|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|Venue||Daytona International Speedway|
|Distance||500 miles (805 km)|
Inaugural 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1959)
(1961–1990, 1994–2000, 2002–2006, 2008–present)
The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long (805 km) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series motor race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of the four restrictor plate races on the Sprint Cup schedule. The first Daytona 500 was held in 1959 coinciding with the opening of the speedway and since 1982, it has been the season-opening race of the Cup series.
The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse. Championship points awarded are equal to that of any other Sprint Cup race. It is also the series' first race of the year; this phenomenon is virtually unique in sports, which tend to have championships or other major events at the end of the season rather than the start. Since 1995, U.S. television ratings for the Daytona 500 have been the highest for any auto race of the year, surpassing the traditional leader, the Indianapolis 500 which in turn greatly surpasses the Daytona 500 in in-track attendance and international viewing. The 2006 Daytona 500 attracted the sixth largest average live global TV audience of any sporting event that year with 20 million viewers.
The event serves as the final event of Speedweeks and is sometimes referred to as "The Great American Race" or the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing." All 57 Daytona 500s since the first race in 1959 have been held in the month of February. From 1971-2011, it was associated with Presidents Day weekend, taking place on the Sunday before the third Monday in February. For 2012, the race was pushed back a week, to the last Sunday of February. Because of inclement weather conditions on February 26, the day the 2012 Daytona 500 was supposed to be held, the race was postponed until the evening of Monday, February 27, and it wasn't until the 2013 Daytona 500, which was held on February 24 of that year, that the race took place on the last Sunday of February for the first time.
The winner of the Daytona 500 is presented with the Harley J. Earl Trophy in Victory Lane, and the winning car is displayed, in race-winning condition, for one year at Daytona 500 Experience, a museum and gallery adjacent to Daytona International Speedway. Joey Logano is the race's defending champion after winning it in 2015.
- 1 Origins
- 2 History
- 3 Qualifying procedure
- 4 Television
- 5 Pole position holders
- 6 List of Daytona 500 winners
- 7 Race winner records
- 7.1 Consecutive victories
- 7.2 Winners from the pole position
- 7.3 Family winners
- 7.4 Winners as both driver and owner
- 7.5 Won Daytona 500 and Sprint Unlimited in same year
- 7.6 Won Daytona 500 and Budweiser Duel in same year
- 7.7 Drivers whose first NASCAR Cup Series win was the Daytona 500
- 7.8 Youngest and oldest winners of the Daytona 500
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The race is the direct successor of shorter races held on Daytona Beach. This long square was partially on the sand and also on the highway near the beach. Earlier events featured 200-mile (320 km) races with stock cars. Eventually, a 500-mile (805 km) stock car race was held at Daytona International Speedway in 1959. It was the second 500-miler, following the Southern 500, and has been held every year since. By 1961, it began to be referred to as the "Daytona 500," by which it is still commonly known.
Daytona International Speedway is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and a 500-mile race requires 200 laps to complete. However, the race is considered official after half its distance (100 laps or 250 miles (400 km)) have been completed. The race has been shortened four times due to rain (in 1965, 1966, 2003, and 2009) and once in response to the energy crisis of 1974. Since the adaptation of the green-white-checker finish rule in 2004, the race has gone past 500 miles on seven occasions. (2005–2007, 2010–2012 and 2015).
Lee Petty, patriarch of the racing family, won the 1959 Daytona 500 on February 22, 1959, defeating Johnny Beauchamp in a highly unusual manner. Petty and Beauchamp were lapping Joe Weatherly at the finish. Petty, Beauchamp, and Weatherly crossed the finish line three abreast with Weatherly on the outside, Beauchamp on the inside, and Petty in the middle. A photo finish in a race of that duration and speed seemed inconceivable and photo-finish cameras were not installed at the track. NASCAR initially declared Beauchamp the winner. After reviewing photographs and newsreels of the finish for three days, the call was reversed, and Petty was awarded the win. Petty received $19,050 for winning. Ken Marriott was scored as the last place driver having completed one lap and won $100.
In 1960, Robert "Junior" Johnson won, despite running a slower, year-old car in a field of 68 cars, most in Daytona 500 history through the present day. Johnson made use of the draft, then a little-understood phenomenon, to keep up with the leaders.
After three years of being the best driver never to win the Daytona 500, Glenn "Fireball" Roberts came to the 1962 edition race of the Daytona 500 on a hot roll, he won the American Challenge for winners of 1961 NASCAR events, the pole position for the Daytona 500, and the Twin-100 mile qualifier. He dominated the race, leading 144 of the 200 laps and finally won his first (and ultimately only) Daytona 500.
In 1963, it was DeWayne "Tiny" Lund who took the victory for the Wood Brothers, however the real drama began a couple weeks before the race when Lund helped pull 1961 winner Marvin Panch from a burning sportscar at a considerable risk to himself. As a result of his heroism, the Wood Brothers asked Lund to replace Panch in the Daytona 500 and Lund took the car to the winner's circle.
Driving a potent Plymouth with the new Hemi engine, Richard Petty led 184 of the 200 laps to win the 1964 Daytona 500 going away. Plymouths ran 1-2-3 at the finish. The triumph was Petty's first on a super-speedway.
The first rain-shortened Daytona 500 was the 1965 event. Leader Marvin Panch and Fred Lorenzen made contact on Lap 129, as rain began to fall; Panch spun out, and Lorenzen won when the race was finally called on Lap 133. The 1966 Daytona 500, won by Richard Petty, was also shortened, to 198 laps, due to rain.
1967 saw Mario Andretti dominate the race. He led 112 of the 200 laps including the last 33 laps to capture his only win in the Sprint Cup Series.
The 1968 race saw a duel involving Cale Yarborough and LeeRoy Yarbrough. For much of the day, both drivers traded the lead. With 5 laps to go, Yarborough made a successful slingshot pass on the third turn to take the lead from Yarbrough and never looked back as he won his first Daytona 500 by 1.3 seconds. LeeRoy Yarbrough would inflict the same treatment on Charlie Glotzbach the next year, winning the 1969 Daytona 500 on the last lap.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
The 1970s opened with Cale Yarborough qualifying at pole with a 194.015 mph (312.237 km/h) run. Fate played a major role in the 1970 race, claiming one driver after another as soon as the green flag fell. Richard Petty, then Yarborough who dropped out after leading 26 of the first 31 laps, Donnie Allison, and A.J. Foyt also dropped out of the race. Later in the race, Pete Hamilton, an unknown driver prior to this race, was contested the lead with the likes of Charlie Glotzbach and David Pearson. On lap 192, Hamilton passed Pearson for the lead, and although Pearson tried valiantly to regain the lead, it was Hamilton who took the checkered flag in front of the largest crowd to ever have seen the Daytona 500 (an estimated 103,800). It was the first of 4 victories Hamilton would have in his brief NASCAR career.
The 1972 race was a "one-side Daytona 500". In this race, A.J. Foyt cruised lanyard into the lead with about 300 miles to go and captured the victory. It was his sixth career Winston Cup victory, and it gave the famed Wood Brothers of Stuart, Virginia, their third Daytona 500 triumph. They had previously won it with Tiny Lund in 1963 and with Cale Yarborough in 1968. In the event punctuated by a weak field because of factory withdrawal, Foyt outlasted four rivals and beat runner-up Charlie Glotzbach by nearly two laps. Jim Vandiver was 6 laps down and finished third; Benny Parsons was fourth and James Hylton finished fifth. Only 3 caution flags for 17 laps interrupted Foyt's pace. He averaged 161.550 mph—an all-time record for the Daytona 500.
