History The Earnhardt Connection

Earnhardt to experience Daytona at speed of light
Speedworld Online
Daytona Beach, Florida (January 29, 1998)

After months of anticipation, race fans will be invited to experience "Daytona at the Speed of Light" on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Dale Earnhardt will take to Daytona's famous high banks at 6:30 p.m. following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Daytona 500. He is the winningest driver in Daytona's history, with 29 victories at the famed Speedway. Now he will become the first driver to tackle the 2.5-mile high-banked trioval under the newly-installed lighting system.

The system, the largest sports lighting project in the world, is being readied for the inaugural nighttime running of a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Daytona -- the July 4 Pepsi 400. The system will only be at about 40% as the mirrors in the infield are yet to be installed.

After the conclusion of Bud Pole Award Qualifying for the Daytona 500, fans not already in attendance may enter the frontstretch grandstands free of charge. Earnhardt will complete 20 laps, in recognition of his 20th Daytona 500 in 1998.

"Over the last 20 years, Daytona has provided a lot of great memories for me," Earnhardt said. "To have the opportunity to be the first driver to take a lap at full speed under the lights is very special."

1998 Unimount Enterprises