What's 500 miles long, lives in Florida, and attracts millions of fans every year? I'll give you a hint: it's not a giant gator, though I could see why you guessed that. It's the Daytona International Speedway, home of the famous Daytona 500 -- start time is today, February 20th, around 1pm on Fox. This race is the first on the 2011 NASCAR schedule.
It's the Super Bowl of NASCAR events, and the tradition, history and the hype make it the "Great American Race." Doesn't this sound like something you should know about? Plus, there's family drama.
Even if you're not a fan, I think we should honor our presidents by learning about what is fast becoming America's favorite past time. Who needs grass, dirt, balls and gloves when you can have blacktop, oil, cars, and noise. If you could hear me right now, I'm doing the Tim the Toolman Taylor grunt.
But today's race isn't like all others -- it holds special meaning for many race fans. It's the 10 year anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt at the Daytona 500 in 2001. It also marks the 400th career start for Dale Earnheardt Jr, who's a crowd favorite.
When asked what it means to have won this great American race, and for his father to have won it, too, Dale told Fox, "I can't explain it. It's too hard to put into words what this feels like, and what it means personally."
The race will go for hours, ending around 5pm EST. Tune in for at least a little bit just to sense the drama and the excitement. Dale Jr. will be in the car with #88 on it. Junior won the race back in 2004, and fans certainly want to see him cross the line first today ... for himself, his father, and Junior Nation.
Will you watch the Daytona 500?
Photo via The Freewheeling Daredevil/Flickr