark black. Darlington is known as "The Track Too Tough to Tame" because drivers can run lap after lap without a problem and bounce off of the wall the following lap. Racers will explain that they have to race the racetrack, not their competition. Drivers hitting the wall are considered to have received their "Darlington Stripe" thanks to the missing paint on the right side of the car. On January 28, 2019, it was revealed on ISC's 2018 annual report that the raceway's track seating was reduced from 58,000 to 47,000.
For many years, Darlington was the site of two annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. One, the Rebel 400, was held in the spring while the other, the Southern 500, was always held on Labor Day weekend. In 2003, the Labor Day race was given to California Speedway, the Southern 500 was moved to November 2004 and was run as part of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. In 2005, NASCAR eliminated the Southern 500 altogether as a result of the Ferko lawsuit, offending many fans who had followed the sport for generations; the race was merged into the 400-mile spring race, moved to Mother's Day weekend. A 500-mile race named after a Dodge vehicle was held for the next four years, before the race was given the Southern 500 moniker in 2009; the move was the result of several factors. Darlington suffered from poor ticket sales in the spring. Part of this is due to the track's location in the Textile Belt of South Carolina, where there has been an ongoing general economic decline for many years. Additionally, there is little of interest to the average fan from outside the Darlington area other than the events at the track itself.
Many newer NASCAR venues are near major cities to avoid this problem. A further factor in the move was an ongoing desire by NASCAR to spread its events out over more of the country. However, the novelty having now worn off of many of these newer races and venues, several of them are now suffering much worse attendance than Darlington has experienced. Darlington received a $10 million upgrade in the largest investment in the track's history; this followed a $6 million upgrade the previous year, which included an entire repaving of the oval for the first time since 1995. In 2014, Darlington was run in April. In 2015, the Southern 500 returned to its traditional Labor Day weekend date. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying: Aric Almirola, 26.705 s – 184.145 miles per hour, April 11, 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race: Matt Kenseth, 3 h 32 min 29 s – 141.383 miles per