I really love fast cars. Watching them, driving them, riding in them…you name it. I don’t particularly like watching races on TV because it’s just not the same experience as being at the race in person. I prefer Formula One and Indy cars to NASCAR, but when it comes to watching powerful vehicles up close, I’m not picky. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the 90-minute All-Access tour of the Daytona international Speedway, only about an hour away from my home in Orlando, is fully wheelchair accessible! I grabbed my two boys, my helper, my travel power chair, and we headed to Daytona Beach for some roaring good fun. Here’s what it was like to take the fully wheelchair accessible All-Access tour.
The first thing we did was load into an accessible tram, which uses an electric lift to load wheelchair users, and take a ride from the main building down to the track. Our first stop was the well-known start/finish line, where you could see the 31° banks of the turns from track level. We also got to walk/roll by all of the pit stalls. Then our guide took us into the media deadline room where we could sit at one of the desks where reporters do their thing during races. Then everyone got a chance to sit at the table and get their picture taken where the race car drivers do their interviews after the race. My two boys had fun hamming it up for the camera!
Next was Gatorade Victory Lane, where again we were all able to take photos and hear about what the experience is like for the winners after a race. But the best part of the whole tour was taking the elevator up to the stands where we had an amazing view of the track. There were even Indy type cars and incredibly fast go carts racing around the track, so we got some amazing – and very loud – video of them zooming around at 120 mph+ speeds.
The last part of the tour was visiting the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, where we got to see the car used by Kurt Busch to win the 2017 Daytona 500 race. There were dozens of other race cars of every type imaginable on display there, as well as suits worn by drivers and different types of engines and equipment used during races. My boys loved every second of it, and the building is a must-see for any fan of racing sports. The Hall of Fame honors all forms of motorsports, including stock cars, sports cars, open wheel, motorcycles, drag racing, land speed records, power boating, and aviation.
If you want to take an accessible all access tour, there are some things you should know. The tours occur at several times during the day, but they book quickly and tickets are not sold in advance. You should call ahead at 1-800-PIT-STOP to find out which of the tours has a wheelchair accessible tram. I highly recommend arriving early at the track because the tickets are sold on the first come, first served basis. The tour route is also subject to change based on the track and weather activity. The cost for adults is $25, children ages 6 to 12 are $19, and children five and younger are free.