NOTE### - any date in PINK and BOLD is an event pre-NASCAR - but is associated to bringing about the sport of NASCAR
1903 - First "speed Tournament" in the Daytona Beach area (in Ormand Beach). Alexander Winter rockets down the hard packets sands at just over 68 mph.
1954 - Flame-proof coveralls are made available to NASCAR drivers for $9.25 each by Treesdale Laboratories. It is the third NASCAR-specific product of the season. The $35 GenTex 70 helmet and special racing tires priced at $37.90 each from Pure Oil Co. have already been offered.
1950 - The victory dinner to honor 1949 divisional champions took place in Daytona Beach on Feb. 1, 1950. Red Byron is honored as the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock champion, while Fonty Flock is crowned the champion of the Modified division.
1959 - Practice sessions begin on the new Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the inaugural Daytona 500. Shakedown runs are conducted despite the fact that the guardrail isn't completed.
1965 - Mike Dillon's birthday. Mike raced predominately in the NASCAR Nationwide series; and is the son-in-law of Richard Childress. He is also the father of Austin and Ty Dillon.
1969 - After a 1968 season that produced only one superspeedway win in his Plymouth Roadrunner, Richard Petty requested that Chrysler officials shift him to the more aerodynamic Dodge for the 1969 NASCAR Grand National campaign. Chrysler balked, indicating they wanted to keep him in the Plymouth nameplate. In a shocking decision, Petty bailed out of the Chrysler camp entirely and joined the powerful Ford team. Mario Andretti would make his final CUP start on this date. He ran 14 CUP events in total, claiming his lone win in the Daytona in 1966. Andretti would start 7th, but be one of the many that blew a motor. There were 44 cars started the race, and 16 of them had their day ended by a failed power plant. Overall 30 cars fell out with mechanical issues. AJ Foyt started on the pole with LeeRoy Yarbrough outside. Yarbrough would be one of those with a blown motor, falling out just nine laps from the end. The first half of the race saw several lead changes, but the second half of the race it was all Richard Petty. He led the last 88 laps of the 186 lap race. This race was held at Riverside International Raceway, and was a distance of 500 miles. It took four hours and 45 minutes, and had NO yellows. Petty would get the win, while AJ Foyt finished second. David Pearson would finish third two laps down, followed by Al Unser and James Hylton.
2000 - on this date we lost Dick Rathman - 13 time race winner; started race career in Indy cars. First career race was Indy 500 in 1950, and last race was at Indy 500 in 1960. He ran 129 CUP events, winnings 13 times. He finished in the top five in the points three of five years.
2006 - on this date we lost Dick Brooks - 1 time race winner; 1969 CUP Rookie of the Year; died of pneumonia after complications of plane crash.
2015 - As NASCAR continues to tinker with the rules to help make races more exciting and competition closer; these are some additional rules changes for 2015: Qualifying Changes; Qualifying also will be a bit different. This year, the group format has been divided by whether tracks were 1.25 miles in length. This year, short tracks and intermediate tracks will have the same three-round format. The difference is that the first round will be shortened from 25 minutes to 15 minutes. In 2014. Previously short tracks just had a two round format. Also a revised edition of break calipers has been approved. And the NASCAR rule book will been in an electronic form.
1955 - Tim Brewer's birthday (crew chief) led the cars of successful drivers such as Darrell Waltrip, Tim Richmond, Terry Labonte, and Cale Yarborough; leading each driver to a CUP championship. Brewer was a crew chief from 1973 to 2004. Brewer compiled 52 wins including the Southern 500 twice with Yarborough.
1947 - Darrell Waltrip's birthday
1950 - Harold Kite would win his initial CUP start here at the Daytona Beach Course. 41 cars started the race on the 4.1 mile course. The track was basically a two mile run up the beach, with a quick u-turn back onto the main street of Daytona (A1A) for a two mile trip back down the asphalt. Female driver Louise Smith crashed the family car in the opening lap, but spectators rolled her car back on it's wheels and she continued on. She was terrified to call home and tell her husband what she had done. Kite would led all but ten laps when Red Byron was able to grab the lead for a short time. Kite would go on to get the win over Bryon by 53 seconds. Lloyd Moore finished third, followed by Al Gross, and JC VanLandingham. This would also be VanLandingham's only CUP start. Kite would only run nine races in his five year career, garnering this one win. Cotton Owens, and Fireball Roberts would make their first career CUP starts in this event.
1986 - Reed Sorenson's birthday
1995 - NASCAR launches the Craftsman Truck Series with an 80-lap race at Phoenix International Speedway. Mike Skinner becomes the series' first winner after qualifying 16th.
2003 - Tobacco company R.J. Reynolds confirms it has offered to step away from its Winston Cup sponsorship of NASCAR's premier stock car racing series.
2010 - At the age of 51 Mark Martin becomes the oldest pole sitter for the Daytona 500
1982 - Bobby Allison won his first Busch Clash (later name changed to Bud Shoot Out). Allison won $50,000 driving his DiGard Buick.
1983 - Josh Wise's birthday
1988 - Dale Earnhardt Sr. wins his third Busch Clash in the 10th annual running of the event. Earnhardt won $75,000 for winning the event driving his Richard Childress owned Chevy
1993 - Dale Earnhardt won his fifth Busch Clash in the 15th annual running of this race. It seems he may be starting to make this race his own playground having won it three time more than the next closest person. Earnhardt won $60,000 driving his Richard Childress Chevy
1999 - Mark Martin wins the Bud Shoot-Out (formally Busch Clash) This is the 21st annual event, and paid out $108,000 to the winner. Martin won driving for Jack Roush in a Ford
2004 - Dale Jarrett Became the first driver other than Dale Earnhardt Sr to win the Budweiser Shoot-Out more than twice grabbing the win in the 26th annual running of the race. Jarrett picked up $213,000 for winning driving his Robert Yates Racing Ford
2005 - Jimmie Johnson wins the 27th annual running of the Budweiser Shoot-Out. Johnson claimed $219,945 for winning the event driving his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. The win gave Rick Hendrick a tie with Richard Childress with most 'owner' wins in the event.
2017 - NASCAR announced on this date some revisions for the 2018 Cup Series having to do with the Damaged Vehicle Policy for the 2018 season, changing a rule that effectively eliminated Matt Kenseth from the playoffs last year. Under the revised guidelines, a driver would serve a two-lap penalty if a team sent too many men over the wall to repair damage. Previously, the punishment was a driver would be parked for the duration of the race if a team sent more than six men over the wall. That resulted in Kenseth being knocked from the 2017 playoffs after he was involved in a crash in the Oct. 22 race at Kansas Speedway. It had previously been announced that the amount of men allowed over the wall would drop from six to five in 2018. NASCAR also is adding a minute to the time allotted for teams to make repairs, giving them 6 minutes under the DVP clock. NASCAR also shortened the first round of qualifying at intermediate and short tracks to 15 minutes from 20 minutes. The intention is to tighten the window for cars on track to increase the amount of on-track activity.
1976 - NASCAR disallows the speeds of the three fastest qualifiers for the Daytona 500, leaving unheralded Ramo Stott on the pole. A.J. Foyt, Darrell Waltrip, and Dave Marcis have to re-qualify.
1981 - Darrell Waltrip won his first Busch Clash. He won $61,500 in his Junior Johnson owned Buick
1986 - Dale Earnhardt Sr. wins his second Busch Clash in the 8th annual running of the event. Earnhardt won $75,000 for winning the event driving his Richard Childress owned Chevy
1987 - Bill Elliott won the 9th annual Busch Clash. It was his first victory in the event. This was the record for the fastest average speed for the event at 197.802 mph. Elliott pocketed $75,000 driving his Melling Racing Ford.
1992 - Geoff Bodine won the Busch Clash for his first time. He won $39,000 for winning the race, and this was the 14th annual running of the race. Bodine was driving for owner Bud Moore in a Ford
1998 - Rusty Wallace wins the Bud Shoot-Out, (the First year it is changed it name from the Busch Clash) This is the 20th annual running of the race, and the first time the winners purse is over $100,000. Wallace won $100,882 for winning the race driving his Penske Racing Ford
2003 - Dale Earnhardt Jr won his first Budweiser Shoot-Out in the 25th anniversary of the race. Jr was driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc in a Chevy and collected $205,000 for the win.
2009 - Martin Truex Jr, and Mark Martin take the front row for the 2009 Daytona 500. This is Truex's first start with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, and Martin's first start with Hendrick Motorsports.
2013 - Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace, and Leonard Wood are annnounced as the inductees for the class of 2013.
1952 - A two-way radio is first used in NASCAR competition. Al Stevens, who operates a radio dispatch service in Maryland, drives in the 100-mile Modified and Sportsman race at Daytona while talking to pit boss Cotton Bennett.
