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If you don't stay up as long as possible during the 24 Hours of Daytona, you're not doing it right.
While it may not be as packed-to-the-brim as the Daytona 500, this daylong endurance race is still a popular event.
Before the race begins, thousands of fans in the infield are able to get up close with the cars.
Shortly before the race begins, everybody is guided off the track so the teams can get ready.
But before the race begins, every team starts in the garage, where the crowds get their first look at this year's contenders.
Acura made its mark on Daytona with the maiden voyage of its NSX GT3.
Running in the GTD class, the NSX GT3 is a mish-mash of production parts and high-end racing upgrades.
The body panels might look the same, but they're made entirely of carbon fiber.
The brakes have been upgraded, and the hubs were swapped out in favor of center-locking units.
The two NSX GT3s ran this year under Michael Shank Racing.
The team included talent from many other series, including IndyCar's Ryan Hunter-Reay.
This steering wheel costs between $30,000 and $40,000.
If you look really hard, you can see the carbon fiber weave underneath the livery.
The livery is a vinyl wrap applied directly over naked carbon fiber.
There's an engine in there, somewhere.
In fact, this is the same 3.5-liter V6 that's in every production NSX, just without the hybrid system.
With hours to go before the race, engineers ensure everything is ready to roll.
Not everybody gets to walk into the garages, but Acura was nice enough to let us poke around.
The intake on this GTD-class Lexus RC F is huge.
This was Lexus' first race for its car, as well.
Not every garage is action-packed, though.
Porsche's garage was surprisingly quiet in the hours leading up to the race.
BMW's latest art car, a GTLM-spec M6, hopes it can live up to the words slapped on its side.
Yet another car made its IMSA debut here, as well -- the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
It's low, it's wide and it's damn near terrifying.
This isn't your average Lamborghini Huracan, if you couldn't tell.
Fan favorites abound, including the usual stable of Ferrari racecars.
If you didn't think these cars ran low to the ground, this picture ought to prove you wrong.
Ford's GT returned to Daytona, looking to make up for its dismal showing the year prior.
The ubiquitous Chevrolet Corvette C7.R was ready to show the new kids who's boss.
Mazda's brand new prototype racer came out, as well.
The front end is significantly closer to the street car's aesthetic than it was before.
That's probably not the most effective place to put the engine, Cadillac. Perhaps you want it in the car.
A lucky few are granted access to hang out in the pit tents, where teams pore over data from start to finish.
Before their stints in the car, other drivers sit atop the telemetry to monitor the race and stay abreast of any major changes.
Everybody in the pits waits patiently until it's time to spring into action.
When it comes time to prepare for a pit stop, the team nears the wall, grabbing the parts necessary during the stop.
One person is in charge of fuel, and another in charge of tires. There's even a person dedicated to ensuring the air hose doesn't get tangled up everywhere.
As the car arrives, the pit crew is ready to gas it up and replace the tires.
They move so fast, even a quick shutter speed can't keep them in focus.
The air hose connects to an onboard jack system that lifts the car up.
The fuel and air hoses are the last to be removed, and the car peels off to rejoin the race.
It may only take a minute, but it's one very long minute for the crew.
Here's a set of slicks that are no longer slick after a stint on the track.
Most fans don't watch the race from the pits, though -- they catch it from the fences right next to the track.
Fans with expensive cameras line the fencing, hoping to grab a solid shot of their favorite car as it comes by.
Those with experience bring a step stool that lets them stand over the fencing.
Shooting at night requires a mixture of experience and luck.
Manually set the focus for the spot on the track where you expect to get the best picture, and snap away.
You'll want to pan the camera to match the cars roaring by, so your background gets blurry but the car stays in focus.
Not every shot turns out good, but the ones that do really give a sense of the speed these cars carry.
The noise is something else.
Every car has a different note, from the flat bleating of the Ford GT to the insanely loud rumblings of the Corvette C7.R.
BMW's art car, with "FAST" emblazoned on the side, proved anything but, with a mediocre finishing position.
Acura's NSX GT3 excelled during the night, when rain forced some of its more powerful competitors to struggle with traction issues.
If you don't want to shoot from the sidelines, you can head up to the grandstands, but then you're fighting with the safety walls.
A bit of luck can still produce some good photos, though.
Before you know it, daylight arrives, but roughly one-third of the race remains.
While nighttime might produce better looking pictures, shooting in the daytime is so much easier.
At the least, you can figure out which cars are screaming up toward the camera, instead of squinting into headlights and guessing.
Many will catch a few hours of sleep overnight, but many more will stay up and watch the entire race.
I took a two-hour nap during a period of heavy rain and constant full-course cautions. That's the time to do it.
As daylight broke, the rain went away, and the track began to dry.
Once daylight arrives, it's a matter of ensuring the cars remain reliable for the last few hours.
Not everyone wins the 24 Hours of Daytona, but finishing the entire race is a victory in and of itself.