During the start of the 1974 NASCAR season, many races had their distance cut ten percent in response to the 1973 oil crisis. As a result, the 1974 Daytona 500, won by Richard Petty (his second straight, making him the first driver ever to do it), was shortened to 180 laps (450 miles), as symbolically, the race "started" on Lap 21. The Twin 125 qualifying races were also shortened to 45 laps (112.5 miles). Richard Petty overcame tough luck of his own and capitalized on the misfortunes of Donnie Allison to win his fifth Daytona 500. The 47 second triumph was petty's 155th in Winston Cup Grand National competition. A record 53 laps were run under the caution flag, which reduced Petty's average winning speed to 140.894 mph.
In 1975, it appeared David Pearson was on his way to his first Daytona 500 victory as he built a sizable lead on second place Benny Parsons late in the race. However, Richard Petty, who was several laps behind the leaders, and Parsons hooked up in a draft and began reeling in Pearson who was slowed by lapped traffic. The key moment of the race occurred two laps from the end when contact with a backmarker sent Pearson spinning on the backstretch. Parsons avoided the accident and went on to take the win.
In the 1976 race, Richard Petty was leading on the last lap when he was passed on the backstretch by David Pearson. Petty tried to turn under Pearson coming off the final corner, but didn't clear Pearson. The contact caused the drivers to spin into the grass in the infield just short of the finish line. Petty's car didn't start, but Pearson was able to keep his car running and limp over the finish line for the win. Many fans consider this finish to be the greatest in the history of NASCAR.
For Bobby Allison, the Daytona 500 prior to the 1978 race was not kind to him, in fact he came to the race with a 67-race winless streak but with 11 laps remaining, he pushed his Bud Moore Ford around Buddy Baker to take the lead and never look back as he captured his first Daytona 500 win.
The 1979 race was the first 500-mile (800 km) race to be broadcast live on national television, airing on CBS, whose audience was increased in much of the Eastern and Midwestern USA due to a blizzard. (The Indianapolis 500 was only broadcast on tape delay that evening in this era; most races were broadcast only through the final quarter to half of the race, as was the procedure for ABC's Championship Auto Racing broadcasts; with the new CBS contract, the network and NASCAR agreed to a full live broadcast.) That telecast introduced in-car and low-level track-side cameras, which has now become standard in all sorts of automotive racing broadcasts. A final lap crash and subsequent fight between leaders Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison (along with Donnie's brother Bobby Allison) brought national (if unwelcome) publicity to NASCAR, with the added emphasis of a snowstorm that bogged down much of the northeastern part of the United States. Donnie Allison was leading the race on the final lap with Yarborough drafting him tightly. As Yarborough attempted a slingshot pass at the end of the backstretch, Allison attempted to block him. Yarborough refused to give ground and as he pulled alongside Allison, his left side tires left the pavement and went into the wet and muddy infield grass. Yarborough lost control of his car and contacted Allison's car halfway down the backstretch. As both drivers tried to regain control, their cars made contact several more times before finally locking together and crashing into the outside wall in turn three. After the cars settled in the grass, Donnie Allison and Yarborough began to argue. After they had talked it out, Bobby Allison, who was lapped at that point, pulled over, began defending his brother, and a fight broke out. Richard Petty, who was over half a lap behind at the time, went on to win; with the brawl in the infield, the television audience scarcely noticed. The story was the talk of the water cooler the next day, even making the front page of The New York Times Sports section. NASCAR, as a national sport, had finally arrived after years of moonshine runners.
- 1980: Buddy Baker won the fastest Daytona 500 in history, at 177.602 mph (285.809 km/h).
- 1981: With 24 laps to go, Richard Petty came to the pits for his final scheduled pit stop. Instead of changing tires, the team gambled and only took on fuel. Petty shocked the other drivers as he returned to the track in the lead. Petty became the first driver to win the Daytona 500 in three different decades.
- 1982: In the early laps of the 1982 race, Bobby Allison's bumper flew off, allowing his #88 Buick Regal to go faster, in an incident known as "Bumpergate". Allison won the 1982 Daytona 500 in spite of this. It was also the first Daytona 500 chosen to be the first race of the NASCAR season.
- 1983: Cale Yarborough was the first driver to run a qualifying lap over 200 mph (320 km/h) at Daytona in his #28 Hardee's Chevrolet Monte Carlo. However, on his second of two qualifying laps, Yarborough crashed and flipped his car in turn four. The car had to be withdrawn, and the lap did not count. Despite the crash, Yarborough drove a back-up car (a Pontiac LeMans) to victory, taking the lead from Buddy Baker on the last lap with a duplicate of the pass he attempted on Donnie Allison in 1979.
- 1984: Cale Yarborough completed a lap of 201.848 mph (324.828 km/h), officially breaking the 200 mph (320 km/h) barrier at Daytona. He won the race for the second year in a row, and fourth time in his career, with the identical last-lap pass, this time outpacing Darrell Waltrip.
- 1985: Bill Elliott dominated the race, and by lap 140, was close to lapping the entire field except for second place. During a pit stop, NASCAR officials held him in the pit area in order to repair a supposed broken headlight assembly. The two minute pit stop dropped him to third, barely clinging to the lead lap. Elliott made up the deficit mostly under green. Elliott survived a late race caution and a final lap restart to win his first Daytona 500. Elliott would go on to win the first Winston Million.
- 1986: The race that came down to the final 70 laps (all run under green); a two-car race involving Dale Earnhardt and Geoff Bodine. Earnhardt led for 10 laps while Bodine led for 60. With 3 laps to go, Earnhardt was forced to make a pit stop for a "splash 'n go". However, as Earnhardt left the pits he burned a piston, allowing Bodine to cruise to victory by 11.26 seconds.
- 1987: Bill Elliott qualified for the pole position at an all-time Daytona record of 210.364 mph (338.532 km/h). He had already won convincingly in the 1985 race, and won his second Daytona 500 in 1987 in similarly dominating fashion.
- 1988: Restrictor plates were mandated to reduce dangerously high speeds at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega Speedway. The race began despite uncertainty about how well these would work. Eventually, Bobby Allison and his son Davey Allison finished one-two and celebrated together in Victory Lane. Bobby Allison thus became the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500. The race is also remembered for Richard Petty's wild accident on lap 106. Petty spun, became airborne and tumbled along a large section of catch fence before his car came to a stop. The car was then torn nearly in half from hits by A. J. Foyt and Brett Bodine. Petty escaped without serious injury. Restrictor plates remain in use at Daytona and Talladega to this day despite a disposition to create pack racing and a phenomenon known as The Big One.
- 1989: Darrell Waltrip finally won the Daytona 500 after 17 attempts. (Coincidentally, the car he drove to victory, the Tide Ride, wore number 17.) Waltrip amazingly stretched his fuel for the last 53 laps, meanwhile, most of his competitors were forced to pit. Waltrip ran out of gas as he pulled into Victory Lane. Fans loudly cheered the childlike exuberance of Waltrip's victory celebration. As he was being interviewed by CBS pit reporter Mike Joy, Waltrip shouted, "I won the Daytona 500! I won the Daytona 500!" Shortly after, an exuberant Waltrip performed an "Ickey Shuffle" dance in Victory Lane, and ruined his helmet spiking it to the ground.
- 1990: After several years of futility, Dale Earnhardt appeared headed for certain victory until a series of events in the closing laps. On lap 193 Geoff Bodine spun in the first turn, causing the third and final caution of the race. All of the leaders pitted except Derrike Cope, who stayed out to gain track position. On the lap 195 restart, Earnhardt re-took the lead. On the final lap, going into turn three, Earnhardt ran over a bell housing from the blown engine of Rick Wilson's car. He blew a tire, slowed suddenly, and veered out of the groove, allowing the relatively unknown Cope to slip by and take the his first career win in a major upset.