1964 - Todd Parrott's birthday (crew chief) He wrenched for such drivers as Dale Jarrett, Ernie Irvan, Bobby Labonte, Elliott Sadler, Marcus Ambrose, and Aric Almirola. Jarrett won the CUP championship in 1999 with Parrott at the helm.
1987 - Bill Elliott sets qualifying record at Daytona Int' l Speedway for CUP cars at 210.364
1997 - Jeff Gordon wins his second Busch Clash picking up $54,000 in winnings. It is the 19th annual running of the event, and the last year it will be called the "Busch Clash". Gordon won driving for Hendrick motorsports in his Chevy
2008 - Dale Earnhardt Jr won the 30th edition of the Budweiser Shoot-out. He moved away from DEI at the end of last season and this win was for Hendrick Motorsports, giving them their 6th win in the event. Jr grabbed $215,000 for the win.
2013 - Ken Squier and Barney Hall presented the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence: - Prior to the 2013 Induction Ceremony was the presentation of the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, awarded to namesakes Ken Squier and Barney Hall. Squier, one of NASCAR's original broadcasters, carved a massive footprint during NASCAR's formative broadcast years. Beginning with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1970, Squier's golden voice took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage. co-founder of Motor Racing Network, is perhaps best-known for his work during the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier's voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race" - a moniker he coined. Following that signature moment, including his call of the post-race fight between Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison. Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. Squier continues to enlighten NASCAR fans to this day, mostly through special appearances on SPEED. Hall began his career in the 1950s working at local radio stations in North Carolina and served as Bristol Motor Speedway's first public address announcer when the track opened. He called his first Daytona 500 in 1960, and has missed only three broadcasts in the 54-year history of The Great American Race. He joined MRN as an original announcer at the network's inception in 1970, first as a turn announcer and then moving to the booth in the late 1970s where he has been a fixture ever since at race tracks from coast to coast. The Elkin, North Carolina, native who is widely known for his calm voice and unmatched storytelling, was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame in 2007. Hall has called a number of the sport's milestone moments, including the landmark 1979 Daytona 500, Richard Petty's 200th-career victory in 1984 and Dale Earnhardt's 1998 victory in the Daytona 500. On July 5, 2014, Hall announced that race (the Coke Zero 400) at Daytona would be his final broadcast.
2016 - After much anticipation NASCAR and a team owners faction finally hammered out a deal to create a Charter Agreement. This is a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing. The new Charter system addresses three key areas - participation, governance and economics - to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations. "Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR," France said. "The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members. "The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners. Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field. The three teams with a Charter that finish lowest in the points three consecutive years could have their Charter taken away and given to a different team.
1980 - Dale Earnhardt Sr won his first Busch Clash. He won the customary $50,000 in his Rod Osterland owned Oldsmobile. It would be the first of several Clash wins.
1985 - Terry Labonte won his first Busch Clash in the 7th annual running of the race. He collected $65,000 for his winners share of the purse driving his Billy Hagan owned Chevy
1991 - Dale Earnhardt won the Busch Clash for a fourth time. It is the 13th annual running of this event, Earnhardt pocketed $60,000 for winning the event driving his Richard Childress owned Chevy
2002 - Tony Stewart laid claim to back-to-back wins in the 24th running of the Budweiser Shoot-out. Stewart drove his Joe Gibbs Chevy across the finish line first and picked up $200,955 in winnings
2007 - Tony Stewart becomes only the third person to have more than two wins in the Budweiser Shoot-Out - (joining Dale Jarrett, and Dale Earnhardt). Stewart's win in the 29th running of the race netted him $215,000 in winnings driving his Joe Gibbs Chevy. This is Joe Gibbs Racings fourth win in this event in the last seven years.
2007 - On this date we lost driver Lennie Pond. Pond was an American NASCAR driver. He won NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors in 1973, and won his only race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1978 for Ronnie Elder and Harry Ranier. Pond set a then world record speed of 174.700 miles per hour in winning the caution free 500-mile race. His career totals include 234 career starts, one win, 39 top fives, 88 top tens, five poles, and a best championship finish of 5th in 1976. He beat out Darrell Waltrip for rookie of the year honors in 1973. Five years later, Pond won his only career race at Talladega Superspeedway. Before retiring Pond raced his last race on September 10, 1989 at Richmond International Raceway in the Miller High Life 400 where he finished in 11th place. Pond died from complications of cancer.
1951 - The Daytona Beach and Road Course would be the location of Marshall Teague's first CUP win. Tim Flock started on the pole, and led the first 27 laps. Teague would bypass Flock, lead the final 12 laps and take the win. Teague was racing the Fabulous Hudson Hornet in his win. Flock finished second, followed by Fonty Flock, Bill Blair, and Buck Baker. There were 14 different car makes in the field. They were; Buick, Chrysler, Ford, Hudson, Henry J, Kaiser, Lincoln, Mercury, Nash, Oldsmobile, Packard, Plymouth, Pontiac, and Studebaker.
1953 - NASCAR conducts its fourth annual Victory Dinner at the Princess Issena Hotel in Daytona Beach. Lee Petty is named Most Popular Driver, the first time the award has been given out since 1949.
1959 - on this date we lost Marshall Teague. - 7 time race winner; died in testing crash. While attempting a closed course speed record in a reconfigured Indy car at the newly opened Daytona International Speedway (11 days before the first Daytona 500). His car spun and flipped through the third turn and Teague was thrown from his car, seat and all. He died nearly instantly.
1971 - The number one qualifying race for the Daytona 500 would be the last career win for Pete Hamilton. AJ Foyt started first with Hamilton outside. Foyt led 33 laps, but Hamilton would pass him on the final lap to get the win. In the 500 itself, Hamilton would start third, but would blow his motor on lap 157 finishing 28th.
1979 - The first Bud Shoot Out is won by Buddy Baker, the race was originally called the Busch Clash and was know by that name for the first 19 years and was a distance of 50 miles. Baker won $50,000 in his Harry Ranier owned Olds.
1990 - Ken Schrader won his second Busch Clash winning $95,000 in the 12 annual running of the event. Schrader became the second person to win the event in back-to-back years, and won for his owner Hendrick Motorsports driving a Chevy
1994 - Neil Bonnett is fatally injured while practicing for opening day qualifying for the Daytona 500. In 1990 in the Spring race at Darlington Bonnett survived a grinding crash that left him with dizziness and amnesia. Bonnett retired from racing and turned to being a color TV commentator for several networks that covered CUP races, and hosted his own show called "Winners". The passions to get behind the wheel still burned inside him, and in 1992 he did testing for Dale Earnhardt and his car owner Richard Childress and tested for them threw 1993. Bonnett and Earnhardt were very close friends and they often went on fishing and hunting expeditions together. In 1994 Bonnett decided to return to the drivers seat and in testing for the Daytona 500, he had a right front tire failure and hit the turn four wall nearly head on. He died on impact. Here is a nice link on YouTube to a tribute here
1996 - Dale Jarrett won the 18th annual running of the Busch Clash. Jarrett had $62,500 in winnings driving his Robert Yates racing Ford
2001 - Tony Stewart wins his first Budweiser Shoot-Out (the first year of a new name - formally BUD Shoot-Out). The name change also brought a larger payout with the winner pocketing over $200,000 for the first time. Stewart was piloting his Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy and won $202,722 in the 23rd annual running of the race.
2006 - Denny Hamlin laid claim to the winner check of $213,000 by winning the 28th annual running of the Budweiser Shoot-Out. He drove for Joe Gibbs in a Chevy
2010 - After the Budweiser Shoot-out ended under caution at Daytona the previous weekend; NASCAR announces that they will make up to three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish to try and end races under green.
2016 - NASCAR once again changed the way it finishes races that go beyond the scheduled distance, this time dramatically. Here's how the overtime restart procedure will now work: After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a "clean restart"), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs. Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line. This procedure will be in place for all tracks. This change comes about after a great controversy at the end of the race at Talladega in 2015, when a green-white-checkered restart was waived off just before the field took the green and on the next restart, a caution came out just after the field took the green when Kevin Harvick moved up the track and hit Trevor Bayne. Harvick had transmission issues and was thought to have wrecked Bayne intentionally to keep from finishing last on the lead lap (and thereby missing the opportunity to advance to the final round of the Chase). Joey Logano won that race, while the timing of the caution meant Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had dominated the race, finished a close second.
