Less-familiar race fans often think the Daytona 500 means the cars do 500 laps of the track. 500 is actually the distance, which of course is 500 miles. It takes 200 laps of the 2.5-mile circuit to complete the race, though it could be cut short due to weather or even extended a few extra laps to ensure green-flag racing to the end. Depending on crashes and caution flags, the race typically spans around three hours from start to finish.