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Daytona still predicting sellout for the 500 UPDATE #3 Daytona International Speedway has no more of its 159,000 grandstand seats available for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, according to a track news release.

About 5,600 tickets had been discounted from $99 to $55, and the track decreased the capacity from 168,000 to 159,000 when it replaced bleacher sections in the grandstands with chair back seats with arm rests.

“NASCAR fans remain the most loyal and passionate in sports and we’re proud to host a full house for this year’s Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “These are tough and challenging times but the fans have responded overwhelmingly. We appreciate their support and look forward to hosting another history-making event.”

Infield tickets, at $100 apiece, are still available. Parking in the infield is $50.

02/14/09 It is the day before the Daytona 500 and the race still is not a sellout. Track officials say the number of available grandstand seats is now down the hundreds. If you want to get a Daytona 500 ticket at this point, your best bet is to head to the track ticket office inside The Daytona 500 Experience. An infield ticket for Sunday's race is a flat $100 and available at the tunnel gates. Infield car parking is $50, as space permits.

02/12/09 There are fewer than 1,000 seats available for the Daytona 500, track president Robin Braig said Wednesday afternoon.

Braig said if the race sells out, he would still put an asterisk by it because 5,600 tickets that sell for $99 had been lowered to $55.

“We did drop ticket prices, and I don’t want to stand here and have the long arm of [the late former NASCAR Chairman] Bill [France] Jr. reach down and smack me upside the head and say, ‘You really didn’t sell that thing out,’” Braig said.

The track capacity is 159,000. It used to be 168,000, but the track eliminated approximately 9,000 seats when it replaced bleacher seating on the frontstretch with seats that included armrests.

Many of the remaining Daytona 500 tickets available are high-end seats, including $380 tickets in the Nextel Tower on the frontstretch, which are some of the best seats.

“For the first time ever, the tickets we have left are the best seats,” Braig said. “It’s usually just the opposite, the worst seats go last. We have those [good ones] available and that’s a sign of the economy that people can’t afford the high-end seats.” Scenedaily.com  [Editor's Note:  Another sellout and the cheapskates who own the track (ISC) cannot afford to resurface the bumpy track before 2012]

02/09/09 Much like the people who try to sell knives and exercise equipment on television during the middle of the night, promoters are offering all-you-can-eat deals, free parking and discounted tickets for a lot of main events - including the Daytona 500.

"We have only 10,000 or 15,000 [tickets] to go - only is an operative word - before we're sold out," Daytona president Robin Braig said. "We were sold out in October of last year at this time. We understand we're behind."

So to make up the difference, Daytona slashed the price of some backstretch seats from $99 to $55. The speedway also is offering a $15 ticket for the Gatorade Duel qualifying races on Feb. 12, the Camping World Truck Series race on Feb. 13 and the Nationwide Series race on Feb. 14 to allow fans to eat all the hamburgers, hot dogs and chips they want.

Daytona is lucky because the 500 is the biggest race of the NASCAR season.

Braig is confident all 168,000 seats will be sold and every spare inch of the infield will be clogged with campers and tents.

The sell is a lot tougher for everyone else.

"This reminds me of the old days, when a promoter had to work hard for every single ticket," Atlanta Motor Speedway president Ed Clark said. "It's a real challenge out there. You have to come up with some fresh ideas. You have to reach out to new fans."

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