- 1991: Dale Earnhardt's Daytona 500 frustrations continued as Ernie Irvan passed Earnhardt with six laps to go to. Earnhardt's day started out on a sour note, as he hit a seagull in the opening laps. The damage inflicted by the bird affected the aerodynamics, and damaged the radiator, causing high water temperatures. Ultimately, Earnhardt spun out with two laps remaining and collected Davey Allison and Kyle Petty. Irvan coasted on fumes on the final lap as the race ended under the caution flag. The race was dominated by complex pit stop rules, implemented to improve safety in the pit area.
- 1992: Davey Allison dominated the second half en route to his lone Daytona 500 victory. He avoided the "Big One" on lap 92 and went on to lead the final 102 laps. To date, Allison is the last driver to win the Daytona 500 after leading the halfway lap.
- 1993: Rookie Jeff Gordon made a splash, winning one of the Budweiser Duels, and leading the opening lap of the race. He would finish in the top five. On lap 170, a frightening wreck occurred that saw Rusty Wallace flip over multiple times on the back straightaway. With two laps to go, Dale Earnhardt was leading Gordon and Dale Jarrett. Using a push from fourth place Geoff Bodine, Jarrett battled into the lead with one lap to go. In the broadcast booth, his father and former Cup champion Ned Jarrett became his son's biggest fan on national TV. It was the fourth time Earnhardt had been leading the Daytona 500 with less than ten laps to go, but failed to win.
- 1994: After the tragic deaths of Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, the Cup circuit experienced several team/driver changes for 1994. In the offseason, Sterling Marlin landed in Ernie Irvan's former ride at Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Between father (Coo Coo) and son (Sterling), the Marlin family was 0-for-443 in Winston Cup starts. Marlin gambled on fuel, and was able to complete the final 59 laps on his tank of fuel to win his first career Cup victory. The win, however, was overshadowed by tragedy earlier in Speedweeks, as Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr were killed in practice crashes.
- 1995: Sterling Marlin became the first driver since Cale Yarborough, and only third overall, to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. During a late caution, Marlin stayed out in the lead, while many of the leaders pitted for new tires. Dale Earnhardt dramatically charged from 14th to 2nd, but Marlin managed to hold him off on the final lap, despite running on old tires. To date, Marlin is the last driver to have won back-to-back Daytona 500s.
- 1996: Dale Jarrett won his second Daytona 500 in four years, again holding off Dale Earnhardt, who finished second for the third time in four years.
- 1997: Jeff Gordon became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500. Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven ganged up on race leader Bill Elliott during the final ten laps. The race ended under the caution flag, as the teammates grabbed a 1-2-3 finish.
- 1998: Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500 after 20 years of trying. Though Earnhardt had usually been a strong competitor in the Daytona 500, mechanical problems, crashes or bad luck had prevented him from winning the race. In 1998, however, Earnhardt was leading when Lake Speed and John Andretti made contact on Lap 198, causing the race to end under caution. After his victory, a joyous Earnhardt drove slowly down pit road, where members of other race teams had lined up to give him handshakes and high-fives. The victory was widely celebrated, even by people who weren't his fans, and was a defining moment in Earnhardt's career and legacy. Mike Joy, who was play-by-play announcer for CBS's broadcast in 1998 (his first play-by-play call of the Daytona 500) called the win "the most anticipated moment in racing".
- 1999: Jeff Gordon grabbed his second Daytona 500 win using drafting help from Dale Earnhardt to pull off a daring three-wide pass on Rusty Wallace and Mike Skinner with 10 laps remaining. Gordon then managed to hold off a determined Earnhardt to earn the victory. A wreck on lap 135 saw future champion Dale Jarrett flip over twice in turn 3.
- 2000: Johnny Benson nearly pulled off an upset win, leading in the late stages of the race. Polesitter Dale Jarrett, however, made the winning pass on a restart with only four laps remaining. Jarrett led a pack of three Ford drivers to gang up and nudge Benson in turn 2, then draft past him on the backstretch. It was Jarrett's third Daytona 500 victory. The race was widely criticized by media and fans for being uncompetitive due to a restrictive aerodynamic rules package. Dale Earnhardt later complained to the media, "[The rules] took NASCAR Winston Cup racing and made it some of the sorriest racing. They took racing out of the hands of the drivers and the crews. We can't adjust and make our cars drive like we want. They just killed the racing at Daytona. This is a joke to have to race like this." Earnhardt's complaint likely was the result of the fact that there were an unusually slim 9 lead changes amongst only 7 drivers.
- 2001: Also known as "Black Sunday", or the "darkest day in NASCAR", as Dale Earnhardt died in a crash on the final lap. This was the second restrictor plate race run under a rules package that was intended to increase competition after the lackluster 2000 event and complaints from drivers like Earnhardt. Though it was meant to give power back to the drivers and help produce more lead changes, critics ultimately charged that it created dangerously close racing conditions, as cars raced three wide for long stretches. However, the race was also one of the cleanest, as there were only 3 caution flags (one of which temporarily was a red flag) in the entire race. A crash on the back straightaway on lap 173 eliminated 18 cars in spectacular fashion and resulted in the race being red-flagged temporarily for cleanup. Tony Stewart took the worst ride, as his car went over Robby Gordon and flipped end-over-end before coming to a rest in the infield. Kurt Busch made his Daytona 500 debut driving in the #97 Roush Ford. Michael Waltrip, making his first start for DEI was leading the race on the final lap, with teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. second. Team owner Dale Earnhardt (driving his familiar RCR entry) was running third, blocking for his two drivers. In turn 4, Earnhardt lost control after making contact from Sterling Marlin, and crashed into the outside wall, taking Ken Schrader with him in the process. Earnhardt suffered a fatal basilar skull fracture, at the same time his team cars were crossing the finish line 1st-2nd. The tragedy ushered in a new era of safety in NASCAR. The 2001 race also marked the beginning of NASCAR's new television control with FOX.
- 2002: Sterling Marlin was battling Jeff Gordon for the lead when they made contact, sending Gordon's car spinning, and triggering a multi-car crash. NASCAR red-flagged the race so it would not finish under caution, and stopped the field momentarily on the backstretch. Concerned about a damaged right front fender, Marlin jumped out of his car and started pulling the fender away from the tire. As working on the car is prohibited during red flag conditions, Marlin was penalized, and sent to the tail end of the field for the restart. Ward Burton survived the wacky last ten laps, and posted the biggest victory of his career.
- 2003: Michael Waltrip became a two-time winner after the race was shortened to 109 laps due to rain. It was the shortest ever recorded Daytona 500.
- 2004: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart dominated the race, combining to lead 156 of 200 laps. With twenty laps to go, Earnhardt, Jr. got past Stewart in turn 3 without drafting help, and won the race exactly six years to the date after his father's celebrated win.
- 2005: The start time was changed, allowing the race to finish under the lights at dusk. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. made a popular charge to the front on lap 197, but made his move too soon, and Jeff Gordon slipped by to re-take the lead. In the first use of the green-white-checker finish rule in the Daytona 500, Gordon held off Earnhardt, Jr. to win his third Daytona 500.
- 2006: During post-qualifying inspection, Chad Knaus was ejected for an illegal rear window on the Hendrick Motorsports #48 car. During the race, Tony Stewart aggressively blocked Matt Kenseth going into turn 3 on lap 106, sending Kenseth into a dangerous spin in front of the entire field. Misty rain and drizzle lasted most of the race, but did not affect the green flag conditions. The#48 team, with Jimmie Johnson driving and Darian Grubb as crew chief for the first of four races following Knaus' ejection and subsequent suspension, won after a green-white-checkered finish.
