|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Through 2014, Speedweeks informally kicked off in early January with off-season testing at Daytona. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series regularly conducted annual preseason tests on the 2.5 mi (4.0 km) oval, under the moniker "Preseason Thunder". For 2015, the January test sessions were cancelled as part of NASCAR's overall ban on private testing.
24 Hours of Daytona
The first major event of Speedweeks is the Rolex 24. Currently it is held the final weekend of January, which is also the bye week for the Super Bowl. This weekend has been specifically chosen to avoid conflict with the Super Bowl. Events during the weekend include:
Daytona 500 week
Following the Rolex 24, there is no track activity for two weeks. This prevents a conflict with the Super Bowl. During this time, track officials clean the track, convert it back to the oval configuration, and make final preparations for the arrival of stock cars and the increased number of spectators.
The highlight of Speedweeks are the nine days leading up to and including the Daytona 500. It begins the weekend prior to the Daytona 500, and ends with the race itself. Currently, the Daytona 500 is scheduled for the Sunday of the weekend after the Presidents Day holiday.
- Sprint Cup practice for the Daytona 500
- ARCA Lucas Oil 200 race
- Sprint Cup Sprint Unlimited exhibition race
- Sprint Cup Daytona 500 practice
- Xfinity Series Practice
- Truck Series Qualifying
- Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 race
- Xfinity Series Qualifying
- Sprint Cup Final practice for Daytona 500
- Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 race
In 2004, the Hershey Kisses 300 was stopped on Saturday for rain. The race couldn't continue on Sunday due to the 46th running of the Daytona 500. The race was completed on Monday, with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. winning both the Busch Series race and Cup race in the same weekend.
In 2005, a 5K run was added to the Speedweeks schedule, as part of the Rolex 24.
In 2007, the IndyCar Series hosted an open test on the road course configuration during the week after the Rolex 24. No race was scheduled, however.
In 2012, the Daytona 500 was postponed for the first time in race history.
Former events during Speedweeks
- International Race of Champions (usually held on Friday)
- Daytona 500 consolation race
- NASCAR Dash Series Daytona 200 (usually held the same day as the Busch Clash)
- UNOH Battle at the Beach
- Newton, David (February 24, 2012). "Next year's Daytona 500 is Feb. 24". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- NASCAR’s testing ban will include Daytona’s Preseason Thunder
- Roar Before the Rolex 24 to move back a week in 2015