NASCAR drivers gear up for sold-out race: 'The history of our sport is built' at Daytona 500

'The purse, the trophy, the crowd, the atmosphere here is unmatched,' Kyle Larson says
Posted at 3:02 PM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 15:55:03-05

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR drivers are sharing their thoughts about what makes the Daytona 500 so great.

WPTV reporter Kendall Hyde spoke with some of the biggest names in the sport about the significance of the event and the track that started it all.

Since 1959, the Daytona 500 has been the heartbeat of the sport called NASCAR.

Joey Logano 2015 winner of the Daytona 500 02162024
Daytona 500 2015 winner Joey Logano shares what makes the NASCAR Cup Series motor race so special.

"It's Daytona. What else do you need to know about it?" Joey Logano, 2015 winner of the Daytona 500, said. "I mean the history of our sport is built here. When you pull in here, you know what that is all about."

NASCAR Driver Kyle Larson shared the same sentiment.

"What they've made this event into, they've made it into a prestigious event," Larson said. "The purse, the trophy, the crowd, the atmosphere here is unmatched."

NASCAR Driver Kyle Larson 02162024.png
NASCAR Driver Kyle Larson talks about what the Daytona 500 such a prestigious event.

The legendary track spans about 500 acres and features the famous 31-degree high banks, allowing drivers to hit top speed, while allowing fans to get a great view of the 2.5-mile speedway.

There can be only one winner and for Martin Treux Jr., he's hoping the track he fell in love with as a kid will bring him luck on Sunday.

"This is the biggest one of the year," Treux, 20-time Daytona 500 racer, said. "It kicks off a new season as well, which is kind of interesting, and it's always just the excitement of the off-season preparation, and you come down here to see what you have."

For the some drivers, this track is nothing but fond memories.

Martin Treux Jr 02162024
20-time Daytona 500 racer Martin Treux Jr. shares what he hopes to accomplish during this year's race.

"Winning," Logano said, laughing.

For others, it is all about changing their luck.

"I came second here one time, cool, I guess. I would like to have won, but that was a decent finish," NASCAR driver Chase Elliot said. "The rest of them we crashed, so there haven't been a whole lot of good."

NASCAR driver Chase Elliot Daytona 500 02162024
NASCAR driver Chase Elliot shares his memories of racing at the Daytona International Speedway.

 "I guess finishing second is not a great memory, but we got to be part of the closest finish in history here," Treux said. "It was cool. I just wish we were on the other side of it."

With so much history from every driver on this track, fireworks are expected over the weekend.

Daytona 500 coverage begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on WFLX FOX 29.