1960 - Future NASCAR CUP champion David Pearson would make his first start here in the Daytona qualifying race. David Pearson would start 20th, and finish 17th. Fireball Robert's led all 40 laps to win the Qualifier. In the Daytona 500 Pearson started 33rd, and would finish 28th. Junior Johnson would pilot his Daytona Kennel Chevy to the win. Herman Beam becomes the first driver to be black-flagged in a NASCAR event at Daytona International Speedway. Race officials notice that Beam forgot to put on his helmet before the Twin 100-mile qualifying race. NASCAR officials park Beam for the remainder of the race.
1984 - Brad Keselowski's birthday
1984 - Cale Yarborough, becomes first Daytona 500 qualifier, above 200 MPH running 200.5 on first lap... then he flips on the second lap. Yarborough actually had a back-up car on display locally. It was a short track car, but Cale used it to win the Daytona 500 that year. YouTube video here
1984 - Neil Bonnett wins his second Busch Clash. It is the 6th annual running of the event, and he is the first driver to win in back-to-back years. He won $50,000 driving his RahMoc Chevy
1989 - Ken Schrader won his first Busch Clash winning $75,000 in the 50 lap race. Schrader won the 11th annual running of the event driving his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy
1995 - Dale Earnhardt Sr won the Busch clash for a sixth time. He wins $57,000 driving his Richard Childress Chevy in the 17th running of the race.
1960 - Donnie Wingo's birthday. (crew chief) chief for such drivers as Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, and Trevor Bayne.
1994 - Jeff Gordon won his first Busch Clash driving for Hendrick Motorsports in a Chevy. It is the 16th running of the race, and Gordon won $54,000
2000 - Dale Jarrett won the 22nd annual running of the Bud Shoot-Out. Jarrett had $115,000 in winnings, driving his Robert Yates racing Ford
2000 - Dale Jarrett set the record for fastest ever qualifying lap for a CUP event at Daytona International Speedway since the use of restrictor plates...running a lap of 191.091 mph
1932 - Banjo Matthew's birthday (crew chief) he built excellent equipment and was a great strategist on top of the pit box. Famous drivers that drove for him include, Junior Johnson, Speedy Thompson, AJ Foyt, Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, Pete Hamilton, Bobby Isaac, and LeeRoy Yarbrough.
1939 - Sam Ard's birthday
1953 - Bill Venturini's birthday
1965 - Fred Lorenzen wins the rain-shortened Daytona 500, finishing a lap ahead of runner-up Darel Dieringer. Fords and Mercurys take the top 13 positions as the factory Chrysler team continues its boycott.
1971 - Richard Petty bags his third Daytona 500 win ahead of Buddy Baker, giving Petty Enterprises a 1-2 finish in NASCAR's most celebrated event. Dick Brooks finishes seventh in a winged Dodge Daytona, the final appearance of the exotic aerodynamic wonder in a NASCAR event.
1983 - Neil Bonnett won the 5th edition of the Busch Clash. He won $50,500 in the 50 lap race driving his RahMoc Chevy
1988 - Bobby Allison at 50 becomes oldest driver to win Daytona 500. This would be Allison's final win and he would be badly injured at Pocono later in the season.
1988 - First CUP race ran in modern era with 'restrictor' plates. The plates are currently only used at Daytona Speedway and Talladega Speedway and were brought about because of high speed causing cars to lift if they got sideways. Bobby Allison's car lifting and crashing into the catch fence at Talladega showering spectators with debris the previous season prompted the use of the restrictor plates.
1988 - On this date Bobby Allison claimed his last CUP victory. It is also called "Allison Wonderland" and is well remembered for the finish as he and his son Davey finished first and second. It was a joyous victory lane celebration. Bobby led 70 of the 200 laps in his Miller High Life Buick and collected $202,000 in earnings for the win. The other top five finishers were Phil Parsons, Neil Bonnett, and Terry Labonte. Ken Schrader won the pole, and finished sixth. Bobby's career would be cut short as later that same season as Bobby would receive serious head injuries in a violent crash at Pocono. Bobby survived the crash, but many of his memories were erased including the joyous memory of finishing 1-2 with Davey. Allison recovered physically to where he is almost normal and is a fan favorite at meet-n-greets. For his career Allison had 84 victories over his 25 year (718 race) career. 11% winning percentage. He also had 446 top 10's (62%), and was the 1983 NASCAR Champion. Five times he was the runner up. Richard Petty survives a wild tumble just past the halfway point. NASCAR's "tire wars" begin as ten teams use Hoosier tires at Daytona
1999 - On this date we lost Jimmy Florian. - 1 time race winner; claimed first win for Ford in NASCAR; died of cancer. - Tony Stewart would make his first career CUP start today. Transitioning over from being a successful Indy car driver, Stewart wanted to give NASCAR a try. Stewart had a successful first year as he won three races and won the Rookie of the Year title. Jeff Gordon would start on the pole, and have a fierce battle with Rusty Wallace the whole race. Wallace led over 100 laps, but Gordon was always right there lurking. Also up front fight it out with the duo was, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Mike Skinner and Jeremy Mayfield. "The Big One" happened on lap 132. It occurred as Kenny Irwin Jr, attempted to pass his teammate Jarrett. They touched and in the ensuing wreck 13 cars were involved; including Sterling Marlin, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, and Ricky Rudd. With ten laps to go Gordon made a daring pass going all the way down to the grass to pass Wallace. Wallace had to back off as Gordon forced his way back onto the racing surface entering turn #3. Wallace lost momentum, and fell back to an eighth place finish. Rounding out the top five was Dale Earnhardt Sr., Irwin, Mike Skinner, and Michael Waltrip. This would be Irwin's best career finish as he was killed in a practice crash a few months later.
2007 - Roush Racing announces that 50 percent of the team has been sold to Fenway Sports Group to create Roush Fenway Racing.
2010 - On this date John Andretti would make his final CUP start. It would come at Daytona International Speedway. This race lasted from noon until night. The aging surface developed potholes in turn #1 during the race, and the race had to be stopped twice to repair the holes. Other than that it was a great race with 53 lead changes among 21 drivers; and three green-white- checkers. Needless to say, with the race having to take three attempts to get a green flag finish, there was lots of drama, beating and banging, and crashing. On the final restart the guys really mixed it up, and Jamie McMurray squirted out to the lead. He led the final two laps to get the win; the only two laps he led all day. Following him across the line was Dale Earnhardt Jr, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, and David Reutimann.
2016 - Chase Elliott becomes the youngest pole winner ever for the Daytona 500. He was 20 years and two months and 17 days old. He won the pole averaging 196.3 mph.
1948 - Red Byron wins the first NASCAR-sanctioned auto race in a 1939 Modified Ford owned by Raymond Parks and tuned by Red Vogt. Of the 62 cars that entered, 50 started. A crowd of 14,000 pays $2.50 each to watch the historic moment at the Daytona Beach-Road course.
1948 - 1948 was the year the first official NASCAR-sanctioned stock car racing event took place. Drivers -- including females Sara Christian, Louise Smith, and Ethel Flock -- hit the tracks in hopped-up prewar coupes known as "Modifieds," competing in a total of 52 races. At the end of a very close title chase, Fonty Flock out distanced crusty veteran Red Byron by a mere 37.75 points.
1953 - Daytona Beach Course would be the site of Bill Blair's last CUP win. Blair would only lead one lap in the race; but it would be the right one. Fonty Flock would run out of fuel on the last lap, and finish second. It is the first NASCAR Grand National race to be determined by a last-lap pass. The rest of the top five were Tommy Thompson, Herb Thomas, and Tim Flock. Red Farmer would make his first CUP start.
1957 - Jimmy Spencer's birthday.
1976 – Independent driver Jimmy "Smut" Means would climb behind the wheel and make his first CUP start on this date at the Daytona 500. Means would start 20th, and finish 40th when he had motor problems after 20 laps. Means was part of "The Alabama Gang" which also included Davey Allison, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer; and later Steve Grissom, and Mike Alexander. 42 cars started the race, but a whopping 25 drivers failed to make the field. Ramo Stott would claim the pole for the Great American race after the top three qualifiers were disqualified. Both Darrell Waltrip and AJ Foyt were found to be using nitrous oxide, and Dave Marcis taped an aluminum plate over the radiator. There was 36 lead changes but this was an epic finish. It was another Petty / Pearson battle 23 laps as they swapped the lead. On the final lap Petty took the white flag first, but Pearson went low on the long back straight as Petty tried to block. Petty made a move on the last corner, and pulled along side Pearson. Petty tried to pull up in front of Pearson, but was not clear and hit him. The two came crashing down the front straight as the checkers waved. Petty spun to a stop about 50 yards from the finish line but his car stalled. Pearson kept his car running and limped across the finish line to get the win. Petty crew ran from their pit stall all the way out onto the tri-oval grass to push Richard across the finish line. Petty was penalized one lap as per NASCAR rules, no assistance is allowed on the final lap. He still managed to finish second, with Benny Parsons, Lennie Pond and Neil Bonnett making up the top five - Video from YouTube here.
