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Daytona 500 is sold out, which means roads will be congested around the Speedway. Here's what to know before starting your engines

Chase Elliott (9), Aric Almirola (10) and Joey Logano (22) drive during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday in Hampton, Ga. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced a ban of the Confederate battle flag at all of its events and properties.

The Daytona Beach Police Department is preparing to keep some 100,000 spectators safe at the Daytona 500 this weekend. 

Daytona Beach’s population is usually around 70,000 people, but that number will more than double this weekend for NASCAR’s sold out Daytona 500. 

Police Department spokesman Messod Bendayan says residents who aren’t attending the race should avoid the Speedway and take alternate routes to cut down on congestion in the area.

“You know, you can either go up to, I mean just kind of depends on what direction you want to go really. But if you're trying to go east-west, Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach, Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange are always good. LPGA Boulevard in Daytona also works.”

He says spectators should steer clear of storing valuables in parked cars in order to deter break-ins and assign a designated driver if they plan on partying during the race.

“When you have a lot of cars parked in one area like that, you know, sometimes people will try to take advantage and, you know, go rummaging around in cars and try to find things. So one thing I would suggest is if you've got valuables, try to not leave them in the car if you possibly can, or if you have to leave them in the car, then keep them well hidden. I would say this is especially true if you're somebody who carries and by that I mean a weapon.”

The 500-mile NASCAR Cup Series race starts on Sunday at 2:30 pm. Qualifiers are Wednesday.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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