DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tens of thousands of race fans filled the seats at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday night.
This was the first race weekend of the year with the stands open at full capacity. The enthusiasm from fans was high and COVID concerns were low.
There were no masks in sight as fans walked along International Speedway Boulevard.
The races that happen this weekend are not only a big boost for the racetrack but the local economy as well. Nearby restauranteurs and vendors are watching the crowds very closely and doing all they can to lure customers into their venues. All are hoping to gain some of the revenue lost to the pandemic.
"We're just so grateful we get to welcome our fans back. Our midway is going to be packed," Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher told FOX 35 News earlier this month. "Our fans safety and the health of our fans, that's our number one priority."
Heavy rain forces NASCAR to postpone Xfinity race at Daytona
The NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway was postponed Friday night because of heavy rain.
The 100-lap event will resume at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, about seven hours before the Cup Series regular-season finale. The forecast Saturday calls for scattered thunderstorms and a 40% chance of rain.
The sky opened after 19 laps Friday, and the race was halted with AJ Allmendinger out front. Christopher Bell was running second, followed by Myatt Snider, series points leader Austin Cindric and Brett Moffitt.
Brandon Jones dropped out after getting a piece of debris stuck on his grill that caused his engine to overheat.
More information about the Coke Zero Sugar 400 can be found here.
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