1981 - Richard Petty wins his record seventh Daytona 500. Petty's longtime crew chief Dale Inman quits two days later to accept a job with the Rod Osterlund/Dale Earnhardt team.
1987 - Tom Sneva would make his final CUP start on this date in the Daytona 500. He would start 29th, and blow a motor with just 18 laps to go finishing 29th. This would be the final race without restrictor plates. Bill Elliott run a blistering lap in qualifying of 210.364 mph, that is still the Daytona record. Elliott would win his 125 mile qualifying race, win the pole, lead the most laps, and go on to win the race. This was the first wreck free 500 since 1960. There was 26 lead changes in the race, but 13 of them coming in the final 60 laps. It was a real shootout the last 60 laps as Elliott, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Ken Schrader, Buddy Baker, Richard Petty and Geoff Bodine all took turns at the point. Bodine would be leading with three laps to go, but he didn't have the fuel to make it to the end. Elliott would bypass Bodine and lead the final three laps to get the win. Benny Parsons was closing in on Elliott, but run out of time, finishing second by three car lengths. Petty, Baker, and Earnhardt Sr would make up the rest of top five. This would be the debut of Cale Yarborough Motorsports. He would finish 10th as an owner / driver.
1998 - With the Thunderbird no longer available, Ford introduces the Taurus for competition in NASCAR's 50th Anniversary season. Dale Earnhardt ends two decades of frustration at the Daytona 500. Earnhardt, making his 20th start in NASCAR's annual "Super Bowl," leads the final 61 laps and edges Bobby Labonte at the finish. It is the 71st win of Earnhardt's career and it snaps a victory drought that dates back to 1996.
2004 - Daytona Speedway would host 24 year old Kasey Kahne's first CUP start. It wouldn't be a memorable start as Kahne started 27th, but blew a motor and finished 41st. This would also be the first CUP start for Scott Riggs. He qualified 26, and was running 34th when he crashed out just past 1/2 way. Due to new aerodynamic rules, and the race was called by many the "Great American Snooze Fest". There were only 9 leaders, and Tony Stewart led almost half of the laps. The rules package made it where the cars didn't have the power or aerodynamics to help to pull out and pass, even if two or three cars tried to pass just one. When the 500 miles of boredom was over, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would get the win, six years to the day after his dad won. Stewart followed Earnhardt across the line, with Scott Wimmer, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson finishing out the top five. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., becomes the third son of a former Daytona 500 winner to capture the checkered flag at "The Great American Race." The previous father-son winners were Lee and Richard Petty and Bobby and Davey Allison.
2015 - NASCAR went to ‘group qualifying’ in 2014; But the Daytona 500 always held fast to the tradition of single car runs to determine the front row and starting line-ups for the Twin 150’s. This year NASCAR broke with tradition as the pole would also be won threw the group qualifying process. Due to various ‘games’ being played in 2014 at Talladega in the group qualifying; NASCAR tweaked the first round procedures. Instead of all cars going on the track at once for a 25 minute session; the entries were divided into two groups, and each group got only FIVE minutes in the first round with the top 24 fastest speeds advancing to the second round. The rest of qualifying remained as in the past. MUCH opposition from the drivers was voiced over this new procedure to qualify for the seasons most prestigious race. Even getting off pit road cars were running into and damaging each other trying to get just that “right” place in line. Half way through the first session one of the damaged (and also under-funded) cars was blocking trying to post a speed fast enough to make the 500. Clint Bowyer was caught up in the accident and when interviewed on TV immediately after the wreck blasted NASCAR for having such a stupid way to qualify for NASCAR greatest race. When the reporter asked Bowyer about the drivers that caused the wreck; Bowyer stated: “yeah sure he started it; but it wasn’t this fault. He was doing what he had to do to try and make the race. NASCAR is stupid for even having such an idiotic way to qualify”. Driver after driver lambasted NASCAR for this new way to qualify for the 500. After the cut was made for round number two and the fastest 24 cars ran, we still almost saw a major pile-up. It was comical to see the five minute clock start; and cars pull down to the end of pit road and then just stop and watch the clock count down. Finally cars would roll onto the track with about 2 ½ minutes to go. It appears this is just another of Brian France’s bright ideas that make the sport look comical. When it was all said and done Jeff Gordon; running in his final season; won the pole with teammate Jimmy Johnson second.
1924 - Dick Beaty's birthday
1938 - Talmadge Prince's birthday
1962 - At Daytona International Speedway, in the number one qualifying race, Dan Gurney would make his first CUP start. Gurney would start sixth, and go on to finish fourth. Fireball Roberts would win the pole, lead 33 of the 40 laps and get the win. Jack Smith was second, with Cotton Owens third. In the 500 Gurney would start seventh, but blow a motor and finish 27th.
1975 - Benny Parsons takes the lead three laps from the finish and wins the Daytona 500 when leader David Pearson spins on the backstretch. Parsons comes from the 32nd starting position to claim the upset win and the biggest victory of his career.
1986 - Larry Pearson would make his first CUP start and it would come here at Daytona International Speedway. Pearson would qualify 23rd, but lose his power plant on lap 29 and be done for the day. Bill Elliott and Geoff Bodine would make up the first row, but "Awesome Bill" had back luck and got caught up in 'the big one' on lap 117; but would soldier on and finish two laps down. Geoff Bodine, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. had the best cars all day. The last 67 laps would be run under the green flag, but it was three laps too many as Earnhardt would run out of fuel handing the lead to Bodine. Terry Labonte would finish second, Darrell Waltrip third, and Bobby Hillin Jr. fourth. Fifth was Benny Parsons, one lap down.
1997 - At age 25, Jeff Gordon is youngest winner in Daytona 500 history
2003 - Michael Waltrip wins motor racing's Daytona 500 after rain stops the race for a second time at lap 109. He led 68 of the laps ran. The rest of the top five was Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Mark Martin. Casey Mear's would make his first CUP start here; Starting 29th, and finishing 27th on the lead lap.
1957 - Daytona Beach and Road Course would be the site of JoeLee Johnsons first CUP start. Banjo Matthews won the pole, and Jack Smith started second. Cotton Owens started third, but led the first ten laps. The only other leader was Paul Goldsmith who started 20th. He did lead nine laps, and was at the point with just eight laps to go. When he had problems Owens blew past, and Goldsmith ended up 24th in the 57 car field. No one could keep the pace set by Owens who went on to win the race by 55 seconds. The Ray Nichels Pontiac recorded the first NASCAR win for the Pontiac nameplate. The rest of the top five would be Johnny Beauchamp, Fonty Flock, Buck Baker, and Marvin Panch. This would be Owens first CUP win. He only raced part time, made 160 starts over a 15 year career, winning nine times. This would also be the first start for Darel Dieringer. He would start sixth, but crash out early and finish 46th.
1972 - on this date we lost Friday Hassler - won as a relief driver in 1971 at Bristol. Charlie Glotzbach was credited for the win since he started the car.; died of racing crash. It would come in the first qualifying race for the Daytona 500. Hassler was involved in a crash on lap 19 that was triggered when David Boggs cut a tire.
1980 - Buddy Baker, driving the 'Gray Ghost' sets the record for the fastest Daytona 500 averaging 177.602 mph for 500 miles covered in a time of 2:48:55
1989 - In his 17th Daytona 500 start, Darrell Waltrip prevails in an economy run. Waltrip runs the final 132.5 miles without a pit stop and coasts across the finish line 7.64 seconds ahead of runner-up Ken Schrader. Most of the field runs on Hoosier tires as Goodyear pulls out of the race due to safety concerns with its new radial tire.
1991 - Robby Gordon would make his first CUP start here in the Daytona 500. Gordon would start 35th, and bring home his Juney Donlavey Ford home in 18th place. In the final race of 1990 at Atlanta, Mike Rich was killed in a pit road accident under yellow. So in 1991 NASCAR implemented a new rule that any car that pitted under yellow would lose a lap. SO no one pitted under a yellow. Needless to say this was a short lived rule. Also during the race Dale Earnhardt Sr hit a seagull damaging his front fender . A video of that is here. Davey Allison and Ernie Irvan would start on the front row. On the final restart with six laps to go, Dale Earnhardt Sr would jump out to a big lead, but due to the draft the pack run him down and blew by him. Kyle Petty would have a awesome race car, as he led over 50 laps (the most of anyone). He was taken out with three laps to go when he got caught up in an accident between Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. Irvan was leading the pack when they by-pass Earnhardt, and when the accident happened, he beat the field back to the yellow. The race finish under yellow with Irvan grabbing the win, with Sterling Marlin, Joe Ruttman, Rick Mast and Earnhardt Sr making up the top five. This would be Mast's first career top five finish. World of Outlaws sprint car ace Sammy Swindell would make his final CUP start, finishing 41st.
