Feb. 21, 2020
Best of the States
AP crew expertly covers a wild and constantly shifting Daytona 500
In any year, coverage of the Daytona 500 is a major undertaking that presents challenges. NASCAR’s biggest event stretches nearly two weeks and story planning begins a month in advance.
But this year the AP crew had to adjust on the fly as the story veered in multiple directions. First, President Donald Trump finalized a visit just 48 hours in advance. Then rain fell early in the race, eventually postponing the event until the following day. And finally, a lurid crash just short of the checkered flag resulted in a stunning finish followed by an agonizing wait for news on the condition of driver Ryan Newman.
The AP team never faltered, deftly handling everything Daytona threw at them with informed, precise reporting and outstanding images.
For constantly keeping the AP ahead during a wild weekend, writers Jenna Fryer, Dan Gelston and Mark Long, and photographers John Raoux and Chris O’Meara share this week’s Best of the States award.