The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), NASCAR, the Daytona International Speedway, state and local first responders, law enforcement officials, and local businesses held a tabletop exercise today to test response plans around hypothetical public safety incidents on the day of the DAYTONA 500.
By bringing together representatives from multiple agencies involved in the 63rd annual DAYTONA 500, set for Sunday, February 14, participants discussed their roles, shared best practices, and improved coordination mechanisms to help keep the public safe. The exercise is part of an ongoing partnership between those involved and was not in response to any specific threat.
“Today’s exercise was just one of the many examples of the planning and coordination that takes place long before race day to keep fans safe,” said CISA Acting Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Scott Breor. “The DAYTONA 500 is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and keeping everyone involved safe is an equally big task. CISA has a longstanding relationship with NASCAR and the DAYTONA 500, and we look forward to continuing to work with them and all our partners throughout the region to do our part to ensure the race is safe and secure.”
“The safety of every person at the DAYTONA 500 and all of our events as a part of Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth is our top priority,” said Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile. “Both the Speedway and NASCAR want our fans, competitors, staff and all others to always have a safe, secure experience while here to enjoy the Great American Race.”
Daytona Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth, the collection of events surrounding the DAYTONA 500, begins Tuesday, February 9, culminating with the Great American Race on Sunday, February 14.
The public has a critical role to play in security throughout Speedweeks. CISA encourages anyone attending the DAYTONA 500 or surrounding events to follow both the guidance of their state and local health officials, and remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to stadium personnel or law enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security’s See Something, Say Something® campaign has more information on reporting suspicious behavior.
CISA works with sports leagues, teams, stadiums and arenas, and other large venues around the country to develop and exercise response plans for all of the potential threats in today’s environment. CISA participates in approximately 30 exercises a year, and the agency has staff strategically located throughout the United States to advise businesses, schools and other organizations of all sizes on ways to enhance their security and resilience. Resources and tools are available on the agency’s website through its Hometown Security initiative.