- 2007: Nearing the end, Mark Martin was leading, looking for his first Daytona victory. A wreck in the final five laps that ended Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s run brought out the yellow, and set up a green-white-checker finish, Kevin Harvick drove from 5th to 2nd in the final two turns. As Harvick approached Martin exiting turn 4, a huge wreck erupted behind them. Martin and Harvick drag-raced to the checkered flag with Harvick claiming victory by 0.02 seconds, the 4th closest finish in NASCAR history. Most of the rest of the field crashed across the finish line. Some controversy surrounded the finish since no caution flag was thrown, and there is disputed visual evidence that suggests that Martin would have been declared winner if the caution flag had come out.
- 2008: The celebrated 50th running of the Daytona 500 was the first using NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow. It also marked the first race under the "Sprint Cup Series" banner, following the merger of Sprint with NEXTEL in 2006. The first 150 laps were mostly caution free, with only two yellow flags thrown for debris. But the final 20 laps saw three crashes. On the final restart on lap 197, Tony Stewart stormed past Jeff Burton into the lead. On the final lap down the back straightaway, Stewart dove to the bottom to pick up drafting help from his teammate Kyle Busch. This move proved to be disastrous as it opened the door for Ryan Newman, who surged to the front and took the checkered flag.
- 2009: The race was called on account of rain with 48 laps remaining. The leader at the time of the red flag, Matt Kenseth, was declared the winner, his first Daytona 500 win in ten attempts and the first win for Roush. Kenseth led only one lap under green.
- 2010: After 6 consecutive years of moving the start time further from 1 PM to 3:30 PM by 2009 to reach a prime-time finish, NASCAR and Fox agreed to return the race to a 1 PM ET start as part of a uniform agreement on start times of 1 PM, 3 PM, or 7:30 PM for the majority of Sprint Cup races during the season, ending what had become a nearly-standard 2 PM ET start time for Eastern and Central time zone races during the season. An aging asphalt surface, coupled with cool weather and heavy precipitation leading up the race, saw a huge, dangerous, pothole develop on the track in turn 2. Two red flag periods totaling nearly 2 and a half hours delayed the proceedings, as track crew attempted to fix the damage. Officials eventually filled the hole with Bondo, and the race resumed, finishing in prime-time. During the second green-white-checker attempt, Jamie McMurray passed Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick on the 207th lap, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win.
- 2011: After the embarrassing pothole incident from last year, Daytona International Speedway was completely repaved for the 2011 season, making it the first time since 1978. Since this race marked the tenth anniversary of the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, the third lap was a "silent lap" (previously used in Earnhardt's memory during the 2001 season, meaning the TV and radio announcers were silent during the entire lap, and fans held up three fingers in reference to Earnhardt's car number). Fittingly, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole position, but started at the end of the field due to a crash during Wednesday's practice before the qualifying races. The larger controversy was the two-car tandem racing, which had been proven at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009 on occasion, and the two-car tandem had been much faster than the more traditional multiple-car packs, forcing NASCAR to adopt pressure relief valves in an attempt to force the cars to overheat, forcing the cars to split from the two-car tandems after a short time. On lap 131, Matt Kenseth demonstrated the quality of the new safety devices when he was turned into the wall from a push by Greg Biffle as hard if not harder than Dale Earnhardt did 10 years previous, and getting out of his car on his own power immediately after. 20 year old Trevor Bayne, in his first Daytona 500 start and only running a partial Cup schedule in 2011, and making just his second career Sprint Cup start, held off Carl Edwards, David Gilliland and Bobby Labonte to win the race and become the youngest Daytona 500 winner, and second-youngest to win a Cup race (the youngest being Joey Logano, who won a rain-shortened New Hampshire event at nineteen years, one month and four days old). The win also tied the record for fewest starts by a driver before winning his first Cup race (two starts, held by Jamie McMurray, who oddly also pulled the trick in his pre-rookie season)
- 2012: As a result of the NFL moving the Super Bowl into the first Sunday of February permanently in 2004, and eventually the 2010 race having a condensed first weekend (practice, qualifying, and the ARCA and special race being moved to Saturday in order to make Super Bowl day an off-day), NASCAR decided to move the Daytona 500 back to the Sunday of or after Washington's Birthday (February 22, but not the federally observed day), which February 26 in 2012. Rain, however delayed the race a day, originally planning to reschedule the race for Monday afternoon at 12 noon EST. With radar being inconsistent, and the introduction of the new vacuum-based Air Titan system being discussed, Fox and NASCAR agreed to scrub the noon start in favour of a 7 PM start that Monday night, resulting in the first primetime Daytona 500 start (but the third Daytona 500 to reach primetime). The race is best remembered for the incident on lap 160, when Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer in turn 3 under caution, sparking a lengthy red flag as crews put out the resulting fire and repaired the damage. The race, scheduled to begin at 1 PM EST on Sunday afternoon, ended at approximately 1 AM EST Tuesday morning, leading the event to possibly be known as the "36 hours of Daytona". Matt Kenseth held off Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Greg Biffle over the last 40 laps to win his second Daytona 500. Kenseth was the first repeat winner in the Daytona 500 since Michael Waltrip's rain-shortened 2003 race. Besides Montoya's accident with the jet dryer, there were three large crashes in the race itself: one on lap 2 involving five cars, one on lap 188 involving seven cars, and one on lap 196 involving eight cars. It was the first time the Daytona 500 reached last night television.
- 2013: This was the first race with NASCAR's new redesigned Generation 6 body. The big highlight was that rookie Danica Patrick won the pole, the first woman to win a pole in a Sprint Cup Series race or the Daytona 500. She also was the first woman to lead laps under green flag conditions in the race. Matt Kenseth, now driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, dominated the first 3/4ths of the race before he and Kyle Busch ended their days with engine failures. Two crashes in turn 1 eliminated a number of cars from contention. In the final laps, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski were battling for the lead. On the last restart, Johnson pulled away, holding off Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mark Martin to win his second Daytona 500. This marked the first time Johnson had finished better than 27th in this race since winning in 2006, and first win in the 500 for Australian manufacturer Holden, whose new VF Commodore is a captive import being sold as the 2014 Chevrolet SS. It was also Johnson's 400th career start.
- 2014: For the second year in a row, a rookie won the pole position for the Daytona 500, in this case Austin Dillon in his first ride in the newly renumbered #3 Holden Commodore for Richard Childress Racing, the first time the #3 had been used in a Sprint Cup race since Dale Earnhardt's death (the car had been #29 with its previous driver, Kevin Harvick, who moved to Stewart-Haas Racing for 2014). The race is also nicknamed the Ten Hours of Daytona, as the green flag was dropped at 1:30 PM and the cars took the checkered flag just after 11:30 PM EST, due to a lengthy 6 hour 22 minute delay just 39 laps into the race for thunderstorms and a tornado warningin the area. Dillon started off leading the first lap, but faded back afterwards. Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Paul Menard were the strongest cars during the first 40 laps. Martin Truex, Jr., who had switched to a backup car after a last-lap crash during his Duel, was the first driver out, blowing an engine five laps before the red flag. When the race restarted around 8:45 PM EST, the race saw much more intense competition due to cooler track temperatures and increased tire grip. Although the threat of rain became persistent after lap 150, the storm bands stalled long enough to allow the race to run the full distance. In the last sixty laps, the lead changed hands primarily between Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and the Roush Fenway Fords of Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. A five car crash at the back of the field with seven laps to go set the field up for a two lap shootout on the final restart. Earnhardt, Jr. held off Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski over the last two laps, ending when a six-car crash in Turn 4 resulted in a yellow chequer finish, giving Earnhardt his second Daytona 500, exactly ten years and one week after he won his first 500. This was the third straight Daytona 500 to be won by a past winner of the race, after Kenseth in 2012 and Johnson in 2013. Thanks to the introduction of a slightly taller rear spoiler to increase drag and downforce in the cars following criticism of a lack of green-flag passing in the previous year's 500, there were 19 leaders and 43 lead changes overall during the race.
