Racing fans flock to FL for Daytona 500

DAYTONA, FL - Racing fans will turn their attention to Daytona, FL this weekend for the Super Bowl of Racing - The Daytona 500.

NASCAR season will get underway Thursday night at the Cathedral of Speed. As always, this week has brought racing fans flocking to Daytona from all over.

The Acompora family has been making the trek to Daytona from Long Island, NY since 1990. For them, Daytona isn't just a race. It's a family tradition.

"That's what we do. We love racing, but the history of the father embedded it in all of us. For me, it's like a rock concert, the Super Bowl, and the most awesome vacation of my life," Gerald Acompora said.

On pit road, the numbers are the same but the names have definitely changed. Gone from the sport are stars like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Matt Kenseth, but fans are excited to see the new crop of drivers like Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, and Bubba Wallace begin to make their mark on the sport.

"You gotta bring in the new crop of fans. There are new drivers coming in; a lot of young kids looking to make a name for themselves," said race fan, Mark Jackson.

"I look at it as they're all stars. These guys that are competing, they're all stars, right? They're the best of the best of racing in America, so it keeps evolving," Acompora said.

Meanwhile, Chase Elliott will make his debut in the #9 car his father Bill made famous. Elliott will be a crowd favorite in the Duels Thursday night and could launch himself into a position as the new face of the sport.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.