February 2024
by Janna Curtis and family

When your mom is the queen of surprises, it’s only fitting that you go behind her back to help her dreams come true. Janna’s daughter reached out to us about getting her mom to the Daytona 500. Sundays are Race Days in her house. The family took a shot and got the tickets themselves, and Team Gleason was thrilled to help with all the boring parts of travel, like flights and hotels. You can read more about what Janna had to say about her surprise trip to Daytona – even with rain delays. 

What was your favorite part of the Adventure? 

Janna‘s favorite part of the trip was being able to go on the track before the cup race! She even took her scooter for a little spin on the bank of the track. We purchased special fan zone and pre-race access tickets and were able to see the driver introductions and even sign our names on the track! This was a really cool time to see all the pits up close as well. Definitely a NASCAR fan‘s dream. 

The most memorable part of the trip was spending quality time with family. It was very special to getaway together for the extended weekend.  

Did you face any challenges? How were you able to overcome them? 

We had typical travel issues on the way there with flight delays, but luckily we could select new flights within the airlines app! We also had some damaged luggage we had to go shopping to replace.

The real challenge was the intense weather Daytona was hit with during the entire weekend. All the races and events cannot be held in the rain, so we were held in limbo until NASCAR could reschedule. Daytona Beach is a very outdoor-based town also… so while waiting for them to be rescheduled we played lots of cards in our hotel and made the (very rainy) venture to Disney Springs for the day.

Luckily, the Xfinity and Cup race were rescheduled for a beautiful and sunny Monday (instead of Saturday and Sunday).  

What did this trip mean to you? 

Janna says this trip means everything to her! It is her version of the Super Bowl as a lifelong NASCAR fan.  

How was the accessibility on your adventure? 

Accessibility was just fine based on what was needed for this trip and event. Daytona Speedway has a great system with ADA shuttles from the lots, to the fan zone, and the entrances. Janna used her mobility scooter to avoid long walks and we could use an elevator to get to our section.

Plus our seats were only up a couple of steps so everything was very manageable! 

What advice would you have for someone else going on a similar adventure? 

Over-prepare and pack everything you will need for an extra day and night in case things change that are out of your control! Oh, and bring a rain coat when traveling to Florida! Regardless of what happens, if you are with your people you can make the best out of a not-so-great situation and have fun.