And no, the action isn't just at Daytona International Speedway...
Technically, we suppose, Daytona Speedweeks begin when the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge takes the green flag at Daytona International Speedway – that would have been on January 23rd – and ends when the checkered flag falls on the Daytona 500 on February 22nd.
With the Super Bowl on February 1, NASCAR does not want to compete on that weekend, so Daytona International Speedway is quiet now, but that doesn’t mean Speedweeks is taking a break at other area tracks. Here’s a guide to what live events are happened in Florida between now and the Daytona 500.
DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: There will be equipment moving in and out these next two weeks, but the spectator action resumes in Friday, February 13 (yes, Friday the 13th) with ARCA final practice, then ARCA qualifying, and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Sprint Unlimited.
Saturday the 14th, there’s practice leading up to the ARCA Lucas Oil 200 at 4:15 p.m., followed by the Sprint Unlimited at 8:15 p.m. (All times are Eastern.)
Sunday the 15th, at 1:30 p.m., qualifying for the Daytona 500.
The track is dark until Wednesday, February 18, when there’s afternoon Sprint Cup practice.
Then Thursday, February 19, beginning at noon, there’s more practice for Sprint Cup, then for the Camping World Truck series, then at 7 p.m., the Budweiser Duels, two 150-mile races.
Friday, February 20, practice for the Sprint Cup series, followed by the Xfinity series, begins at 11 a.m.
And at 7:30 p.m., it’s the Camping World Truck series NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Saturday, February 21, there’s final Sprint Cup practice at 10:30 a.m., followed by Xfinity qualifying. The Xfinity Alert Today Florida 300 takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m.
The Daytona 500 winds up Daytona Speedweeks on Sunday February 22, with activities beginning at 8 a.m., and the race starting at 1 p.m.
For more information, Daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY: This half-mile paved oval, less than 30 minutes south of Daytona, is affiliated with NASCAR as one of its local tracks.
The track’s 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing begins Friday, February 13, with five classes, including super late models. All races start at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 14, it’s the Joey Coulter Truck Pro Series 50, with five other classes including two modified classes and super late models.
Sunday, February 15, is the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, and the American Canadian Tour.
On Monday, February 16, there are at least three classes, including the American Canadian Tour.
On Tuesday, February 17, it’s the last American Canadian Tour race, plus two late model classes.
Wednesday, February 18, there’s the John Blewett III Memorial Tour Type Modified 76, plus the IMCA Modified 75 and two late model classes.
Thursday, February 19, four classes, including two 50-lap features for super and pro late models.
Friday, February 20: The Richie Evans Memorial Tour Type Modified 100, plus three other classes.
And Saturday, February 21, New Smyrna ends with a 100-lap super late model feature, plus three other classes.
For more information, Newsmyrnaspeedway.org.
VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK: This half-mile dirt oval, about 40 minutes west of Daytona, is owned by World Racing Group, owner of the World of Outlaws sprint and late model series. For the rest of the non-Speedweek season, it’s operated under a lease. For Speedweeks, it’s a big deal as the closest dirt track to Daytona. Races are at 7:30 p.m.
The 44th DIRT Car Nationals runs from February 10-21.
Tuesday, February 10, it kicks off with UMP modifieds and sprint car practice.
Wednesday, February 11, and Thursday, February 12: The All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars, and UMP mods.
Friday, February 13, through Sunday, February 15, there’s World of Outlaws sprint cars, and UMP modifieds.
Monday, February 16, and Tuesday, February 17, there’s UMP late models and modifieds.
Wednesday, February 18, it’s the UMP late models Swamp King championship, and SDS big-block modifieds.
And Thursday, February 19, through Saturday, February 21, there’s World of Outlaws late models and SDS big-block modifieds.
EAST BAY RACEWAY PARK: Though East Bay, a dirt oval, is way at the other end of Interstate 4 -- in Gibsonton, which is near Tampa – you can expect big crowds at the 39th Annual Winternationals. MAVTV will be there filming some of the action, so look for Dave Despain and Dave Argabright at some of the Lucas-sponsored races.
Speedweeks has already begun at East Bay, with racing since last Wednesday, featuring some major modified racers, including ex-NASCAR driver David Reutimann. Races are at 7 p.m.
Tonight, January, 31, it’s UMP modifieds and Top Gun sprint cars.
Wednesday, February 4 through Saturday, February 7, they host the Crate late models, Team USA Mod Lites and World Street Stocks.
And from Monday, February 9, to Saturday, February 14, it’s the Lucas Oil Late Models.
Thursday, February 19, to Saturday, February 21, the ACSC 360 Sprints run with the Florida Mini Sprints.
And Thursday, February 26 to Saturday February 28, they host USAC non-wing sprint cars.
For information: Eastbayracewaypark.com.
BUBBA RACEWAY PARK: Though this Ocala track, about 90 minutes west of Daytona, is one of the oldest in the state, it has only been a major player in Speedweeks for the last four years when radio host Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem took over. The odd-shaped dirt track (there's a paved track underneath the dirt) is challenging, and under Clem, the facility is perhaps the nicest it has been in years.
Like East Bay, BRP starts early, with the Fourth Annual Bubba Army Winternationals running from January 28 to February 28.
Tonight, January 31, it’s the World Championship for the NeSmith dirt late models.
Thursday, February 5, through Saturday, February 7, it’s the All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars, with UMP modifieds Thursday and Friday, Florida Mini Sprints Saturday.
Friday, February 13, through Sunday, February 15, BRP hosts the World of Outlaw late models.
Thursday, February 19, thorough Saturday, February 21, it’s USAC Amsoil sprint cars and the Bilstein Mod Lite series.
And Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29, the Lucas Oil ASCS sprint cars run with the Florida mini sprints.
For information: Bubbaracewaypark.com.
Other area tracks
There are also some February events at Auburndale Speedway (Auburndalespeedway.net), Citrus County Speedway (Citruscountyspeedway.com), Desoto Speedway (Desotospeedway.net), North Florida Speedway (Northfloridaspeedway.com) and Showtime Speedway (Showtimespeedway.us).
A good source for general Florida racing information: Karnac.com.