DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR has announced a record-setting purse of $23.6 million for the 62nd annual Daytona 500, scheduled for Sunday at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Since the first edition of the Daytona 500 in 1959, NASCAR drivers have aimed for a career-defining victory in the Daytona 500 – and the fame, prestige and, now, largest purse in the history of American motorsports that come with it.
“The Daytona 500 is more than just the season-opening race,” said Chip Wile, president of Daytona Int’l Speedway. “It’s a life-changing event for the winner, whose name will join the legends of this sport. Fans will pack the state-of-the-art motorsports venue, and millions will watch on television. And the reason is simple: The Daytona 500 is one of the premier events in all of sports, and now has the richest purse in history.”
The Daytona 500 has evolved incredibly since NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. introduced race fans to what has become a world-wide spectacle. Just fewer than 42,000 fans attended the inaugural event, won by Lee Petty, who took home just under $20,000 for the victory.
A sell-out crowd of more than 100,000 fans will pack the Daytona Int’l Speedway on Sunday to watch the most prestigious – and richest – race on the NASCAR calendar.