The 2021 Daytona 500 will have fans in attendance; how many remains to be determined. We know, however, that Daytona International Speedway won’t be at full capacity for the 63rd running of NASCAR’s iconic season-opening race, scheduled for February 14.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal and other media outlets, the number of spectators allowed to attend the 500 “will be limited” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless, Speedway officials are optimistic.
“While we won’t be able to have a capacity crowd here in February, we are excited that we can host the Daytona 500 with those in attendance,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “… The Great American Race will once again have the aura and atmosphere that fans have come to know and love.”
The Speedway has a capacity of 101,500.
Fox News reported that the DIS is hiring 2500 people to work the event.
No announcement has been made regarding attendance for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, scheduled for January 30–31.
Daytona International Speedway hosted two reduced-attendance events in August, the Daytona Cup Series Go Bowling 235 and Coke Zero Sugar 400, which had estimated crowds of 10,000 and 25,000, respectively.
DIS officials say they are working to accommodate fans who have already purchased tickets to the 2021 Daytona 500, and many will be “reseated” in new locations to adhere to social distancing. The process is expected to be complete by early January.
All fans will be screened before entering the facility and will be required to wear face coverings while maintaining six feet social distancing throughout their visit.
The 2021 Speedweek schedule includes the Busch Clash (road course), February 9; Daytona 500 qualifying, February 10; Duel at Daytona qualifying races, February 11; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy 250, February 12; NASCAR Xfinity Series NASCAR Racing Experience 300 and the ARCA Lucas Oil 200, February 13; and the Daytona 500, February 14.
Tickets can be purchased here or visiting or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Chase Elliott is the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, having won his first title in November. Elliott’s father, Bill, also won a NASCAR championship in 1988, as well as the Daytona 500 in 1985 and ’87.