What Are Speedweeks at the Daytona International Speedway?


Quick Answer

Speedweeks at the Daytona International Speedway are a series of races that take place during January and February each year; these races build up to, and end with, the Daytona 500. Speedweeks are sponsored by Budweiser, and consist of several series of races. Prior to the beginning of Speedweeks, drivers historically underwent a preseason test for several races, including the Rolex 24.

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Full Answer

Each year, the Rolex 24 race marks the start of Speedweeks. This race typically takes place during the last weekend in January. It is the first important qualifying race in the Speedweeks series that spans 2 days, usually Saturday and Sunday. The Rolex 24 is preceded by a special event on the Friday before the race called the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

Following the Rolex 24, the track at Daytona is quiet for several weeks to prevent a conflict with the Super Bowl. After a 14-day hiatus, a second wave of drivers and cars arrives for a series of short, fast races. These races include the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the ARCA Lucas Oil 200 Race and the Sprint Cup Pole Qualifying race, which determines entrants in the Daytona 500.

In addition to qualifying races, some exhibition and practice races take place during Speedweeks, too. The Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series races take place mid-week before the Daytona. Those final races take place 1 to 2 days before the big race.

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