Daytona 500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway.svg
NASCAR Cup Series
VenueDaytona International Speedway
LocationDaytona Beach, Florida, United States
First race1959 (1959)
Distance500 mi (800 km)
Stages 1/2: 65 each
Final stage: 70
Previous namesInaugural 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1959)
Second Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1960)
Daytona 500 by STP (1991–1993)
Daytona 500 by Dodge (2001)
Daytona 500 by Toyota (2007)
Daytona 500 (1961–1990, 1994–2000, 2002–2006, 2008–present)
Most wins (driver)Richard Petty (7)
Most wins (team)Petty Enterprises (9)
Most wins (manufacturer)Chevrolet (24)
Circuit information
Length2.5 mi (4.0 km)

The Daytona 500 is a 500-mile-long (805 km) NASCAR Cup Series motor race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is the first of two Cup races held every year at Daytona, the second being the Coke Zero Sugar 400, and one of three held in Florida, with the annual fall showdown Dixie Vodka 400 being held at Homestead south of Miami. From 1988 to 2019, it was one of the four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule. The inaugural 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.[1]

The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse.[2] Championship points awarded are equal to that of any other NASCAR Cup Series race. It is also the series' first race of the year; this phenomenon is unique in sports, which tend to have championships or other major events at the end of the season rather than the start. From 1995-2020, 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; however, in 2021 the Indianapolis 500 surpassed the Daytona 500 in TV ratings and viewership.[3][4] The 2006 Daytona 500 attracted the sixth largest average live global TV audience of any sporting event that year with 20 million viewers.[5]

The race serves as the final event of Speedweeks and is also known as "The Great American Race" or the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing".[6][7][8] Since its inception, the race has been held in mid-to-late February. From 1971 to 2011, and again since 2018, the event has been as associated with Presidents Day weekend, taking place on the Sunday before the third Monday in February. On eight occasions, the race has been run on Valentine's Day.

Since 1997, the winner of the Daytona 500 has been 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.

Austin Cindric is the most recent winner of the Daytona 500, having won it in 2022.


Aerial view of Daytona International Speedway

The race is the direct successor of shorter races held on the Daytona Beach Road Course. 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. A 500-mile (805 km) stock car race was held at Daytona International Speedway in 1959. It was the second 500-mile NASCAR race, following the annual Southern 500, and has been held every year since. By 1961, it began to be referred to as the Daytona 500,[9] by which it is still commonly known.

Daytona International Speedway is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and a 500-mile race[10] requires 200 laps to complete. However, the race was considered official after halfway (100 laps/250 miles) had been completed from 1959 to 2016. From 2017 to 2019, the race was considered official after the conclusion of Stage 2 (120 laps/300 miles) when stage-racing was introduced. In 2020, they revised the rule in which a race is considered official at either halfway or the conclusion of Stage 2 (whichever comes first, in this case halfway). 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–checkered finish rule in 2004, the race has gone past 500 miles on ten occasions (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020). It took two attempts to finish the race in 2010, 2011, and 2020. The 2020 running is the longest Daytona 500 contested, lasting 209 laps/522.5 miles.

History highlights[edit]