The qualifying procedure is unique for the Daytona 500. Some teams must race their way into the Daytona 500 field. The first row is set by a timed round of qualifying, held one week before the race. (Prior to 2003, this was two rounds; prior to 2001, it was three.) The remainder of the field is set by two separate qualifying races (these were 100 miles (160 km) from 1959–1967; 125 miles (201 km) from 1969–2004; and 150 miles (240 km), with two-lap overtime if necessary, beginning in 2005 (These races were not held in 1968 because of rain). The top two drivers from the qualifying races who were not in the top 35 in owner points were given spots on the field, and the rest of the field was set by the finishing order of the duels, with guaranteed spots to those in the top 35. The remaining spots, 40 to 43 were filled by top qualifying times of those not already in the field from the qualifying race. If there was a previous NASCAR champion without a spot, he would get one of those four spots, otherwise, the fourth fastest car was added to the field.
Prior to 2005, and beginning in 2013. after the top two cars were set, the top 14 cars in the qualifying races advance to the field, and then between six (1998–2003), eight (1995–97, 2004), or ten (until 1994) fastest cars which do not advance from the qualifying race are added, then cars in the top 35 in owner points not locked into the race, and then the driver with the championship provisional, except for 1985, when no such car was eligible for a provisional starting spot, the only time that happened in the Daytona 500 from when the provisional was added in 1976 through 2004.
The Daytona 500 was the first 500-mile (800 km) auto race to be televised live flag-to-flag on network television when CBS aired it in 1979, continuing to air until 2000. From 2001 to 2006, the race alternated between FOX and NBC under the terms of a six-year, $2.48 billion NASCAR television contract, with FOX broadcasting the Daytona 500 in odd-numbered years (2001, 2003, 2005) and the Pepsi 400 in even-numbered years (2002, 2004, 2006), with NBC broadcasting the opposite race in that year. In 2005, a new television contract was signed, which made FOX the sole broadcaster of the Daytona 500 for eight years, from 2007 to 2014. In 2013, ten more years were added to the contract, giving FOX every Daytona 500 from 2015 to 2024 as well, for a total of at least eighteen straight Daytona 500s.
The installation of the lighting system at Daytona International Speedway in 1998, as well as the implementations of the television packages in 2001 and 2007, respectively, have resulted in the race starting and ending much later than it did in the race's early years. The race started at 12:15 p.m. EST from 1979 until 2000. The start time was moved to 1:00 p.m. EST from 2001 to 2004, 2:30 p.m. EST in 2005 and 2006, and 3:30 p.m. EST from 2007 to 2009, all for the convenience of west coast viewers. The 2005 race ended at sunset for the first time in its history, and the 2006 race ended well after sunset. Every Daytona 500 between 2006 and 2010, as well as the 2012 and 2014 races, ended under the lights. The changing track conditions caused by the onset of darkness in the closing laps in these years forced the crew chiefs to predict the critical car setup adjustments needed for their final two pit stops. The 2007 race was the first Daytona 500 to go into prime-time, ending at 7:07 p.m. EST. In 2010, the race moved back to a 1:00 p.m. start time, which should have resulted in it ending in daylight; however, two red flags caused by track surface issues led to long delays that pushed the race to 7:34 p.m. EST, pushing the race into prime-time for the second time. The 2012 race was also scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 26, but heavy rain in the area caused the race to be postponed to 7:00 p.m. EST on Monday, February 27, making it the first Daytona 500 to be postponed to a Monday, as well as the first Daytona 500 to be run as a night race. Due to a two-hour red flag period after a jet dryer fire on the track with 40 laps remaining, the race did not end until about 12:40 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 28. The 2013 race marked a return to the race's past tradition of ending in the late afternoon, as it ended at about 4:40 p.m. EST, the race's earliest ending time since 2004. Although the 2014 race started around 1:30 p.m. EST, heavy rain and a tornado warning red-flagged the race after 38 laps and it was delayed for a record 6 hours and 22 minutes; the race finished the entire 500-mile distance around after 11:00 p.m. EST on the same day, which effectively competed with the time delayed East Coast broadcast of NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics closing ceremony, scheduled between 7:00 and 10:30 p.m. EST.
The television ratings for the Daytona 500 have surpassed those of the larger Indianapolis 500 (which has much larger physical attendance and international attendance) since 1995, even though the 1995 race was available in far fewer homes than the year before. Then-broadcaster CBS had lost well-established VHF (channels 2–13) affiliates in major markets as a result of the Fox affiliate switches of 1994. As an example, new affiliates WDJT in Milwaukee and WGNX in Atlanta — both cities that are home to NASCAR races — and WWJ in Detroit, close to Michigan International Speedway, were on the UHF band (channels 14–69), meaning that they had a significantly reduced broadcast area compared to former affiliates WITI, WAGA-TV, and WJBK, respectively. WDJT was not available in many Wisconsin markets by the time the Daytona 500 took place.
Pole position holders
|Year of event
|1959||Welborn, BobBob Welborn||Chevrolet||140.121 mph (225.503 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below); Entire lineup set by Qualifying races|
|1960||Owens, CottonCotton Owens||Pontiac||149.892 mph (241.228 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below)|
|1961||Roberts, FireballFireball Roberts||155.709 mph (250.589 km/h)||Won Qualifying race|
|1962||156.999 mph (252.665 km/h)||Won Qualifying race; won Daytona 500|
|1963||160.943 mph (259.013 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below)|
|1964||Goldsmith, PaulPaul Goldsmith||Plymouth||174.910 mph (281.490 km/h)||Track record at time (see below)|
|1965||Dieringer, DarelDarel Dieringer||Mercury||171.151 mph (275.441 km/h)||Also won Qualifying race|
|1966||Petty, RichardRichard Petty||Plymouth||175.165 mph (281.901 km/h)||Won Daytona 500|
|1967||Turner, CurtisCurtis Turner||Chevrolet||180.831 mph (291.019 km/h)|
|1968||Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough||Mercury||189.222 mph (304.523 km/h)||Won Daytona 500|
|1969||Baker, BuddyBuddy Baker (1)||Dodge||188.901 mph (304.007 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below)|
|1970||Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough (2)||Mercury||194.015 mph (312.237 km/h)|
|1971||Foyt, A. J.A. J. Foyt||182.744 mph (294.098 km/h)|
|1972||Isaac, BobbyBobby Isaac||Dodge||186.632 mph (300.355 km/h)|
|1973||Baker, BuddyBuddy Baker (2)||185.662 mph (298.794 km/h)|
|1974||Pearson, DavidDavid Pearson||Chevrolet||185.017 mph (297.756 km/h) First season of 5900cc engine formula (358 cubic inches).|
|1975||Allison, DonnieDonnie Allison (1)||185.827 mph (299.060 km/h)|
|1976||Stott, RamoRamo Stott||183.456 mph (295.244 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below)|
|1977||Allison, DonnieDonnie Allison (2)||188.048 mph (302.634 km/h)|
|1978||Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough (3)||Oldsmobile||187.536 mph (301.810 km/h)|
|1979||Baker, BuddyBuddy Baker||196.049 mph (315.510 km/h)|
|1980||194.099 mph (312.372 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below); Won Daytona 500|
