The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long (805 km) NASCAR Cup Series motor race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

It is the first of two Cup races held every year at Daytona, the second being the Coke Zero 400, and one of three held in Florida, with the annual spring showdown Dixie Vodka 400 being held at Homestead south of Miami.

From 1988 to 2019, it was one of the four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule.

The inaugural Daytona 500 was held in 1959 coinciding with the opening of the speedway and since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the Cup series.

The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse ..

Championship points awarded are equal to that of any other NASCAR Cup Series race.

It is also the series' first race of the year; this phenomenon is unique  in sports, which tend to have championships or other major events at  the end of the season rather than the start.