2002 - This would be Dave Marcis final Cup race. In the Daytona 500 Marcis started 14th after a great run in his twin 125 qualifying race, but would have engine failure on lap 79 and fall out and finish 42nd. The race itself was a good one. Rookie Jimmie Johnson won the pole with Kevin Harvick along side. Typical Daytona race.. everyone holding their breath, waiting for 'the big one'. It finally came; on lap 150 - 18 car pile-up. This race will be remembered as the race Sterling Marlin "almost' won . He and Jeff Gordon racing for the lead on the re-start with 6 laps to go, Gordon spins out off of the front of Marlins bumper and the red flag comes out. Then Marlin, while parked on the back straight, gets out of his car and effects repairs on the front fender. As a penalty he is sent to the end of the lead lap. Ward Burton assumes the lead and it's a shoot out for the win for the last three laps . Burton gets the win for Bill Davis racing, Elliott Sadler is second and Geoff Bodine is third. The top three finishers lead a total of five laps. YouTube video here All together Marcis ran 883 races, and won five times. One race being part of the 'streak' at the fall race at Talladega of 13 different winners before a repeat winner. Marcis won there in 1976, he was winner # 8 in the streak. He also won again at Richmond, Martinsville and Atlanta. This would also be Robert Pressley's last career start.
2008 - Ryan Newman wins the Daytona 500 driving for Roger Penske. It's the first restrictor-plate win for Penske Racing.
1962 - The 1962 Daytona 500 would be the first start for Billy Wade. Fireball Roberts won the pole, and dominated the field as he led 144 of the 200 laps to get the win. Only Richard Petty was able to stay on the lead lap and finished second. Joe Weatherly Jack smith, and Fred Lorenzen rounded out the top five, all one lap down. Wade would have a respectable first race. He started 45th in the 48 car field, and moved up to finish 18th. It was the first Daytona 500 start for Ralph Earnhardt.
1979 - This was the first live flag to flag coverage of a 500 mile race. The Daytona 500 was covered by CBS flag to flag. Richard Petty won the event, with Darrell Waltrip coming in second and AJ Foyt third. This snapped a 45 race winless streak for Petty. This is most notably recalled for the big fight after the race when Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed while racing for the lead on the last lap. YouTube video here Video has accident, and post race discussion by drivers. Also IMO by looking at this video you have an idea of why NASCAR imposed the "out of bounds" rule for Daytona, and Talladega. While Allison and Yarborough were busy crashing on the back straight, it came down to a race to see who could get to the checkered flag first. (at that time the cars raced back to the yellow flag - and in this case would determine the winner) Richard Petty was running third, and assumed the lead, and got the win. The rest of the top five was Darrell Waltrip, AJ Foyt, with Allison and Yarborough one lap down still finishing fourth and fifth after their crash. This would be the first CUP start for Geoff Bodine. He would start 16th but blow a motor after 99 laps and finish 29th. Bodine had a strong car and was leading at lap 85 not long before his motor blew. For the live CBS coverage, Benny Parsons carried the first In-car camera. The Nielsen ratings for the CBS live telecast are a remarkable 10.5, with the final half hour drawing an amazing 13.5 rating.
1990 - At Daytona this year looked to be for sure the first Daytona 500 win for Dale Earnhardt Sr. Earnhardt was dominate in the race as he led 155 of the 200 laps. But on the last lap heading into turn #3, he ran over a piece of debris and cut a tire. Derrick Cope was running second leading a pack of cars trying to run down Earnhardt. When Earnhardt had problems, Cope drove by, and went one to take his first career win. Terry Labonte finished second just one car length behind. Third and fourth went to Bill Elliott, and Ricky Rudd. Earnhardt managed to limp home to claim fifth. Cope would win his second (and final) race 10 races later at Dover.
1996 - At Daytona international Speedway Dale Jarrett would claim his second of three Daytona 500 wins. This would be the second time that Jarrett would edge Dale Earnhardt Sr for the win by less that two tenths of a second. Earnhardt Sr and Ernie Irvan made up the front row. This would be Irvan's return to racing after his time off from his near fatal crash and resulting concussion he suffered at Michigan. 15 different drivers led, with Terry Labonte leading the most laps (44). His car overheated while leading after debris stuck on the front of his car. This would be Johnny Benson Jr's first CUP start. This also marked the first time to have three Wallace's in the starting field (Rusty, Kenny and Mike). Ken Schrader, Mark Martin, and Jeff Burton rounded out the top five.
2001 - On this date we lost Dale Earnhardt Sr. - 76 time race winner; seven time CUP Champion, 1979 CUP Rookie of the Year; died in racing crash.
2001 - Dale Earnhardt Sr is killed during the final lap of the Daytona 500, cause of death was a basil skull fracture caused from impact of the crash. This caused NASCAR to finally take some serious steps toward making the cars, tracks, and walls safer for the drivers. Here is a YouTube link to a nice tribute here. Although Earnhardt was driving for Richard Childress, he was growing his own race team (DEI) Dale Earnhardt Inc. His drivers were Dale Earnhardt Jr, Michael Waltrip, and Steve Park. The team was strong this day, and at several points in the race the three drivers ran 1-2-3. On the last lap, going through turns three and four Waltrip and Earnhardt Jr was running first and second; with Earnhardt Sr. running third. Earnhardt Sr had spent his career being "The Intimadator" and had a win no matter what attitude. On this day with his two drivers running first and second, he was trying to block so his drivers could battle it out for the win. Running in the outside lane, Earnhardt Sr went to move down to block Sterling Marlin, but Marlin was already along side. Earnhardt clipped Marlins right front, and it turned Earnhardt Sr. into the outside wall. It was later concluded he was killed instantly. As Waltrip and Earnhardt would race to the flag, Waltrip would grab the win holding of Earnhardt Jr. Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, and Bill Elliott rounded out the top five. This would be the first win for Michael Waltrip, and the first start for Jason Leffler. Waltrip's first NASCAR Winston Cup victory turns from a joyous occasion to despair after the loss of NASCAR's most dynamic competitor.
2008 - Ryan Newman won the 50th anniversary edition of the Daytona 500. Driving his Alltel Dodge Newman picked up over 1.5 million dollars for the win. He was followed across the line by his teammate Kurt Busch. Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Reed Sorenson rounded out the top five. Jimmie Johnson won the pole and finished 27th running on the lead lap.
2018 - This years Daytona 500 would see a 'first' and a 'last'. It would be the first Cup start for William Byron. Byron had won the Xfinity Series championship the previous year and and be part of the youth movement at Hendrick Motorsports in 2018. The 'last' would be Danica Patrick making her final Cup Series start. Danica had announced her impending retirement late in the 2017 season, and had also stated she would do the "Danica Double" in 2018. Her final NASCAR start being this race and her final Indy Car start coming in May in the Indy 500. As for this race we saw Aric Almirola run a great race and be leading as they took the while flag. Austin Dillon just flat out wrecked Almirola going into turn three and then went on to claim the checkered flag and get the win. Rookie Bubba Wallace finished a surprise second; followed by Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Chris Buescher.
1970 - on this date we lost Talmage Prince - It was Prince's first career CUP start; died of racing crash. This race, the second Daytona qualifier for this years Daytona 500, would prove tragic. Talmadge Price, an ace on the short tracks of the Mid-west would make his first CUP start. He had purchased a car from James Hylton, to try and show what he could do on the CUP series. He had high hopes as he put in car in the eleventh starting spot. On lap 18 Prince's motor blew, and would spin in the oil. Bill Seifert's car t-boned Prince, and sadly Prince's CUP career would last just those 18 laps. Dick Trickle would make his first CUP race in this event. Ron Keselowski would also make his first CUP start in this race. Ron is the uncle of Brad Keselowski.
1991 - Trevor Bayne's birthday
1934 - Bobby Unser's birthday
1937 - Roger Penske's birthday (famous car owner) Penske has owned cars driver by CUP drivers such as Mark Donahue, Bobby and Donnie Allison, Rusty Wallace, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch among others. Penske is also a successful Indy car owner. He has been the car owner for the car that won the Indy 500 on 17 occasions. See more on his Car Owner BIO
1969 - Dick Brooks would make his first CUP start. It would come in the first qualifying race for the Daytona 500. Brooks would start 12th and finish 16th. This would be the first time the twin qualifying races were 125 miles in length. David Pearson would win the race followed by Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, AJ Foyt, and Benny Parsons. Brooks would race in the Daytona 500, and after starting 33rd he would finish 32nd with a blown motor.
