DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Fans are starting to enter Daytona International Speedway for the running of the 61st Great American Race.
- Daytona 500 starts at 2:30 p.m.
- Jake Owen hosting pre-game show
- Driver William Byron at the pole position
- FORECAST: Warm and Dry for Daytona 500 Sunday
For the fourth consecutive year, the speedway is sold out for the Daytona 500, which means once again the area will be packed with fans, and fans and people traveling in the Daytona area should pack their patience.
Daytona Police posted a simple message on Twitter for folks traveling in the area:
"It's the Daytona 500," said Chip Wile. "It's one of sports' biggest events, and we're so lucky to have it right here in Florida. And I know everyone who's coming here today is going to have a great time."
Houston Texans star J.J. Watt will serve as grand marshal, giving the command for drivers to "start their engines."
Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. will serve as honorary pace truck driver, leading the field to the green flag. Singer Jake Owen will host a pre-race show, and the 82nd Airborne Division's All-American Chorus will sing the national anthem.
The Daytona 500 is the opening race for the NASCAR Cup Series and considered to be the most prestigious race for NASCAR drivers.
The race will have a new rule this year. NASCAR announced a surprising rule change that will now see race winners disqualified if they fail post-race inspection. The new rule will be enforced in all three national series. It will now take place onsite, immediately after the race.
At the pole position will be 21-year-old William Byron, leading the cars at the start of the race.
The race starts at 2:30 p.m.