NASCAR Daytona 500: Here's what the flags mean during Florida's biggest race

Race fans will likely already know, but if you're new to watching NASCAR or the Daytona 500, or just need a refresher, here is what the different flags mean during the competition.

According to, there are 15 flags or flag combinations (refers to two flags waved at the same time) that can be shown during a race:

  • Green flag: Marks the start of a race, or the continuation of the race under normal conditions, or the re-start of a race following a yellow (caution) flag
  • Yellow flag: Caution flag, and usually slows down the race and drivers following a crash or debris. You'll likely see the pace car enter the track
  • Red flag: Marks an immediate stop to the race. Drivers have to either stop on the track or sometimes come into pit road
  • White flag: Lets drivers know that there is one lap left in the race
  • Checkered black and white flag: This flag waves as the car makes its way on the final lap, and also marks the end of the race
  • Checkered (green) flag: Race stage has ended
  • Black flag: Sometimes referred to as a "consultation flag," and is usually directed at a driver who NASCAR officials believes committed an on-track offense or cannot maintain a "consistent and competitive speed."
  • Blue flag (solid): "Hard-to-see" problems ahead, but race continues under green flag conditions
  • Blue flag with yellow diagonal stripe): Alerts drivers further back in the race that the leader or pack of leaders are approaching and should move over or be courteous
  • Yellow and red-striped flag (vertical stripes): Indicates debris on track (typically used during road races)
  • Red flag with yellow stripe: Means pit road is closed
  • Red and black flags together: Means practice or qualifying session has ended
  • Two checkered flags together: Means race has entered the halfway point
  • Green-white-checkered flag sequence: If a caution happens during the final two laps of the race, the race will continue under the yellow flag conditions – slower speed – with hopes of returning to full-speed (green flag conditions). Once that happens, NASCAR will conduct a "two-lap run to the finish." The green flag will mark the re-start of the race, followed by the white flag to mark one lap remaining, followed by the checkered flag that indicates the race has ended.

The 2023 Daytona 500 is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19. You watch the race right here on FOX 35.