1969 - Like his brother Al, Bobby Unser would dabble in a few NASCAR races, and would make his first CUP start today. It would come in the second qualifying race for the Daytona 500. He would have a very respectable showing as he would start 14th and finish 4th. Bobby Isaac would claim the pole, with Charlie Glotzbach on his outside. They would finish that way as Isaac would lead 22 laps to get the win. Third and fifth place finishers were Paul Goldsmith, and Swede Savage. 1983 - Cale Yarborough Won the 25th annual Daytona 500. Driving his Hardee's Pontiac, Yarborough collected $119,000 for the win. Bill Elliott, Buddy Baker, Joe Ruttman, and Dick Brook rounded out the top five finishers. Ricky Rudd started on the pole, but was knocked out of the race with a faulty camshaft after 182 laps. Phil Parsons would make his first start in this event. He started 32nd, moved up nicely, and when the checkers flew, he ended up 13th.
1994 - This race at Daytona International Speedway would be the site of Sterling Marlin's first Daytona 500 win. The race would be ran with a dark cloud hanging over it. Just nine days prior, Neil Bonnett had been killed in a practice crash preparing for the 500. Then only three days later Rodney Orr was also killed in a practice crash. Loy Allen Jr., driving his Hooters Ford would lay down a blistering lap over 190 mph to win the pole. Ernie Irvan started third, but had the lead by the completion of lap one. There was 33 lead changes among 13 drivers, with Irvan heading the field for 84 circuits. The race ran the final 114 laps under green. At about 20 laps to go, Marlin was able to pass Irvan, and hold on to get the win by 2/10 of a second. They would be followed across the line by Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, and Morgan Shepherd. Some other items of note; This was Robert Pressley's first start; this would be Ricky Rudd's first race driving for his own race team; and this would be Harry Gant's final Daytona 500.
2005 - Jeff Gordon squeaks past Tony Stewart in the waning laps and wins the first Daytona 500 in history to go into overtime. The race is also the first for the new Dodge Charger, which replaces the Intrepid.
2011 - In only his second career CUP start Trevor Bayne would pull the upset and win the Daytona 500, wheeling his Motorcraft sponsored, Wood Brother's owned Ford to the win after starting 32nd. The race saw the yellow wave 16 times for 60 laps. There was a whopping 74 lead changes between 22 drivers (over half the field.) This would be the first win for the Wood Brothers since March 2001 at Bristol. The race had a green-white-checker finish with pole sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr getting caught up in the last wreck of the race. On the final restart David Ragan was the leader, but he changed lanes before the start/finish line, and was shown the black flag. He and Bayne had planned on hooking up to make a tough two car tandum. Ford drivers Carl Edwards, and David Gilliland finished second and third. Bobby Labonte, and Kurt Busch made up the top five. Brian Keselowski would make his first CUP start. He would start 12th, but be involved in a crash involving 14 cars and finish 41st. Steve Wallace would also make his first CUP start, starting 36th and finishing 20th in his Five Hour Energy Toyota.
1926 - Jim Reed's birthday.
1948 - NASCAR is incorporated
1954 - On the Daytona Beach and Road course, Jimmy Florian would make his final CUP start. Florian would start 49th, and finish 37th. Lee Petty won the pole and is credited with leading 37 laps. Tim Flock crosses the finish line for the win, but in post-race tech, Flock's car is found to be illegal, and Flock is disqualified, handing the win to Petty. The rest of the top five finishers were Buck Baker, Curtis Turner, Dick Rathman, and Bill Blair. For his career Florian only ran in 56 races, and grabbed one lone win, at Dayton OH in 1950.
1964 - The number one qualifying race for the Daytona 500 would be the first win for Bobby Isaac. Richard Petty won the pole, and led the first 39 laps of the 40 laps. On the final lap Isaac by-passed Petty when he ran out of fuel. Isaac got the win with with Jimmy Pardue finishing second. Petty did manage to limp home third followed by AJ Foyt, and Jim Paschal. In the 500 itself, Isaac would start fourth, but run out of fuel and finish 15th.
1982 - Dave Marcis won his final race at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway leading only 5 of the 250 laps driving his J.D. Stacy Chevy. Dave Marcis stays on the track as rain begins to fall at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway and is the surprise winner when NASCAR officials call the race after 250 of the 400 laps have been run. Marcis is the only driver on the lead lap not to pit during the rain shower. It was a popular win as Marcis held on to outlast Richard Petty and get the win. The independent driver had a low budget team, and had picked up some funding from J.D. Stacy who had gotten into the sport in a big way sponsoring five cars for several years. The rest of the top five were Benny Parsons (also a J.D Stacy car) Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte (another J.D. Stacy car) Marcis earned $19,000 for his win. Stacy had six cars in the field, all of them finish in the top 15. Marcis raced in the CUP series for 35 years, but only managed to scrape together enough funds to try and run for the championship about 1/2 those years. In 1975 he finished second in the Championship chase to Richard Petty.
2015 - Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity series race on Saturday before the Daytona 500; Kyle Busch crashed and careened across the tri-oval and into the unprotected concrete wall towards turn number one. He hit nearly head on and broke his leg and both feet; sidelining him for the first 11 races of the new season. He would come back to qualify for the Chase portion of the season and go on to win this years CUP title.
1921 - Marshall Teague's birthday.
1958 - Curtis Turner won the final CUP race for convertibles at the beach and road course at Daytona Beach FL. The beach and road course covered 4.1 mile with a run down the beach a sharp turn and a run back up A1A. It was a distance of 39 lap or 160 miles. Turner led 29 laps and beat Lee Petty by 14 seconds for the win. Joe Weatherly finished third with Buck Baker fourth and Bob Pronger, all on the lead lap. 21 of the 29 cars that started the event finished it.
1959 - 1st Daytona 500 auto race - Lee Petty wins (135.521 MPH) -- First CUP race at Daytona International Speedway - started 59 cars / 20 were convertibles, won by Lee Petty in photo finish. Petty won $19,000 driving his '59 Oldsmobile. He out-dueled Johnny Beauchamp to win in a photo finish. NASCAR took three days in deciding who won, and even sought out fans who had taken pictures of the finish. The win was originally awarded to Beauchamp, but later after photo verification, it was given to Petty. Rounding out the top five finishers were Charlie Griffith, Cotton Owens, and Joe Weatherly. There were no yellow flags in the race, and 33 lead changes. This would be the final CUP start for Gober Sosebee. He would start 36th, and fall out with transmission problems on lap 44 finishing 49th. Bob Welborn would lead the first lap in Daytona 500 History. This was the one and only start for Bob Said (Father of Boris said)
1963 - Three Time Indy 500 winner, Johnny Rutherford would make his first CUP start, and it would produce his first CUP win. It would come at Daytona Speedway in the second qualifying race. Rutherford would start ninth, and lead the last five laps to get the win. Rex White finished second, with pole winner Fred Lorenzen finishing third. Ned Jarrett, and Nelson Stacy finished fourth and fifth. In the 500, Rutherford would start in fourth place, and manage to gain a ninth place finish.
1967 - Curtis Turner became the first driver to surpass 180 mph on an official qualifying run in Daytona 500 time trials. Turner's #13 Smokey Yunick Chevelle was clocked at 180.831 mph, earning the pole position. It was a controversial achievement for two reasons. First, it meant an un-sponsored GM car had beaten the Ford and Chrysler factory entries. Second, the car was roughly 7/8 scale. An engine failure in the final 100 miles put Turner out of the Daytona 500.
1970 - The 1970 Daytona 500 would see Pete Hamilton win his first CUP event. Hamilton was one of those part time races, but given a good car could run up front. On this day he was driving a Petty Enterprises Plymouth. Cale Yarborough won the pole, and Buddy Baker started second. Yarborough ran well, and was leading on lap 31 when he blew his motor, and called it a day. Baker had ignition problems, and finished only 122 laps. The race featured many lead changes, and it was a real battle for the win between drivers Hamilton, Bobby Isaac, Charlie Glotzbach, David Pearson, and Bobby Allison. Hamilton got by Pearson with 9 laps to go, but Pearson got along side several time, as hard as he tried he could never make the pass. On the final lap coming to the checkers, Pearson again pulled along side Hamilton, but his car got loose, and Hamilton got the win. The rest of the top five was Pearson, Allison, Glotzbach, and Isaac. Hamilton would win three races this season, all driving Petty Enterprises cars. Hamilton only raced for six years in 64 events. He retired with persistent neck pain. He won four races, and all of them were either at Talladega, or Daytona.
