NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500
the 2013 Daytona 500 will feature a pre-race concert by Zac Brown
Great Daytona 500 race shot - The Great American race
2007 Daytona 500 race information - for the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup race
The 2007 Daytona 500
In 2007 Jimmie Johnson will look to defend his crown against other NASCAR hopefuls in what should be an exciting start to the NASCAR season.
Daytona 500 tickets are the gold standard of NASCAR tickets, and ABCTickets.com puts you smack dead center in the middle of the most widely acclaimed race in the world. For true NASCAR fans, the Daytona International Speedway will be the center of the world on February 16, 2006 as racing’s elite gather to compete for the ultimate prize. You can watch it on television, but wouldn’t you rather see it, hear it, smell it, and live it by reserving your 2006 Daytona 500 tickets while you still can? The 2005 Daytona 500 brought racing fans to the edge of their seats as the world’s top NASCAR drivers entered the final laps with the race still up for grabs. Tony Stewart., who held the lead for 107 laps, yielded the front position to Dale Earnhardt Jr. on lap 195. Running neck and neck, Stewart regained the lead on lap 196, only to see Earnhardt surge ahead again. But Jeff Gordon was waiting in the wings. With Earnhardt unable to hold him off, Gordon broke loose on the straightaway, passed Junior on the outside and held on for his third Daytona 500 win and the 70th victory of his career. It was an unforgettable moment for the 100,000+ fans lucky enough to get their hands on Daytona 500 tickets. But 2005 was only one many historic moments in the history of the Daytona 500. Who can forget 1998, when Dale Earnhardt Sr., after 20 years of frustration, took his first Daytona 500 victory lap? Three years later, Earnhardt Sr. would lose his life in the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. In 1988 Bobby Allison became the oldest driver ever to win the Daytona 500. Who came in second? Allison’s own son, Davey Allison. Every year the Daytona 500 writes a new chapter in its history. Sometimes the story is jubilant, sometimes tragic, but it’s always memorable. What memories can you create with your 2006 Daytona 500 tickets? Will you be there to see Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. create another epic finish? Or maybe you’ll witness Bill Elliot’s third Daytona 500 win as he gets behind the wheel of a Chevrolet for the first time. Whatever happens, the 2006 Daytona 500 is sure to be loud, fast, and unforgettable. Make your own history at the Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2006 with Daytona 500 tickets from ABCtickets.com.
Great moments in Daytona 500 history - history of the great NASCAR race
- 1979 - The Fight - The 1979 event was the first time that the race was broadcast live. On the last lap Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough had a huge lead over third place when Cale dove low to pass. Donnie blocked, they banged fenders and wrecked in turn 3. Richard Petty took the win. After the race Allison and Yarborough got into a fight with Bobby Allison also stopping to join in, all on national television. This incident helped spark an interest in NASCAR that no amount of advertising could ever match.
- 1998 - Earnhardt Gets His After 20 years of near-misses and frustration Dale Earnhardt Sr. finally had the stars align in 1998. While the race was a good one the truly memorable moment here was that slow drive up pit road where every team and every member of the press went out to congratulate Dale. This may have been the single most popular victory in the history of NASCAR. I never called myself a Dale Earnhardt fan, but this was a beautiful moment.
- 1959 was the very first Daytona 500 on the brand new 2.5 mile superspeedway. Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp were battling for the win off of turn 4 on the last lap with the lapped car of Joe Weatherly in the mix. The three of them crossed the line side-by-side-by-side, Beauchamp on the bottom, Petty in the middle and Weatherly on top. Beauchamp celebrated in victory lane but three days later Petty was declared the winner when newsreel footage showed that he beat Beauchamp to the line.
- 2001 - Not a "great" moment, but certainly momentous. This race changed the future of the sport forever as NASCAR lost its greatest driver of all time when Dale Earnhardt Sr. lost his life in turn four of the last lap. This event made international headlines bringing NASCAR in focus in a way that it never had been before. NASCAR took the opportunity to make significant safety changes that have saved lives since. That renewed focus on safety continues to this day.
- 1976 - Richard Petty was leading on the last lap when David Pearson got around him on the backstretch. Off of turn four Petty tried a slingshot move under Pearson but didn't quite clear him. They touched and both drivers crashed, coming to rest on the grass just short of the start finish line. Petty's car wouldn't start but Pearson kept his car running and crept over the line on the shoulder for the win.
- 2002 - On a late race restart Sterling Marlin was trying to pass Jeff Gordon for the lead when they got together. Gordon spun and a multi-car wreck happened behind them. Marlin was leading when NASCAR threw the red flag to clean up the mess and try to finish under green. When the cars stopped on the backstretch Sterling jumped out of his car and tugged on his damaged right front fender. NASCAR sent him to the back for working on his car during the red flag, handing the win to Ward Burton.
