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FALL BREAK '98: DAYTONA GETS RECORD CROWD FOR PEPSI 400
Published October 19, 1998
Despite its postponement in July due to forest fires and a 36-minute rain delay Saturday, the first ever nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 was "staged before a record swarm of 180,000 spectators at Daytona International Speedway" (Godwin Kelly, Daytona NEWS-JOURNAL, 10/18). In Jacksonville, Mike Bianchi estimated the attendance to be 175,000: "No matter who won the race, the real star of the show [Saturday] was the speedway itself and its new $5 million lighting system" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 10/18). OTHER NIGHT RACES? Daytona International Speedway President John Graham said the new lighting system "might someday be put to use for the track's February events." However, Graham added that he "doesn't think the Daytona 500 will move to the evening hours," but that some of the events during February's Speed Weeks "could move into the evening as early as the year 2000" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/18). NO BULL IN VEGAS: Las Vegas Speedway "will replace" Indianapolis Motor Speedway "as R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company reprises" its Winston No Bull 5 program for the '99 season. The Las Vegas 500 on March 7 will join the Daytona 500 (February 14), the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 30), the Southern 500 at Darlington, SC, (September 5) and the Winston 500 at Talladega, AL, (October 17) in next season's program. The top five finishers in each of the program's races become eligible to race for the $1M bonus in the following race (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/17).