2004 - This is the final race at North Carolina Motor Speedway for the CUP cars before it was closed. (Track name was changed to Rockingham Speedway) NASCAR declared it didn't draw big enough crowds to warrant holding a CUP event, and took it's CUP race away from them. (Racing in the mountains of N.C in Feb might tend to hold attendance down...) many folks argued that a better race date would provide better race attendance. Kenseth drove his Roush Powered Ford to the win leading 190 of the 393 laps (400 miles) Kasey Kahne finished second with Jamie McMurray, Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr rounding out the top 5. Ryan Newman won the pole. NCMS was been reopened with ARCA and NASCAR Truck series racing being ran there, and there was hope CUP racing would at some point return to the track. The track eventually closed in 2015.
1928 - Ralph Earnhardt's birthday
1958 - Paul Goldsmith won the final CUP race at the beach and road course at Daytona Beach FL. The beach and road course covered 4.1 mile with a run down the beach a sharp turn and a run back up A1A. I t was a distance of 39 lap or 160 miles. Goldsmith led all 39 laps, but Curtis Turner was hot on his heels. Goldsmith outran Turner by 5 car lengths for the win. Jack Smith finished third with Joe Weatherly fourth, all on the lead lap. Gwyn Staley was fifth one lap down. 49 cars started the race. The event is the final NASCAR race staged on the picturesque 4.1-mile course on the shore.
1964 - Driving a potent Plymouth with the new Hemi engine, Richard Petty leads 184 of the 200 laps to win the Daytona 500 going away. Plymouths run 1-2-3 at the finish. The triumph is Petty's first on a superspeedway.
1986 - Kyle Petty would finally get his first CUP win, and it would come at the 1/2 mile bull-ring of Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. Geoff Bodine won the pole but would crash and finish three laps down. As the race wound down to the finish, it was a real battle between Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Sr. They beat and banged on each other for the final laps and and with four laps to go Waltrip moved Earnhardt out of the way going into turn #1, and moved ahead. Going down the back stretch Earnhardt was on the outside, and as they entered turn #3 Earnhardt intentionally turned left into Waltrip's right rear sending him into the third turn wall. Earnhardt got caught up in the wreck he caused and also collected Joe Ruttman and Geoff Bodine. Kyle Petty avoided the carnage and slipped by to take the win. Ruttman got his car going quick enough to take second, followed by Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, and Waltrip.
1997 - David Green would make his first CUP start here in Rockingham, NC at the North Carolina Motor Speedway. Green had a great qualifying effort picking up the 14th starting spot. However he'd have issues, and finish the race but in 38th position. Mark Martin won the pole but couldn't keep up with the pace set by Dale Jarrett. Jarrett led 323 of the race's 393 laps. On the final restart Jeff Gordon got by Jarrett, and led the final 43 laps to claim the win. Jarrett came home second with Jeff Burton, Ricky Rudd, and Ricky Craven rounding out the top five.
1946 - Red Byron would grab a win at Seminole Speedway in Orlando FL in his first competitive start since spending 27 months in an Army hospital. Byron had been shot down during World War II and suffered a serious injury to his leg. His car had to be specially modified so he could race with his bad leg.
1948 - Fonty Flock wins the NASCAR Modified race at Jacksonville, Fla. The steering wheel breaks on Flock's 1939 Ford, but he drives the late stages using only the remaining steering spoke.
1961 - Daytona Speedway would be the site of Bobby Allison's first CUP start. He would pilot the #40, 1960 Chevy owned by Ralph Stark. He would start 29th, and end up 20th. This was actually one of the qualifying races for the Daytona 500. Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp again make big headlines on this day. The two drivers tangled in turn three and crashed through the guardrail. Both drivers were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Petty was so badly hurt it wasn't known if he would survive, and he ended up spending four months in the hospital. This ended up being the final race of Beauchamp's career. As far as the race, Joe Weatherly would start on the pole with Curtis Turner outside. Turner had a stout car, but Banjo Matthews did also. Turner led 15 of the first 21 laps before falling out. Then it was a battle between Weatherly and Matthews. Matthews was leading coming off of turn #4 when Weatherly got into the back of him and spun him out. Weatherly took the checkered flag, followed across the line by Marvin Panch, Cotton, Owens, Matthews, and Darel Dieringer. Weatherly would get Bud Moore's team their first win, in just their first CUP start. Allison would go on to race in the 500 and finish 31st in the 58 car field.
1963 - Tiny Lund would get his first ever CUP win, and it would come at Daytona Speedway. "Tiny" got his nickname because of his large 6' 5" frame, and imposing size. Lund didn't have a ride when he went down to Daytona, but as things turned out Marvin Panch would be there testing a Maserati sports car, and have a bad crash. The car flipped and burst into flames, but Lund ran into the flames and pulled Panch out of the inferno. From his hospital bed, Panch asked Lund to drive his car in the 500, and owner Glen Wood agreed. The start of the race was delayed by rain, and the first ten laps were run under caution. When the green flag flew on lap 11, it would run caution free until the checkers waved. The race had many different leaders, and it was about lap 160 before Lund would hold the point. Lund didn't have a race winning car without a little strategy. The Wood Brothers had decided to run the race on one less pit stop than everyone else . As the race wound down Lund had the lead with 10 to go. Lorenzen swept by looking like he might claim the win, but he run out of gas and had to head to pit road. This give the lead to Ned Jarrett who would also run out of gas, and out of contention. Lund's gas would hold out as he run out of gas and coasted to the finish line to claim the win. The finishers behind Lund were Lorenzen, Jarrett, Nelson Stacy, and Dan Gurney. Lund leads a 1-2-3-4-5 sweep for the Ford nameplate. The lead changes hands five times in the final 17 laps.
1967 - Fred Lorenzen won his final CUP race at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, FL. Which was actually one of the Twin 100's, a qualifying race for the Daytona 500. During this point in NASCAR history, drivers received points, in both the qualifying races and the Daytona 500. The qualifying races also counted as official race wins. The 40 lap race saw 15 lead changes, and only on one occasion did the leader lead more than four consecutive laps. Lorenzen would pull of the win by being the only car to stretch his fuel and tires and not have to pit, thereby giving him the win. The last actual 'race' he won was the final race of 1966 at North Carolina Motor Speedway, in Rockingham. Ramo Stott would make his first CUP start in this race.
1985 - Cecil Gordon would make his final career CUP start here at Richmond Fairgrounds Speedway in the Miller High Life 400. Gordon, always a low budget, independent owner / driver started 30th, and fell out after only seven laps with steering issues. The race saw Darrell Waltrip win the pole, with Geoff Bodine starting second. Third place starter Neil Bonnett was leading when he crashed, and his car went through the guardrail. A video of that is here. Tim Richmond had a strong car as did Dale Earnhardt Sr. Richmond and Earnhardt battled for the lead after Bonnett crashed out. Richmond had issues, and fell a lap behind as Earnhardt barely edged out Bodine by 3/10 of a second. Darrell Waltrip, Ron Bouchard, and Harry Gant made up the rest of the top five. This was also the last start for Butch Lindley. He would start 17th and finish 19th.
2010 - On this date we lost 'Suitcase' Jake Elder. - Championship winning crew chief for David Pearson (1968 & 1969) and part of year in 1980 with Dale Earnhardt Sr.; died from natural causes.
2013 - Daytona Speedway would be the location where the first female ever won the Pole for a CUP race. Danica Patrick wheeling her Go-Daddy Chevy to a speed of 182.741 MPH; just edging out Jeff Gordon for the top spot. The race went well for Patrick as she stayed at or near the front all day, bringing her car home to a 8th place finish. Jimmy Johnson would out run his teammate and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr by .12 second to get the win. The rest of the top five was Mark martin, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Newman.
2016 - NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport. Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. It was also announced that former NASCAR on FOX anchor Steve Byrnes, who died last April after a lengthy bout with cancer, was posthumously honored Saturday with the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence Saturday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Byrnes became the fifth recipient of the award, joining Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award was named, Chris Economaki and Tom Higgins.
1961 - Davey Allison's birthday
1966 - Qualifying race number one for the Daytona 500 would be the first CUP start for Gordon Johncock. He would start tenth, but finished seventh in his K&K Insurance Dodge. In the 500 Johncock would start 13th, but blow a motor on lap 112 and finish 29th.
1968 - Independent driver Dave Marcis would make his first CUP start in the Daytona 500. Marcis would start 35th, and bring home his 1966 Chevy in 20th place. Cale Yarborough started on the pole, with Richard Petty outside. Yarborough looked good early, but ignition problems caused him to fall back, but he would get his issues fixed, and be back in the hunt about half way. Petty also looked good, and was leading when James Hylton blew a motor and slammed the turn one wall. A piece flew off of Hyltons car, and and damaged the vinyl roof on Petty's car. He lost two laps in the pits making repairs. Buddy Baker, Mario Andretti, and LeeRoy Yarbrough battled for the lead to the half way point, but the race was over for Baker and Andretti when the two tangled. After getting back to the front and fighting Bobby Allison, and LeeRoy Yarbrough for the lead; Cale once again had issues as he over heated from debris caught on his front grill. After a series of pit stops among the leaders near the end of the race, Cale was able to get LeeRoy in his sights as the laps wound down. With four laps to go Cale passed LeeRoy and went on to wheel his Wood Brothers owned Mercury to get the win. This was Cale's first Daytona 500 win. LeeRoy finished second one second back, with Bobby Allison, Al Unser, and David Pearson making up the top five.