  • 1959: Lee Petty, patriarch of the racing family, won the inaugural Daytona 500 on February 22, 1959, defeating Johnny Beauchamp.
  • 1960: Junior Johnson made use of the draft, then a little-understood phenomenon, to win while running a slower, year-old car in a field of 68 cars, the most in the history of the Daytona 500.
  • 1965: The first rain-shortened Daytona 500. Fred Lorenzen was in the lead when the race was called on lap 133 of 200.[11]
  • 1966: Richard Petty becomes the first two-time winner, having previously won the 1964 race. Through 2020, only 12 drivers have won 2 or more Daytona 500s.
  • 1967: Mario Andretti led 112 of the 200 laps including the last 33 to capture his first and only win in the Cup Series.
  • 1968: For much of this race, both Cale Yarborough and (unrelated) LeeRoy Yarbrough traded the lead. With 5 laps to go, Cale made a successful slingshot pass on the third turn to take the lead from LeeRoy and never looked back as he won his first Daytona 500 by 1.3 seconds.
  • 1969 : Having learned from the previous year, LeeRoy Yarbrough would use the same slingshot treatment out of turn 3 on Charlie Glotzbach, to score the victory on the final lap.
  • 1971: Richard Petty becomes the first three-time winner, including the 1964 and 1966 races. Through 2015, only 5 drivers have won 3 or more Daytona 500s.
  • 1972: A. J. Foyt cruised into the lead on lap 80 and stayed there through the 200 lap race, lapping the entire field. Foyt beat second-place Charlie Glotzbach by nearly two laps, with Jim Vandiver finishing 6 laps down in third.
  • 1973: Richard Petty becomes the first four-time winner, including the 1964, 1966 and 1971 races . Through 2015, only Petty (7 total) and Cale Yarborough have won at least 4 Daytona 500s.
  • 1974: 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 was shortened to 180 laps (450 miles), as symbolically, the race "started" on lap 21. Richard Petty became the first of only 4 drivers (as of 2021) to win consecutive Daytona 500s, while also setting a mark of 5 total wins.
  • 1976: 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.
  • 1979: The 1979 race was the first Daytona 500 to be broadcast live on national television,[12][13] 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) 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.
  • 1980: Buddy Baker won the fastest Daytona 500 in history, at 177.602 mph (285.809 km/h).
  • 1981: Richard Petty becomes the first seven-time winner, three wins more than the second-highest multiple winner, Cale Yarborough. With wins in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, and 1979, Petty is the only driver to win in three different decades.
  • 1982: The Daytona 500 becomes the opening race in the NASCAR season, a position held since. Bobby Allison wins his second Daytona 500 but many people consider this a controversial win because on lap 3 Bobby Allison's rear bumper broke away from the car (later it was discovered that it was welded on purpose by a wire welder) and caused a pileup further behind the leaders. Without a rear bumper, Allison's car gained an aerodynamic advantage and won the race by just over twenty-two seconds.
  • 1983: Cale Yarborough was the first driver to run a qualifying lap over 200 mph (320 km/h) in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
  • 1984: Cale Yarborough completed a lap of 201.848 mph (324.843 km/h), officially breaking the 200 mph (320 km/h) barrier at Daytona. He joined Richard Petty as the only drivers to win the race in consecutive years and to win the race four times overall.
  • 1985: Bill Elliott dominated the race, and by lap 140, was close to lapping the entire field. 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 and 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 a two-car duel between Dale Earnhardt and Geoff Bodine. 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.
  • 1987: Winner Bill Elliott qualified for the pole position at an all-time Daytona record of 210.364 mph (338.532 km/h). Bill Elliott dominated much of the race, leading 104 of the 200 laps. During two different points in the race, he pulled away from the other leaders and was all by himself on the track, leading the first 35 laps, 29 in a row at another point, and the last three.
  • 1988: Restrictor plates were mandated to reduce dangerously high speeds at Daytona. This race was remembered for two things. First, Richard Petty's rollover crash in the tri-oval on lap 106, initiated when he was tagged from behind by Phil Barkdoll. Petty rolled over about eight times and was then hit by Brett Bodine. The wreck also collected 1972 race winner A. J. Foyt, Eddie Bierschwale, and Alan Kulwicki. all of the drivers, including Petty, walked away. Second, Bobby Allison and his son Davey finished one-two and celebrated together in Victory Lane, making Bobby Allison the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500.
  • 1989: Darrell Waltrip stretches his final tank of fuel for 53 laps to win in his 17th try.
  • 1990: Dale Earnhardt appeared headed for certain victory until 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, he ran over a bell housing from the blown engine of Rick Wilson's car. He blew a tire, allowing the relatively unknown Cope to slip by and take his first career win in a major upset.[14]
  • 1991: Dale Earnhardt's Daytona 500 frustrations continued as Ernie Irvan passed Earnhardt with six laps to go to. Ultimately, Earnhardt spun with two laps remaining and collected Davey Allison and Kyle Petty. Irvan took the win 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 a major wreck on lap 92 and went on to lead the final 102 laps.
  • 1993: In a frightening wreck on lap 170, Rusty Wallace flipped over multiple times on the back straightaway. With two laps to go, Dale Earnhardt was leading Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett. Jarrett battled into the lead with one lap to go. It was the fourth time Earnhardt had been leading the Daytona 500 with less than ten laps to go but failed to win.
  • 1994: Sterling Marlin gambled on fuel and was able to complete the final 59 laps without stopping, to win his first career Cup victory. During Speedweeks, two drivers died during separate practice accidents, Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr.
  • 1995: Sterling Marlin became the first driver since Cale Yarborough, and only third overall, to win back-to-back Daytona 500s. It was the third win in five years for Morgan–McClure Motorsports (1991, 1994, 1995).
