Daytona's "Big Ticket" on Sale Thursday
17 July 1997
(July 16, 1997) -- Tickets for one of the most anticipated sporting events in Florida history go on sale today (Thursday) at Daytona International Speedway for the inaugural night running of the Pepsi 400 on July 4, 1998. For years, sports fans have coveted seats to the Daytona 500, creating a ticket demand for the race as high as any sports event in the world. With the addition of lights to the famed superspeedway that has hosted NASCAR events since 1959, Speedway President John Graham expects demand for Pepsi 400 tickets to be nearly as high. "A NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona under the lights is sure to be one of the greatest spectacles in motorsports, second only perhaps to the Daytona 500," Graham said. "Each year, through the combination of huge television ratings and sold-out grandstands at the Speedway, the Daytona 500 enjoys the largest audience in motorsports. With the addition of lights, we expect the Pepsi 400 to be a very close second." Those who had reserved-seat tickets for the 1997 Pepsi 400 won by John Andretti on July 5, will have until Sept. 15 to renew their seats for next year's history-making event. Tomorrow's sale will allow fans who did not have reserved seats for this year's race the opportunity to place a deposit on seats for the 1998 event. All reserved-seat tickets for the 1998 event will be renewable for the 1999 Pepsi 400. On July 4, Graham announced plans to make Daytona International Speedway home to the world's largest sports lighting project by erecting more than 130 light poles ranging from 70 to 140 feet in height, 2,205 fixtures, 150 miles of wire, 800 tons of concrete and 2,600 square feet of mirrors to properly light the 2.5-mile high-banked trioval. Deposits for tickets can be made in person at the Speedway ticket office or by calling (904) 253-7223.