2007 - After seven years of development, NASCAR's new car design races for the first time at the Food City 500 in Bristol TN. When Kyle Busch's Chevrolet Impala takes the checkered flag, it marks the first time a winged NASCAR Sprint Cup car would head to Victory Lane since Richard Petty won at Dover on September 20, 1970, in a Plymouth Superbird.
1956 - Future CUP champion Rex White would make his initial CUP start here on the beach at Daytona in one of the qualifying races. White would start 30th, and move up to finish 22nd by the time the checkers flew. Tim Flock would win the pole, and then lead 34 of the 37 lap race to get the win. Billy Myers was second, with Ralph Moody, Jimmie Lewallen, and Jim Reed making up the top five. This would be the final start for Dick Linder. There was a huge 76 car starting field for the 500.
1956 - Ralph Moody would make his first CUP start in the race at the Daytona Beach and Road Course. Moody built his first Model T race car in 1936 and raced it on nights and weekends. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II driving a tank under the command of General George Patton. He raced in 1956, and the first part of 1957 until Ford pulled out of CUP racing. Moody joined up with John Holman to form Holman-Moody racing. They became famous for their race car building operation. They built about 50 chassis a year until the closed shop in 1971. Over that span their cars won 92 CUP events. In this event Moody started 24th, and would finish third. Emanuel Zervakis would also make his first CUP start. He would start 76th (and last) in the field, and crash out and finish 76th. Zervakis was a decent driver, but is probably better know for being a car owner. He was the owner of Dale Jarrett's car in his first career CUP start. Zervakis had most of his success in the Nationwide series.
1967 - Mario Andretti would claim his first CUP win and it would come on this day in the Daytona 500. Andretti would start 12th, and be stout the whole day. But the win didn't come easy as there was 37 lead change among nine drivers. Pole sitter Curtis Turner, and outside starter Richard Petty blew motors trying to keep up the pace set by Andretti. The entire second half of the race was a battle between Andretti, Fred Lorenzen, and David Pearson. Pearson's motor also gave out with 40 laps to go, and Andretti outran his team mate Lorenzen to the finish. Both Andretti and Lorenzen were driving for Holman-Moody. The rest of the top five was James Hylton, Tiny Lund, and Jerry Grant.
1984 - Ricky Rudd posts a heart-warming victory in the 400-lapper at Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. Rudd was battered and bruised after a crash in Daytona's Busch Clash invitational race two weeks earlier. Rudd's Bud Moore Ford finishes 3.2 seconds ahead of runner-up Darrell Waltrip.
2001 - Steve Park would win his final CUP race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. Jeff Gordon would start on the pole and Steve Park would start second. They would dominate the race leading all but 45 laps. Park led the last 35 laps, but the win wasn't easy. He had to hold off Bobby Labonte for a hard fought win. Lap after Lap Labonte would try to pass, high or low, and Park would hold him off. When the checkers were waved Park beat Labonte by only .138 seconds. This race was especially emotional for Park and the DEI team. Only one race before they had lost Dale Earnhardt in a crash at Daytona and the team was still reeling from the loss. This win seemed to help the team put some closure on the event, as did the race at Atlanta two weeks later where Earnhardt's fill-in Kevin Harvick returned his RCR team to victory lane in another unbelievable finish.
2017 - Daniel Suarez would make his first Cup start here in the Daytona 500. Suarez was moved up to the Cup Series a year earlier than anticipated because of the sudden retirement of Carl Edwards. Edwards was a driver for Joe Gibbs, and he announced in the off-season he was done racing. Suarez was a driver in the Xfinity Series for Gibbs and was picked to move up and take Edwards seat. In his first race Suarez would start 19th; but get caught up in a biog crash on lap 141 and be out of the race finishing 29th. Kurt Busch would win the race; leading only one lap as he passed Kyle Larson to claim the victory.
1949 - A second experimental Strictly Stock Late Model race is added to the three-event racing card at Broward Speedway. Benny Georgeson drives a 1947 Buick to victory in the 10-mile contest.
1960 - Dennis Setzer's birthday
1964 - Todd Bodine's birthday
1964 - Ned Jarrett wins the 100-mile race at Spartanburg by an incredible 22 laps. Only 16 cars start the race. Independent driver G.C. Spencer finishes second despite only completing 178 of the 200 laps.
1985 - Bill Elliott leads 136 of the 200 laps in dominating the Daytona 500. Elliott dominates Daytona's Speedweeks, winning the pole at more than 205 mph and nearly lapping the field in the Twin 125-mile qualifier.
1992 - Ty Dillon's birthday
1994 - In Rusty Wallace's second start in a Ford, he rides to victory in the Goodwrench 500 at Rockingham. Wallace and the Roger Penske team switched from Pontiacs to Fords during the off-season.
2012 - Danica Patrick makes first CUP start here in the Daytona 500. It would be an eventful race. At race time it was raining, and there was a long rain delay. For the first time ever the race was postponed until Monday. Monday brought more rain, and the official start time was moved back to 7 pm. As the race started it was teammates Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle on the front row. On lap #2 there was a major wreck gobbling up the likes of Jimmy Johnson, David Ragan, Danica Patrick, Trevor Bayne, Kurt Busch, and others. So right off the bat we had 'the big one'. On lap 81 Jeff Gordon blew a motor and he was out. After a yellow flew for David Stremme's spin on lap 158, most of the cars pitted. NASCAR sent the track dryers out as a light mist was falling and they didn't want to lose the track while under yellow. Juan Montoya had felt something wrong with his car and stayed in the pits a lot longer. As Montoya was going down the back straight trying to catch up with the field; just as he got to turn 3 his suspension broke sending the car out of control. It went up and hit the track dryer in turn three and it exploded on impact. No one was injured, but it caused over an hour delay as officials hosed down the track to get the fuel off the surface so as not to damage it. As the race wound to a conclusion, 'the big one' happened again on lap 189. Included in the crash was Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, among others. The race restarted with six laps to go; on lap 198 the third 'big one' of the night occurred, sweeping up eight cars including Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch. This pushed the race into 'overtime' with a green-white-checker finish. Matt Kenseth would be leading on the restart, and outrun the snarling pack to get the win. Dale Earnhardt Jr made great run on the last lap, but came up just 2/10th of a second short. Third through fifth was Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, and Jeff Burton.
1930 - Billy Wade's birthday
1940 - Mario Andretti's birthday
1960 - In his 35th CUP start, future seven time champion Richard Petty would claim his first win. It came on the 1/2 mile dirt track located at Southern State Fairgrounds in Charlotte, NC. Father Lee Petty would win the pole, along with Buck Baker. Lee Petty would fall out with spark plug problems after only 38 laps. Baker blew a motor after 118 laps. Richard Petty would move up from his seventh place starting position to get the win. Rex White would finish second, with Doug Yates third, Junior Johnson fourth, and Joe Eubanks fifth. The 22-year-old Petty collects $800 for his first win.
1965 - Richard Petty loses control of his 1965 Plymouth Barracuda drag car at a drag strip in Dallas, Georgia. The car veers into a group of spectators, killing an eight-year-old boy. Petty had gone drag racing due to the Chrysler boycott.
1971 - A.J. Foyt drives the Wood Brothers Mercury to victory in the 500-miler at the new Ontario Motor Speedway . Foyt goes down in the record book as winning the 1,000th NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National race.
2016 - Time became a new factor in NASCAR for the first time on this Saturday truck race, with the Caution Clock coming into play twice in the Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200. A 20-minute timer was implemented for the 2016 season in the Camping world Truck series and it begins counting down at the beginning of each green-flag run. If no natural caution occurs before the clock runs out, a caution will come out, giving teams the opportunity to pit, change tires and make adjustments. Since many of the competitors in the Truck series are younger less-experienced racers, the thinking is this will give the teams more chances to work on the trucks and promote better racing.
1976 - Bill Elliott would make his first CUP start at the North Carolina Motor Speedway. The underfunded team owned by his father George Elliott would have an rough beginning as he would qualify 34th, and fall out with a blown motor after just 32 laps finishing 33rd. Dave Marcis would win the pole, and run up front until his motor gave out on lap 263. On lap 273 Richard Petty would assume the lead, and motor away to a two lap win; leading the final 220 laps. Following his across the line was Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, and Benny Parsons.