- 1988 - After some scary moments in 1987 NASCAR introduced the restrictor plate to superspeedway racing for the 1988 season. The Daytona 500 was the first race with the new rules. Bobby Allison became the oldest driver to ever win the Daytona 500 when he beat his son Davey to the line for the win. The still-standing age record, warm family moment, and dawn of the modern restrictor plate era combine to make this one of the great Daytona 500s of all time.
- 1993 - Dale Jarrett's first Daytona 500 victory in 1993 was a good race, what really made it stand out was his father Ned Jarrett rooting him on as a commentator for the TV broadcast. The rest of the broadcast team let Ned call the finish as he coached, urged and rooted for Dale to hold off Dale Earnhardt for the win. Ned was overcome with joy at watching his son take the win. It was an emotional Daytona 500 moment that is well worthy of this list.
- 1989 - The Icky Shuffle - When most people think of winning Daytona after years of trying Dale Earnhardt comes to mind first. In 1989 Darrell Waltrip finally won his after seventeen years of trying. Darrell won it on fuel mileage as he coasted across the line for the win. In victory lane Darrell imitated Cincinnati Bengals star Icky Woods, doing the "Icky Shuffle" and spiking his helmet.
- 1990 - The Long shot With a firm lead in turn three of the last lap Dale Earnhardt cut a tire and handed the win to Derrike Cope. Derrike scored this, the first win of his career and one of only two total career victories, in only his third Daytona 500 start. This race truly set up the legend of Dale Earnhardt's Daytona 500 luck.
Brief history of the Daytona 500 race and speedway
NASCAR's premier race, the Daytona 500 was established in 1959 at the newly opened Daytona International Raceway. The 2.5-mile banked track, which has permanent seating for about 90,000 spectators, was built near the site of a beach course that had been used for stock car racing in the 1930s. An annual NASCAR race had previously been staged on a 4.1-mile beach and road course in the area.
The five-hundred-mile, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) Daytona 500 is commonly referred to as "the Great American Race." Its reputation for exciting finishes, horrendous crashes, Florida-in-February weather, and bumper-to-bumper and door-handle-to-door-handle racing along the Daytona International Speedway's two-and-a-half-mile, tri-oval, high-banked track with the long back-straight thrills the fans and challenges the drivers and mechanics. Stock car legends are born here. The first race of the NASCAR season, the Daytona 500 is the final, paramount event of a spring speed week featuring three weeks of racing starting with the world-famous 24 Hours of Daytona and two qualifying races. Thanks to television and professional marketing, the Daytona 500 is the premier stock car race of the year, bringing the thrills and violence of racing into the homes of millions. Sponsors of the top cars are afforded a three-and-a-half-hour commercial. Although the Indianapolis 500 has a larger viewing audience, in-car cameras at the Daytona 500 allow the viewer to watch the driver, the cars in front, and the cars behind from the safety of the roll cage. A roof-mounted camera shows the hood buckle in the wind. Another allows the viewer to ride out a spin at two hundred miles per hour. Another planted under the rear bumper allows the viewer to read bumper stickers on the car behind.
The winner of the race is awarded the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy and a quarter million dollars in prize money. (Earl, 1839-1969, was responsible for the design of the modern American car while at General Motors in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s when the "stock car" was born.) The track was started in 1957 by Bill France to take his fledgling NASCAR franchise off the beach of Daytona and bring it into a legitimate race facility. The first Daytona 500 was run in 1959 and won by Lee Petty. Since that time, the number of fans as well as the speed of the cars have increased. The cost of racing has also gone up, and NASCAR and the Daytona track owners have continued to enlarge their entertainment empire. The corporation that owns Daytona also owns Darlington (South Carolina), Talladega (Alabama), and Watkins Glen (New York) race tracks. The track design and the speeds require an appreciation, if not a dread, on the part of the mechanics and drivers of the modern high-speed professional racing leagues that use the track. The turns—wide U-shaped continuous corners—are banked at thirty-one degrees, and because there are no short chutes between them, they are called one-two and three-four, too steep to walk up let alone drive on. The tri-oval (sort of a turn five) is relatively flat at eighteen degrees but is connected by short, flat straights from the exit of turn four to the entrance of turn one. Flipped up on their sides by the banking, the drivers look "up" to see ahead in the turns, and have to deal with a down force caused by the car wanting to sink down into the pavement. Drivers actually steer fairly straight to accomplish a 120-degree change in direction (one thousand foot radius for three thousand feet of turn). Drivers must do all that and keeping his 3,400-pound car out of the front seat of the one next to him. The road abruptly flattens after three thousand feet of turns one-two where the equally long straight that is the signature of Daytona now requires the driver to draft within a yard of the car in front, race three wide, keep his foot to the floor, and relax—for a moment—until the car upends again in turns three-four. The driver and car suffer gravitational forces that push down and out in the high banks, immediately followed by a tremendous downward slam at the start of the back-straight, and then in the tri-oval the g-forces are more outward than down. The suspension has to keep the wheels evenly on the surface, and the aerodynamics have to keep the car in a line with itself. Two hundred laps, six hundred left turns, three or four stops for gasoline, all lead to one winner. Daytona is the track where "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" Elliott achieved fame and fortune, and Lee Petty began the Petty dynasty. It is the race Dale Earnhardt took twenty-one years to win after winning NASCAR races everywhere else. It is the race Mario Andretti won once in 1967, but, like Indy (1969), never repeated. Two lasting images from the race are Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough (1968, 1977, and 1983 winner) battling it out in the back-stretch grass, and Richard Petty and David Pearson colliding with each other after coming out of turns three-four on the last lap—Petty spinning off the track with a dead motor and Pearson sliding along the track killing his engine, too. As Petty, farther downtrack than Pearson, frantically tried to restart, Pearson ground the starter with his Mercury in gear to creep across the finish line and win the race.
