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Thousands head to Daytona Beach for Coke Zero 400 race

Thousands of NASCAR fans are heading to the Daytona International Speedway. (WFTV)
Thousands of NASCAR fans are heading to the Daytona International Speedway. (WFTV)
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Updated: 7/06/2013 1:13 pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WFTV) -- Thousands of NASCAR fans are heading to the Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 race that begins Saturday evening.

The race officially begins at 7:30 p.m., but fans have already started making their way over to the Speedway.

Traffic on I-4 eastbound in Volusia County is moving smoothly with no issues reported, despite an obvious increase in the number of cars on the roadway. The Florida Highway Patrol has encouraged drivers to avoid I-4 in the Daytona Beach area on Saturday and instead take State Road 44 to I-95.

On Friday, NASCAR officials and drivers held a groundbreaking ceremony for the track's $400 million redevelopment project, called "Daytona Rising." The project, slated to be finished in January of 2016, includes a makeover of the grandstands that features a new layout for fans to be more social and comfortable.

"They want to keep improving the experience for the fan and I think that's really important not to lose sight of. When this place is all updated and renovated, it's going to draw more people in," said NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne.

The Coke Zero 400 qualifying race was held Friday afternoon at the Speedway. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth will start from the front row for tonight's race. Kenseth is seeking his circuit-leading fifth victory after winning in Kentucky last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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