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Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher aims for 2024 Daytona 500 to 'outdo' last year

DAYTONA, Fla. (WGHP) — Every seat at the Daytona International Speedway has been sold ahead of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, and that’s just how Frank Kelleher, president of the speedway, planned it.

With 101,500 seats in the grandstands as well as suites and the infield, between 140,000 and 150,000 people will be there for the Great American Race. To plan an event that big, Kelleher says his team didn’t waste a minute.

“The planning for this event goes way back to, truly, once the checkered flag dropped last year on the 65th running of the Daytona 500,” Kelleher said. “We took really great notes. We had an amazing event last year, but each and every year we want to outdo ourselves, and no doubt we have that in store for our fans this Sunday.”

This year, the race includes some huge names, including Grammy Award-winning artists Pitbull, who will perform the pre-race concert, and DJ Khaled, who will wave the green flag as honorary starter. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will serve as grand marshal, and newly-crowned Miss America Madison Marsh will serve as honorary pace car driver.

What truly makes this race special, however, is its prestige and history.

“It’s wild to think that racing started here just seven miles away on the beach, and, then, in 1959, this 2 1/2-[mile] tri-oval was built,” Kelleher said. “… This is the race that [NASCAR drivers] want to win. This is the race that they want on their resume, at times even more than a championship.”

You can watch the Daytona 500 right here on FOX8, and the FOX8 Sports team will be in Daytona, Florida, all week long to get you prepared for NASCAR’s biggest race.

Ahead of the race, we have two specials lined up. Our “Daytona Countdown to the 500” special airs at 7 p.m. on Friday. Then, at noon on Sunday, FOX8 and Queen City News present our “Countdown to Daytona Live” pre-race special.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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