|1981||Allison, BobbyBobby Allison||Pontiac||194.624 mph (313.217 km/h)|
|1982||Parsons, BennyBenny Parsons||196.317 mph (315.942 km/h)|
|1983||Rudd, RickyRicky Rudd||Chevrolet||198.864 mph (320.041 km/h)||Not fastest qualifier (see below)|
|1984||Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough (4)||201.848 mph (324.843 km/h)||Won Daytona 500|
|1985||Elliott, BillBill Elliott||Ford||205.114 mph (330.099 km/h)||Won Daytona 500|
|1986||205.039 mph (329.978 km/h)|
|1987||210.364 mph (338.548 km/h)||All-time track record; Won Daytona 500|
|1988||Schrader, KenKen Schrader||Chevrolet||193.823 mph (311.928 km/h)||1 inch plate|
|1989||196.996 mph (317.034 km/h)||1 inch plate||Also won Qualifying race #1|
|1990||196.515 mph (316.260 km/h)||15/16 inch plate||Geoff Bodine started on pole (see below)|
|1991||Allison, DaveyDavey Allison||Ford||195.955 mph (315.359 km/h)||29/32 inch plate|
|1992||Marlin, SterlingSterling Marlin||192.213 mph (309.337 km/h)||7/8 inch plate|
|1993||Petty, KyleKyle Petty||Pontiac||189.426 mph (304.852 km/h)||7/8 inch plate|
|1994||Allen, Jr., LoyLoy Allen, Jr.||Ford||190.158 mph (306.030 km/h)||7/8 inch plate||Allen was the first rookie pole winner|
|1995||Jarrett, DaleDale Jarrett (1)||196.498 mph (316.233 km/h)||7/8 inch plate|
|1996||Earnhardt, DaleDale Earnhardt||Chevrolet||189.510 mph (304.987 km/h)|| Compression ratio limit on engines established at 14:1.29/32 inch plate|
|1997||Skinner, MikeMike Skinner||189.813 mph (305.474 km/h)||29/32 inch plate|
|1998||Labonte, BobbyBobby Labonte||Pontiac||192.415 mph (309.662 km/h)|| Compression ratio limit on engines reduced to 12:1.29/32 inch plate|
|1999||Gordon, JeffJeff Gordon (1)||Chevrolet||195.067 mph (313.930 km/h)||29/32 inch plate||Won Daytona 500|
|2000||Jarrett, DaleDale Jarrett (2)||Ford||191.091 mph (307.531 km/h)||29/32 inch plate||Won Daytona 500|
|2001||Elliott, BillBill Elliott (4)||Dodge||183.565 mph (295.419 km/h)||15/16 inch plate|
|2002||Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson (1)||Chevrolet||185.831 mph (299.066 km/h)||15/16 inch plate||Johnson's rookie season, having run only three races in 2001|
|2003||Green, JeffJeff Green||186.606 mph (300.313 km/h)||7/8 inch plate|
|2004||Biffle, GregGreg Biffle||Ford||188.387 mph (303.179 km/h)||29/32 inch plate|
|2005||Jarrett, DaleDale Jarrett (3)||188.312 mph (303.059 km/h)||57/64 inch plate|
|2006||Burton, JeffJeff Burton||Chevrolet||189.151 mph (304.409 km/h)||57/64 inch plate|
|2007||Gilliland, DavidDavid Gilliland||Ford||186.320 mph (299.853 km/h)||7/8 inch plate|
|2008||Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson (2)||Chevrolet||187.075 mph (301.068 km/h)||31/32 inch plate|
|2009||Truex, Jr., MartinMartin Truex, Jr.||188.001 mph (302.558 km/h)||31/32 inch plate|
|2010||Martin, MarkMark Martin||191.188 mph (307.687 km/h)||63/64 inch plate|
|2011||Earnhardt, Jr., DaleDale Earnhardt, Jr.||186.089 mph (299.481 km/h)||29/32 inch plate||Crashed in Wednesday practice; Kurt Busch, who won the first Duel, started first. First race to use fuel injection system after engine formula changed.|
|2012||Edwards, CarlCarl Edwards||Ford||194.738 mph (313.400 km/h)|
|2013||Patrick, DanicaDanica Patrick||Chevrolet||196.434 mph (316.130 km/h)||First woman to win a pole in the Daytona 500.|
|2014||Dillon, AustinAustin Dillon||196.019 mph (315.462 km/h)||First time the #3 car has gone to the pole in Daytona since 1996, and the first appearance for the #3 in the Sprint Cup Series since 2001.|
|2015||Gordon, JeffJeff Gordon (2)||201.293 mph (323.950 km/h) (Q3)||Not fastest qualifier; Knockout qualifying used.|
- 1959: Cotton Owens (143.198 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1960: Fireball Roberts (151.556 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1963: Johnny Rutherford (165.183 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1964: On April 4, 1959, Dick Rathmann set the one-lap Daytona International Speedway track qualifying record driving in a USAC Champ Car race at 173.210 mph. The Champ Cars would not return to the track. The one-lap record held until 1964 when Paul Goldsmith finally broke it in a NASCAR stock car with a speed of 174.910 mph.
- 1969: David Pearson (190.029 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1976: A. J. Foyt (185.943 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1980: A. J. Foyt (195.020 mph) was the fastest qualifier.
- 1983: On his first of two qualifying laps, Cale Yarborough ran a lap of 200.503 mph, a new track record, and the first 200 mph lap (320 km/h) in Daytona history. On the second lap, however, gusty winds caused him to spin, flip over, and crash in turn 4. The car had to be withdrawn, and the lap did not count. Yarborough started a backup car on race day, and was moved to the rear of the field. Ricky Rudd was credited with the fastest qualifying speed at 198.864 mph
- 1990: Pole winner Ken Schrader crashed during the Budweiser Duel, and was required to start a back-up car on race day. His car was moved to the rear of the field, and duel winner Geoff Bodine moved up to the pole position.
- 2003: Starting with the 2002 Subway 400 at Rockingham (the race after the 2002 Daytona 500), teams were not permitted to change engines during the race week. For the Daytona 500, a team must race their qualifying race with the same engine they used to qualify. An engine change between first qualifying practice and the qualifying race means the team must start in the back for that race only. After the qualifying races, teams will be allowed one engine change before the start of the final Daytona 500 practices on the Saturday before the race. The engine in the car for the Saturday practices before the Daytona 500 is the declared engine, with any engine change after the first Daytona 500 practice that occurs after the qualifying race will be penalized with the team being sent to the rear of the field. As is the case for a backup car after a crash, the respective column of cars moves up when the offending car is moved to the back. This is the first Daytona 500 with the new engine rule.
- 2004: Greg Biffle won his first Nextel Cup pole but changed engines after final Daytona 500 practice the Saturday before the race. This moved the inside column of cars up, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. started first and won the race.
- 2011: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award, but crashed in Wednesday practice. Although a backup car was implemented and Earnhardt started in the rear for the first Duel, he also was moved to the rear for the Daytona 500 under an oddity in Daytona 500 qualifying rules. Drivers who switch to backup cars after incidents in Wednesday practice do not have to move to the back for the Daytona 500 if the car raced in the Duel is the same car for the 500, unless it is one of the front row qualifying cars. Kurt Busch, who won the first Duel, started first.
- 2015: Starting with 2014 The Profit on CNBC 500 the next week at Phoenix, multiple-round knockout qualifying, used in many codes of motorsport, was implemented. The three-round format was used for the first time at the Daytona 500, using the restrictor plate format (three five-minute rounds, with the first round split evenly between cars, each having a five-minute round, top 24 advance to the second round, top 12 advancing to the final round). Six drivers were faster than pole speed in Q1, and three drivers (one the eventual pole winner) were faster than the pole speed in Q2. Pole time set in Q3. Aric Almirola (44.473 seconds / |202.370 mph (325.683 km/h)) was fastest qualifier, but time was set in Q1; he finished 15th in Q2 (originally 17th, but moved up after two post-Q3 disqualifications) and did not advance to Q3.