Daytona 500 past results
Year Winner MPH Pole Sitter MPH
1959 Lee Petty 135.521 Bob Welborn 140.121
1960 Junior Johnson 124.740 Cotton Owens 149.892
1961 Marvin Panch 149.601 Fireball Roberts 155.709
1962 Fireball Roberts 152.529 Fireball Roberts 156.999
1963 Tiny Lund 151.566 Fireball Roberts 160.943
1964 Richard Petty 154.334 Paul Goldsmith 174.910
1965 Fred Lorenzen 141.539 Darel Dieringer 171.151
Shortened by rain to 332+ miles
1966 Richard Petty 160.627 Richard Petty 175.165
Shortened by rain to 495 miles
1967 Mario Andretti 149.926 Curtis Turner 180.831
1968 Cale Yarborough 143.251 Cale Yarborough 189.222
1969 Lee Roy Yarbrough 157.950 Buddy Baker 188.901
1970 Pete Hamilton 149.601 Cale Yarborough 194.015
1971 Richard Petty 144.462 A. J. Foyt 182.744
1972 A. J. Foyt 161.550 Bobby Isaac 186.632
1973 Richard Petty 157.205 Buddy Baker 185.662
1974 Richard Petty 140.894 David Pearson 185.017 - Shortened to 450 miles because of energy crisis
1975 Benny Parsons 153.649 Donnie Allison 185.827
1976 David Pearson 152.181 Ramo Stott 183.456
1977 Cale Yarborough 153.218 Donnie Allison 188.048
1978 Bobby Allison 159.730 Cale Yarborough 187.536
1979 Richard Petty 143.977 Buddy Baker 196.049
1980 Buddy Baker 177.602* Buddy Baker 194.099
1981 Richard Petty 169.651 Bobby Allison 194.624
1982 Bobby Allison 153.991 Benny Parsons 196.317
1983 Cale Yarborough 155.979 Ricky Rudd 198.864
1984 Cale Yarborough 150.994 Cale Yarborough 201.848
1985 Bill Elliott 172.265 Bill Elliott 205.114
1986 Geoff Bodine 148.124 Bill Elliott 205.039
1987 Bill Elliott 176.263 Bill Elliott 210.364*
1988 Bobby Allison 137.531 Ken Schrader 198.823
1989 Darrell Waltrip 148.466 Ken Schrader 196.996
1990 Derrike Cope 165.761 Ken Schrader 196.515
1991 Ernie Irvan 148.148 Davey Allison 195.955
1992 Davey Allison 160.256 Sterling Martin 192.213
1993 Dale Jarrett 154.972 Kyle Petty 189.426
1994 Sterling Marlin 156.931 Loy Allen 190.158
1995 Sterling Marlin 141.710 Dale Jarrett 193.498
1996 Dale Jarrett 154.308 Dale Earnhardt 189.510
1997 Jeff Gordon 148.295 Mike Skinner 189.813
1998 Dale Earnhardt 172.712 Bobby Labonte 192.415
1999 Jeff Gordon 161.551 Jeff Gordon 195.067
2000 Dale Jarrett 155.669 Dale Jarrett 191.091
2001 Michael Waltrip 161.794 Bill Elliott 183.57
2002 Ward Burton 130.810 Jimmie Johnson 185.831
2003 Michael Waltrip 133.870 Jeff Green 186.606
2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 156.345 Greg Biffle 188.387
Shortened to 272.5 miles because rain
2005 Jeff Gordon 135.173 Dale Jarrett 188.312
2006 Jimmie Johnson 142.667 Jeff Burton 189.151
2007 February 18 Kevin Harvick
2008 February 17 Ryan Newman
2009 February 15 Matt Kenseth
2010 February 14 Jamie McMurray
2011 February 20 Trevor Bayne
2012 February 27/28* Matt Kenseth