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The Daytona 500 Should Be On Everybody's Bucket List

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So I mentioned it on the blog and on Twitter but I just got back last night from the Daytona 500. Went down for my buddy’s bachelor party having zero idea what to expect other than it would be 80 degrees and sunny after being buried by snow for the past 2 months, that was enough of a selling point for me.  Listen I’m the farthest thing you’re ever going to find from a Nascar fan.  Always wondered who the nuts are who watch the stuff on TV. Know nothing about the drivers except the main ones who are always on SportsCenter. Sitting watching dudes drive around in circles for 4 to 5 hours wasn’t my idea of top notch entertainment, but I got to be honest.  The whole thing was one of the coolest not just sporting events, but events in general that I’ve ever been to.

First of all, aside from the race itself, all of Daytona is an absolute shitshow for the entire weekend.  This is their big time to shine.  Our cab driver (shout out Butch if you’re reading this, just kidding, zero percent chance Butch could read) said it’s basically the 500 and Bike Week that they make all their money, so they pull out all the stops.  Bars, clubs, strip clubs all over the place, all crowded but not overly packed with people just looking to have a good time.  Tons of drink specials and shit, like 8 dollar million ounce beer towers at the restaurants.  You can golf, hit the beach, take jet skis or pontoon boats out during the day, get hammered, stop off at marina bars and restaurants.  Basically normal awesome vacation shit but a lot cheaper.

As for the race itself it’s tough to describe it but the second you walk in it just blows your mind. You can’t even come close to appreciating how fast these things go from watching on TV. You stand up by the fence when they’re coming around turn 4 and it literally blows your camo hat and Walmart sunglasses off 20 feet down the concrete.

 

 

 

 

150,000 people in the biggest stadium you’ve ever seen in your life are just going bananas crazy for 5 hours.  CRAZY.  And every person there is like the nicest person on planet Earth. Honestly found that to be one of the biggest surprises. Figured a bunch of dudes from New York and Boston showing up to this mecca of the South would be getting shit on left and right, beer bottles smashed over our heads, stomped out by hicks calling us yanks and stuff, but it was the exact opposite. They couldn’t stop telling us all about what drivers to like (Dale), which ones are punk ass bitches (Logano^), all the different strategies, what was going on during caution flags and shit.  How to catch the perfect draft.  And when they weren’t talking they were on their feet jumping up and down as the cars drove by, every single lap, for 200 laps. Seriously every lap was the equivalent of a game winning buzzer beater or hail mary TD.  They live and die with their drivers, to the point I was legitimately convinced the 60 year old woman in front of me was going to hang herself from the grandstands with her #14 shirt when Tony Stewart wrecked out.

Oh, and everyone is allowed to bring in their own 30-40 beer cooler.  Forgot to mention that part. Might have something to do with why everyone is in such a damn good mood. Never seen anything like it, it’s like they actually discouraged you from buying their beer at the stadium and bring in your own $12 30 racks of Rolling Rock.  They peek at your cooler for like 1 second then tell you to enjoy yourself so you can basically stick whatever you want in the bottom too.  Probably make all their money back from corndog sales.

So that’s my pro tip if you and your buddies are looking to try something a little different and make a weekend out of it. Can’t repeat enough how unnecessary it is for you to have ANY interest in Nascar whatsoever to have a blast down at Daytona. Buy a cheap flight to Orlando, grab a shitty hotel along the beach, stop at the nearest Wal Mart to load up on cheap beer, jerky and a racing shirt and get ready to hit some sleazy but incredibly fun bars and strip clubs (shout out Molly Brown’s*).   Also make sure you incentivize the shit out of the race too so you have something to root for, makes it 1000X more fun.  Do a snake draft so everyone has drivers, make prop bets on wrecks and cautions.  Nothing makes a 4 hour race you know nothing about fly by and be more awesome than the chance of winning a thousand bucks from the results.

 

 

^No seriously, I know I said everyone was super nice, but don’t wear a Joey Logano shirt or you might actually get your ass kicked.  They fucking HATE Logano.  Not sure why exactly but learned that real quick.  Wear a Dale Jr shirt, you’ll get so many high fives and free drinks you probably don’t even need your own cooler.

 

*Everyone is going to tell you Lollipops is the place to go, and it’s definitely legit, but was wayyy more of a scene. Think of a mall but instead of stores and food courts there are stages and VIP rooms with like 20-30 minute lines.  Like where the Gap would be there’s a platform with a chick making her butt literally clap while suspended from a circus ring while 100 dudes throw singles at her.  That’s Lollipops.

 

 

PS – This chick popped up on the Daytona Snapchat Story.  Maybe the hottest girl ever.  Full disclosure, you will not see a single girl there that looks anything like this.  Just getting you mentally prepared, the Daytona 500 is not the spot to pick up chicks.

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It’s a lot more of this.

 

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