  • 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.
  • 1998 : Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500 after "20 years of trying, 20 years of frustration." Though Earnhardt had usually been a strong competitor in the Daytona 500, mechanical problems, crashes, or other misfortunes had prevented him from winning.
  • 1999: Jeff Gordon accomplished the feat of winning the pole and the race marking the first time since 1987 when Bill Elliott did this.
  • 2000: Dale Jarrett avenged his previous year's rollover accident by winning the 1999 season championship & 2000 500 which was the final 500 broadcast for CBS.
  • 2001: Also known as "Black Sunday", or the "darkest day in NASCAR", as Dale Earnhardt died in a crash on the final lap. Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were running first and second on the final lap, while Earnhardt Sr. was third. In turn 4, Earnhardt lost control after making contact from Sterling Marlin, and crashed into the outside wall, taking Ken Schrader with him. Earnhardt suffered a fatal basilar skull fracture. The death overshadowed Waltrip's first win, which came in his 463rd Cup Series race.[15]
  • 2003: Michael Waltrip became a two-time winner in the shortest ever Daytona 500 after the race was shortened to 109 laps due to rain.[16]
  • 2005 : The start time was changed, allowing the race to finish under the lights at dusk. In the first use of the green-white-checkered finish rule in the Daytona 500, Gordon held off Kurt Busch, and Earnhardt Jr. to win his third Daytona 500. The race went 203 laps/507.5 miles.
  • 2007: Running fifth with half a lap to go, Kevin Harvick picked up a push and surged to the front to nip Mark Martin by 0.02 seconds at the line. Most of the rest of the field crashed across the line as The Big One erupted behind them.
  • 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.
Trevor Bayne, driving the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, won the 2011 Daytona 500.
  • 2010: The longest Daytona 500 distance until the 2020 event, 208 laps (520 miles (840 km)), due to requiring two green-white-checker efforts to finish the race. Jamie McMurray came home with the 2010 Daytona 500 victory. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second.
  • 2011: Since this race marked the tenth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt, the third lap was a "silent lap", 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. Trevor Bayne, at 20 years and one day old, became the youngest Daytona 500 winner ever.
  • 2012: While 2010 was the longest distance, 2012 was the longest time to complete the race. Scheduled for a 12 noon EST start on Sunday, rain delayed the race to Monday, then further delayed it to a 7 PM start that Monday night, resulting in the first primetime Daytona 500 start (but the third to reach primetime). On lap 160, Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer in turn 3, sparking a lengthy red flag as crews put out the resulting fire and repaired the damage. The race finally ended at approximately 1 AM EST Tuesday morning, 37 hours after the originally scheduled start, with Matt Kenseth becoming the first repeat winner since Jeff Gordon who won the 2005 race. It was attended by that year's presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who met his once removed sixteenth cousin and professional wrestler John CenaFamily relationship of Mitt Romney and John Cena via John Fray.Facebook, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and musician Lenny Kravitz there.[17]
  • 2013 : There were a number of firsts. This was the first race with NASCAR's new redesigned Generation 6 body. Rookie Danica Patrick won the pole, becoming the first woman on pole in the Daytona 500. She also was the first woman to lead laps under green flag conditions in the race. Jimmie Johnson earned his second Daytona 500 victory.
  • 2014: For the second year in a row, a rookie won the pole position, in this case, Austin Dillon in his first ride in the newly renumbered #3 Chevy SS for Richard Childress Racing, the first time the #3 had been used in a NASCAR Cup Series race since Dale Earnhardt's death. Dale Earnhardt Jr., won his second Daytona 500, the third straight won by a past winner, after Kenseth in 2012 and Johnson in 2013. The race was delayed 6 hours, 22 minutes, and ended at 11:18 p.m. ET Sunday night.
The start of the 2015 Daytona 500
  • 2015: Jeff Gordon won the pole for the final time, There were two big wrecks during the race, one with 19 laps to go for Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon, brought out a red flag to ensue cleanup on the track, and one on lap 202 at a scheduled Green–white–checkered finish, Joey Logano won his first Daytona 500.
  • 2016: Rookie Chase Elliott started the race from the pole position. Driver Denny Hamlin led 95 laps during the race, and on the last lap, Hamlin passed leader Matt Kenseth. Hamlin would then beat Martin Truex Jr. by 0.010 seconds, which would become the closest finish in the Daytona 500.[18]
  • 2017: Chase Elliott started the race from the pole for the second year in a row. Several big wrecks decimated the field but a long green run to the finish put everyone in fuel trouble. Kurt Busch won as Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Larson all ran out of fuel in the last four laps.
  • 2018: 20 years after Dale Earnhardt Sr. earned his iconic victory at Daytona, Austin Dillon brought Richard Childress's #3 Chevrolet back to Victory Lane. Dillon, Childress's grandson, who was photographed next to Earnhardt as a child after the earlier win, led only the final lap, bumping leader Aric Almirola out of the way, sending the latter's Ford into the wall. Also of note, rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. finished in the runner-up spot, barely edging out 2016 winner Denny Hamlin, the highest finish for an African-American driver in the event's history. It was also the final NASCAR race for Danica Patrick, who was collected in a multi-car wreck near the end of the second stage that also ended the days of Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, among others.
  • 2019: The last race to use traditional restrictor plates in NASCAR since 1988. William Byron started on the pole alongside Alex Bowman, making it the youngest front-row starters in Daytona 500 history. Kurt Busch was caught up in an early wreck after contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., collecting Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, and Bubba Wallace. