Daytona Beach is one of the largest, world-known event in the motorcycling area, held regularly on the Atlantic coast of Florida since January 1937, when the first race was held. The track, approximately 3.2 miles long, was a simple design with a straight line on the hard-sand beach heading north, a 180° huge, sand-banked curve to the left leading to the local road heading straight towards south, and a second 180° sand-banked curve to the left bringing the riders back to the beach. The first Daytona 200 was won by Ed Kretz, riding an Indian, at the average speed of 73.34 mph (118 km/h).
The “Daytona 200” was interrupted in 1942 because of the Second World War, and resumed in 1947, welcoming 176 riders and a big crowd of spectators. In 1948 the track was made a little further south because the area was developing fast. The event, now promoted by Bill France, was held on the new 4.1 mile beach track until 1960 when the giant speedway was built and welcomed the races as from 1961.
Text Marc Pétrier – Photo FIM/AMA