Daytona International Speedway – HSR Classic 24 Hour
Photos by Chris Green, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
Daytona International Speedway 1801 West International Speedway Blvd Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Year Opened: 1959
The Classic Returns Home
The HSR Classic 24 Hour at Daytona International Speedway is one of the more unique races in America. Not only does it feature the season finale race weekend for Trans Am, but it also showcases racing history from the past. The Classic 24 Hour indeed concludes with 24 hours of racing through the night, but is broken up into different hour-long segments showcasing various time periods and car classes. If you’re a racing history buff, this is no doubt a fantastic race to come to.
Food & Beverage 3
There is plenty to eat at Daytona in the paddock main infield midway. From drinks, coffee, and traditional stadium fare to more eclectic choices, the variety is impressive. During the Classic 24 Hour, fans can be seen lining up at various food trucks and small vendors all around the Fan Zone and midway to get something to eat. While the grandstand and its associated food booths may be closed during the race weekend, fans should no less have an easy time finding something to eat.
There’s nothing quite like being at a 24-hour endurance race. The feeling is electric as the race begins in the afternoon; as the sun sets, the lights come on and the look and feel of the race takes on another face – the smell of race fuel, the glow of the brakes in the cold night, the sound of engines roaring lap after lap. The infield campfires grow more numerous and the party picks up only as the night darkens. What makes this race so unique, however, is the relaxed feeling. Unlike the Rolex 24 where everyone is on edge pushing hard for a full day of racing, the HSR Classic 24 Hour is more a celebration of racing history. While podium finishers are awarded trophies and medals, the enjoyment and appreciation of the historic cars that participate are the most important.
Daytona is a party town from days gone past when tourists flocked to the beaches during the summer months. However, the sun isn’t always so warm in North Florida in January. Nonetheless, the beaches are still just a few miles away from the track. In addition, right across the street from the track sit numerous stores, malls, and restaurants. From Chipotle and Panera to Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, there are plenty of places to shop and eat at during your stay.
The fans at the Classic 24 Hour are like the ones you will find during the January Rolex 24. While not as numerous, a no-less impressive crowd turns up to watch racing history take to the track. Many fans range in ages from the youngest and newest race fans, to the old-timers who were here to see some of the historic cars on track in their heyday.
Parking at the Classic 24 Hour is plentiful in the various lots around the infield of the track. For those who would rather take a ride, however, trams are available to shuttle you in and out of the track from numerous parking lots, as well as to take you from one point to another at the track itself. You also can wander the facility as you wish, with any ticket granting you access to the various infield viewing areas.
Return on Investment 5
The HSR Classic 24 Hour is a race to be added to any sportscar fan’s list of must-see events. Tickets for the race weekend can get up there in price for a full camping package, but when you consider the quality of the product on the track, the length of the actual race you’re seeing, and the history made every year at the event, it’s hard to argue value versus cost. Single day ticket options are also available.
The Classic 24 Hour is home to multiple days of racing action, including support races beyond the main event itself. In addition, all tickets get you into the garage and paddock area at Daytona International Speedway, which features fantastic views of the track and the paddock from the rooftop patio decks. Fans can also get a look into the team preparations, thanks to the viewing windows in each garage bay.
Fans in attendance can look forward to the fan walk before the race starts on Saturday. Fans are able to get up close to the cars on pit road, wander the front stretch banking, relax on the grass, and have an up-front seat for driver introductions.
Taking a trip to Daytona International Speedway for the HSR Classic 24 Hour is a visit worth taking – anyone who is a sportscar race fan should attend. This is a top-level historic event that features great Florida weather, a top-level venue, and incredible machines racing around one of the most historic facilities in all the racing world.