Multiple Daytona 500 pole winners
- 4 pole positions
- 3 pole positions
- 2 pole positions
Consecutive Daytona 500 pole winners
- 3 consecutive
- Fireball Roberts (1961-1963)
- Bill Elliott (1985, 1986, 1987)
- Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990)
- 2 consecutive
- Buddy Baker (1979, 1980)
Family Daytona 500 pole winner combos
- Bobby Allison (1981), Donnie Allison (1975, 1977) (Brother of Bobby), and Davey Allison (1991) (Son of Bobby)
- Dale Earnhardt (1996) (Father) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011) (Son)
- Richard Petty (1966) (Father) and Kyle Petty (1993) (Son)
Daytona 500 winners from pole position
- 1962 Fireball Roberts
- 1966 Richard Petty
- 1968 Cale Yarborough
- 1980 Buddy Baker
- 1984 Cale Yarborough
- 1985 Bill Elliott
- 1987 Bill Elliott
- 1999 Jeff Gordon
- 2000 Dale Jarrett
List of Daytona 500 winners
|Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1959||February 22||Lee Petty||Petty Enterprises||Oldsmobile||42||15th||$19,050||200||500 (805)||3:41:22||135.521||Report|
|1960||February 24||Junior Johnson||John Masoni||Chevrolet||27||9th||$19,600||200||500 (805)||4:00:30||124.74||Report|
|1961||February 26||Marvin Panch||Smokey Yunick||Pontiac||20||4th||$21,050||200||500 (805)||3:20:32||149.601||Report|
|1962||February 18||Fireball Roberts||Jim Stephens||Pontiac||22||Pole||$24,190||200||500 (805)||3:10:41||152.529||Report|
|1963||February 24||Tiny Lund||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||21||12th||$24,550||200||500 (805)||3:17:56||151.566||Report|
|1964||February 23||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises (2)||Plymouth||43||2nd||$33,300||200||500 (805)||3:14:23||154.334||Report|
|1965||February 14||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||28||4th||$27,100||133*||332.5 (535)||2:22:56||141.539||Report|
|1966||February 27||Richard Petty (2)||Petty Enterprises (3)||Plymouth||43||Pole||$28,150||198*||495 (797)||3:04:54||160.927||Report|
|1967||February 26||Mario Andretti†||Holman-Moody (2)||Ford||11||12th||$48,900||200||500 (805)||3:24:11||146.926||Report|
|1968||February 25||Cale Yarborough||Wood Brothers Racing (2)||Mercury||21||Pole||$47,250||200||500 (805)||3:23:44||143.251||Report|
|1969||February 23||LeeRoy Yarbrough||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford||98||19th||$38,950||200||500 (805)||3:09:56||157.95||Report|
|1970||February 22||Pete Hamilton||Petty Enterprises (4)||Plymouth||40||9th||$44,850||200||500 (805)||3:20:32||149.601||Report|
|1971||February 14||Richard Petty (3)||Petty Enterprises (5)||Plymouth||43||5th||$45,450||200||500 (805)||3:27:40||144.462||Report|
|1972||February 20||A.J. Foyt||Wood Brothers Racing (3)||Mercury||21||2nd||$44,600||200||500 (805)||3:05:42||161.55||Report|
|1973||February 18||Richard Petty (4)||Petty Enterprises (6)||Dodge||43||7th||$36,100||200||500 (805)||3:10:50||157.205||Report|
|1974||February 17||Richard Petty (5)||Petty Enterprises (7)||Dodge||43||2nd||$39,650||180*||450 (724)||3:11:38||140.894||Report|
|1975||February 16||Benny Parsons||L.G. DeWitt||Chevrolet||72||32nd||$43,905||200||500 (805)||3:15:15||153.649||Report|
|1976||February 15||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing (4)||Mercury||21||7th||$46,800||200||500 (805)||3:17:08||152.181||Report|
|1977||February 20||Cale Yarborough (2)||Junior Johnson & Associates (2)||Chevrolet||11||4th||$63,700||200||500 (805)||3:15:48||153.218||Report|
|1978||February 19||Bobby Allison||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||15||33rd||$56,300||200||500 (805)||3:07:49||159.73||Report|
|1979||February 18||Richard Petty (6)||Petty Enterprises (8)||Oldsmobile||43||13th||$73,900||200||500 (805)||3:28:22||143.977||Report|
|1980||February 17||Buddy Baker||Ranier-Lundy||Oldsmobile||28||Pole||$102,175||200||500 (805)||2:48:55||177.602‡||Report|
|1981||February 15||Richard Petty (7)||Petty Enterprises (9)||Buick||43||8th||$90,575||200||500 (805)||2:56:50||169.651||Report|
|1982||February 14||Bobby Allison (2)||DiGard Motorsports||Buick||88||7th||$120,360||200||500 (805)||3:14:49||153.991||Report|
|1983||February 20||Cale Yarborough (3)||Ranier-Lundy (2)||Pontiac||28||8th||$119,600||200||500 (805)||3:12:20||155.979||Report|
|1984||February 19||Cale Yarborough (4)||Ranier-Lundy (3)||Chevrolet||28||Pole||$160,300||200||500 (805)||3:18:41||150.994||Report|
|1985||February 17||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||9||Pole||$185,500||200||500 (805)||2:54:09||172.265||Report|
|1986||February 16||Geoffrey Bodine||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||5||2nd||$192,715||200||500 (805)||3:22:32||148.124||Report|
|1987||February 15||Bill Elliott (2)||Melling Racing (2)||Ford||9||Pole||$204,150||200||500 (805)||2:50:12||176.263||Report|
|1988||February 14||Bobby Allison (3)||Stavola Brothers Racing||Buick||12||3rd||$202,940||200||500 (805)||3:38:08||137.531||Report|
|1989||February 19||Darrell Waltrip||Hendrick Motorsports (2)||Chevrolet||17||2nd||$184,900||200||500 (805)||3:22:04||148.466||Report|
|1990||February 18||Derrike Cope||Whitcomb Racing||Chevrolet||10||12th||$188,150||200||500 (805)||3:00:59||165.761||Report|
|1991||February 17||Ernie Irvan||Morgan-McClure Motorsports||Chevrolet||4||2nd||$233,000||200||500 (805)||3:22:30||148.148||Report|
|1992||February 16||Davey Allison||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||28||6th||$244,050||200||500 (805)||3:07:12||160.256||Report|
|1993||February 14||Dale Jarrett||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||18||2nd||$238,200||200||500 (805)||3:13:35||154.972||Report|
|1994||February 20||Sterling Marlin||Morgan-McClure Motorsports (2)||Chevrolet||4||4th||$258,275||200||500 (805)||3:11:10||156.931||Report|
|1995||February 19||Sterling Marlin (2)||Morgan-McClure Motorsports (3)||Chevrolet||4||3rd||$300,460||200||500 (805)||3:31:42||141.71||Report|
|1996||February 18||Dale Jarrett (2)||Robert Yates Racing (2)||Ford||88||7th||$360,775||200||500 (805)||3:14:25||154.308||Report|
|1997||February 16||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports (3)||Chevrolet||24||6th||$377,410||200||500 (805)||3:22:18||148.295||Report|
|1998||February 15||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||3||4th||$1,059,805||200||500 (805)||2:53:42||172.712||Report|
|1999||February 14||Jeff Gordon (2)||Hendrick Motorsports (4)||Chevrolet||24||Pole||$1,172,246||200||500 (805)||3:05:42||161.551||Report|
|2000||February 20||Dale Jarrett (3)||Robert Yates Racing (3)||Ford||88||Pole||$1,277,975||200||500 (805)||3:12:43||155.669||Report|
|2001||February 18||Michael Waltrip||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||15||19th||$1,331,185||200||500 (805)||3:05:26||161.783||Report|
|2002||February 17||Ward Burton||Bill Davis Racing||Dodge||22||19th||$1,389,017||200||500 (805)||3:29:50||130.81||Report|
