Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL — February 17, 2022
As we wrap up our coverage from Daytona International Speedway there is one more aspect to SpeedWeeks that deserves mention.
When NASCAR comes to Michigan International Speedway, one of our traditions at The Lasco Press is to visit the infield Saturday night and report on the fun race fans experience while visiting the beautiful Irish Hills area of our state. As we are in Daytona for this year’s “Great American Race” we thought it appropriate to visit the infield here at the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing” and see how the party compares. How wild does it get when the sun goes down in “The Sunshine State?”
Racing action at MIS covers a weekend, the weeklong on-track excitement at Daytona draws the most die-hard race fans to set up a viewing position in the infield.
After restrictions over the last couple of years, it was great to see Daytona completely sold out for the 500-mile race in 2022. Not just all the seats in the grandstand, but all infield camping spots as well.
We asked in the media room where the center of excitement is in the “World Center of Racing?” Okay, enough nicknames. Steph pointed out several spots to consider but highly recommended a visit to the tent city in turn three and the wheelbarrow races. With some downtime at the track in the morning, we drove around to reconnoiter the area.
When you enter the tent camping space you are going to meet one of the Fan Crew, track employees that act as your host or hostess for the weekend. Kathy, clearly the lady in charge, spotted my media parking pass and inquired as to why I was so far away from the designated parking allotted to people like me. Explaining that I was researching a story about this unique camping area of the infield, Kathy pulled me over to the side and filled me in.
What to Expect While Tent Camping at Daytona International Speedway
Every employer needs more workers like Kathy. Someone you can turn an assignment over to and not have to worry about the job getting done. Someone so accomplished at their post that things operate seamlessly with minimal supervision.
Kathy has been working at the speedway for 15 years, she knows most of the regulars by name, and welcomes the “newbies” like they were old friends. She warned me that newbies get wrapped in yellow crime tape for the first night as an initiation. I protested that I am not a newbie and I have the pictures to prove it.
There is a lot you need to know to survive the tent city experience. Like all flags have to come down during on-track action. Can’t block the view of those guests in the grandstands. Kathy says it’s OK to have fun, let your hair down, even get crazy. You just have to keep things safe and within reason. If you drink too much and pass out on the ground, you might wake up with a bright spray paint line around your position. To keep people from stepping on you. She suggested I time my visit for around 9 pm, that’s when the real party kicks off.
Pictures tell a story of their own, but sometimes an explanation is called for. Nighttime is the right time to get your party on at Daytona. If you have ever thought about coming to the World Center of Racing, it’s a must-see part of the venue and it goes on every night during Speedweeks. Add it to your bucket list, once you experience it, you won’t want to miss it.
Everyone gets into the competitive spirit of Speedweeks, that need for speed spreads to the infield as well. Wheelbarrow racing is the answer to the itch if you have consumed enough adult beverages to climb aboard. By far, the biggest crowd every night lined up to watch the action.
How Can You Experience This
Well, you can read The Lasco Press and see our pictures. Or you can get in on the excitement yourself. First, don’t wait, the infield sold out this year and packages go on sale immediately after race day. Visit the Geico Campground at Daytona web page and book your experience now. Maybe we will take your picture next year.
For more views of this year’s fun visit our Facebook link.