NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on Sunday (Feb. 14) will be the first time the sport returns to the Daytona International Speedway since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world forever.
Massive crowds are expected to attend the Daytona 500, despite the ongoing pandemic. The question is, will those who attend the race observe social distancing and other protocols?
According to a report by Fox News, NASCAR fans are planning to have a good time at the annual race this weekend. Only 30,000 fans will be allowed inside the Daytona International Speedway for the Feb. 14 race. This is less than one-third of the track’s capacity of 100,000 fans.
The Daytona International Speedway reportedly also took steps to make attending the race safer, according to the report. Steps taken include temperature checks, distanced seating, and cashless concessions.
Daytona 500 Expected to Have 30,000 Fans in Attendance
Even though the number of fans inside will be drastically reduced, the Daytona 500 on Sunday is expected to be the sporting event with the largest crowd since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020.
Fox News is also reporting that many fans are not wearing masks and are also not following recommended social distancing guidelines. Even so, some of them don’t seem all that worried. “I’m not really too concerned about it,” said Sam Maxwell, who came from Cleveland, Ohio, with friends to attend the Daytona 500.
On Saturday (Feb. 13), The Miami Herald also published a story and photos about the crowds ahead of the 2021 Daytona 500. Check out the massive number of RV’s already setup at the Speedway.
Twitter user George Silbermann posted that many fans who attended the Bluegreen Vacations Duels on Thursday (Feb. 11) were following social-distancing guidelines.
“The Duels at Daytona tonight. Great crowd on hand; socially distanced; family-clustered; definitely loud & animated,” he said. He also shared pictures of the crowds along with the tweet.
NASCAR fans also shared photos from Daytona International Speedway on Instagram. You can check out a few of those below. It looks like they are having a good time despite concerns regarding the pandemic.
On Feb. 7, Florida also played host to Super Bowl LV. At that event, 25,000 fans were allowed inside the stadium to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs. According to Fox News, videos have shown many fans at that game not wearing masks or following social distance protocols.
Final Practice for Daytona 500 Canceled Due to ‘Inclement Weather’
Inclement weather on Saturday (Feb. 13) forced NASCAR to cancel its final day of practice ahead of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Rain soaked the race track at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR announced the cancelation in a tweet.
Assuming Mother Nature decides to cooperate on Sunday, the 63 annual Daytona 500 will take place as planned. The race will air live on FOX beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST. It will also be live-streamed on FOX Sports Go and broadcast on the radio via MRN.