nascar newsDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET) – NASCAR’s biggest and most prestigious race – will carry a record purse of more than $19 million as well as a new contingency award that will payout $200,000 to the driver leading at the completion of Lap 100.

The posted awards for "The Great American Race" are $19,142,601 with the winner collecting a minimum of $1,431,325. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,050,075, $759,600, $609,900 and $486,550.

The Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award will reward the driver leading at the completion of lap 100 of the historic 200-lap, 500-mile race with a $200,000 bonus. If the race is under caution at Lap 100, the leader of the race at the completion of the fifth consecutive green flag lap following the caution will receive the award.

"There is plenty of incentive for drivers to run up front the entire race but even more so at the halfway point and the last lap of the Daytona 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "This year’s ‘Great American Race’ stands to be one of the most exciting and thrilling ever seen, and will serve as a great kick-off to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."

Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP

If you are unable to attend in person, be sure to tune in to the Daytona 500 on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway’s social media channels on Twitter (@DISUpdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway). In addition, fans can also follow NASCAR (@NASCAR) and hashtags #NASCAR and #DAYTONA500.

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