Daytona International Speedway to Host Florida High School Graduations

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 2, 2020

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 17: Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Koch Industries Ford, races during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

High school seniors in Florida's Flagler County school district are about to experience a one-of-a-kind graduation ceremony. 

Since holding a traditional service has become unfeasible due to the coronavirus pandemic, Daytona International Speedway is stepping up to host a drive-thru celebration in which students will get to cross the finish line on the famed track. 

The idea is the brainchild of speedway president Chip Wile, who told Cassidy Alexander of the News-Journal it came to him in a dream. 

"The next morning I started talking to some of my teammates about the possibility," Wile said. 

Wile said he called two different school districts in the area with Flagler quickly jumping on board. 

On May 31, graduating seniors will each be allowed one car on the track with their families inside and will get to take a victory lap around the famed oval after receiving their diplomas at the finish line. Additionally, a ceremony will be live-streamed and simulcast over the radio for students to tune into. 

Daytona has been used as a football field and hosted a variety of different races, but this marks new territory for the 61-year-old facility. 

For those who were raised in the area, it also provides an opportunity to start a new tradition and find joy during the crisis.