NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500
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 Sprint 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.
The event serves as the final event of Speedweeks and is sometimes referred to as "The Great American Race" or the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing." All 56 Daytona 500s since the first race in 1959 have been held in the month of February. From 1971-2011, it was associated with Presidents Day weekend, taking place on the Sunday before the third Monday in February. For 2012, the race was pushed back a week, to the last Sunday of February. Because of inclement weather conditions on February 26, the day the 2012 Daytona 500 was supposed to be held, the race was postponed until the evening of Monday, February 27, and it wasn't until the 2013 Daytona 500, which was held on February 24 of that year, that the race took place on the last Sunday of February for the first time.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500 Reviews & Ratings
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