|2003||February 16||Michael Waltrip (2)||Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (2)||Chevrolet||15||4th||$1,419,406||109*||272.5 (439)||2:02:08||133.87||Report|
|2004||February 15||Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (3)||Chevrolet||8||3rd||$1,495,070||200||500 (805)||3:11:53||156.341||Report|
|2005||February 20||Jeff Gordon (3)||Hendrick Motorsports (5)||Chevrolet||24||15th||$1,497,150||203*||507.5 (817)||3:45:16||135.173||Report|
|2006||February 19||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports (6)||Chevrolet||48||9th||$1,505,120||203*||507.5 (817)||3:33:26||142.667||Report|
|2007||February 18||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing (2)||Chevrolet||29||34th||$1,510,469||202*||505 (813)||3:22:55||149.333||Report|
|2008||February 17||Ryan Newman||Penske Racing||Dodge||12||7th||$1,543,045||200||500 (805)||3:16:30||152.672||Report|
|2009||February 15||Matt Kenseth||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||17||39th1||$1,536,388||152*||380 (612)||2:51:40||132.816||Report|
|2010||February 14||Jamie McMurray||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||1||13th||$1,514,649||208*||520 (837)||3:47:16||137.284||Report|
|2011||February 20||Trevor Bayne||Wood Brothers Racing (5)||Ford||21||32nd||$1,463,810||208*||520 (837)||3:59:24||130.326||Report|
|2012||February 27–28*||Matt Kenseth (2)||Roush Fenway Racing (2)||Ford||17||4th||$1,589,387||202*||505 (813)||3:36:02||140.256||Report|
|2013||February 24||Jimmie Johnson (2)||Hendrick Motorsports (7)||Chevrolet||48||9th||$1,525,275||200||500 (805)||3:08:23||159.25||Report|
|2014||February 23||Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2)||Hendrick Motorsports (8)||Chevrolet||88||9th||$1,506,363||200||500 (805)||3:26:29||145.29||Report|
|2015||February 22||Joey Logano||Team Penske (2)||Ford||22||5th||$1,581,453||203*||507.5 (817)||3:08:02||161.939||Report|
† – Andretti was born in a part of Italy that is now in Croatia, but became a naturalized American citizen. He remains the only foreigner to win the race.
‡ – Record for fastest Daytona 500 at 177.602 mph (285.823 km/h) set by Buddy Baker in 1980.
1 – Originally started 39th, but had to go back to the 43rd position due to changing to a backup car after crashing in the qualifying races. A driver who crashes during the qualifying race and goes to a backup car, or after 2003, changes an engine between the first practice after the qualifying race and the Daytona 500, is relegated to the rear of the field.
The following races have been shortened:
- 1965: 332.5 miles (133 laps) because of rain.
- 1966: 495 miles (198 laps) because of rain.
- 1974: 450 miles (180 laps) Race scheduled for 90% distance in response to the energy crisis; scoring began on lap 21.
- 2003: 272.5 miles (109 laps) because of rain.
- 2009: 380 miles (152 laps) because of rain.
The following races have been lengthened because of the green-white-checker finish. Note that from 2004 through 2009, only one attempt was permitted in Sprint Cup Series racing. Starting in 2010, a maximum of three attempts are permitted.
- 2005, 2006 and 2015: 507.5 miles (203 laps)
- 2007 and 2012: 505 miles (202 laps)
- 2010: 520 miles (208 laps) (two attempts — Lap 203 and Lap 207; This was the first time a NASCAR Sprint Cup race used the green-white-checker format 2 times to finish a race)
- 2011: 520 miles (208 laps); two attempts
Only one race has been rescheduled from its original date.
- 2012: Rescheduled from February 26 to February 27 at 12:00 noon and later rescheduled to start at 7:00 PM because of rain. (This marks the first time the Daytona 500 was moved to Monday, and the first night-time Daytona 500 race.)
Multiple winners (drivers)
|# Wins||Driver||Years Won|
|7||Richard Petty||1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981|
|4||Cale Yarborough||1968, 1977, 1983, 1984|
|3||Bobby Allison||1978, 1982, 1988|
|Dale Jarrett||1993, 1996, 2000|
|Jeff Gordon||1997, 1999, 2005|
|2||Bill Elliott||1985, 1987|
|Sterling Marlin||1994, 1995|
|Michael Waltrip||2001, 2003|
|Matt Kenseth||2009, 2012|
|Jimmie Johnson||2006, 2013|
|Dale Earnhardt, Jr.||2004, 2014|
Multiple winners (teams)
|# Wins||Team||Years Won|
|9||Petty Enterprises||1959, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981|
|8||Hendrick Motorsports||1986, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014|
|5||Wood Brothers Racing||1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 2011|
|3||Ranier-Lundy||1980, 1983, 1984|
|Morgan-McClure Motorsports||1991, 1994, 1995|
|Robert Yates Racing||1992, 1996, 2000|
|Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||2001, 2003, 2004|
|Junior Johnson & Associates||1969, 1977|
|Melling Racing||1985, 1987|
|Richard Childress Racing||1998, 2007|
|Roush Fenway Racing||2009, 2012|
|Team Penske||2008, 2015|
|# Wins||Manufacturer||Years Won|
|23||Chevrolet||1960, 1975, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014|
|14||Ford||1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015|
|4||Plymouth||1964, 1966, 1970, 1971|
|Dodge||1973, 1974, 2002, 2008|
|3||Mercury||1968, 1972, 1976|
|Oldsmobile||1959, 1979, 1980|
|Pontiac||1961, 1962, 1983|
|Buick||1981, 1982, 1988|
Race winner records
- Two consecutive victories
Winners from the pole position
- 1962 Fireball Roberts
- 1966 Richard Petty
- 1968, 1984 Cale Yarborough
- 1980 Buddy Baker
- 1985, 1987 Bill Elliott
- 1999 Jeff Gordon
- 2000 Dale Jarrett
Winners as both driver and owner
- Lee Petty
- Owner/driver: 1959
- Junior Johnson
- Driver: 1960
- Owner: 1969, 1977
- Richard Petty
- Owner/driver: 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981
- Owner: 1970
- Dale Earnhardt
- Driver: 1998
- Owner: 2001, 2003, 2004, 2010
- Jeff Gordon
- Driver: 1997, 1999, 2005
- Owner: 2006, 2013
Won Daytona 500 and Sprint Unlimited in same year
Won Daytona 500 and Budweiser Duel in same year
- 1962 Fireball Roberts (also won Daytona 500 pole position)
- 1977 Cale Yarborough
- 1984 Cale Yarborough (also won Daytona 500 pole position)
- 1985 Bill Elliott (also won Daytona 500 pole position)
- 1988 Bobby Allison
- 1995 Sterling Marlin
- 1998 Dale Earnhardt
- 2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- 2012 Matt Kenseth
Drivers whose first NASCAR Cup Series win was the Daytona 500
- 1963 Tiny Lund
- 1967 Mario Andretti (Only NASCAR Cup Series win came in Daytona 500.)
- 1970 Pete Hamilton
- 1990 Derrike Cope
- 1994 Sterling Marlin (Only driver that first two career victories were the Daytona 500, 1994 & 1995)
- 2001 Michael Waltrip
- 2011 Trevor Bayne (First rookie to win Daytona 500; won the race in his first attempt.)
Youngest and oldest winners of the Daytona 500
- Youngest: Trevor Bayne - 2011 (age 20 years, 1 day)
- Oldest: Bobby Allison - 1988 (age 50 years, 73 days)
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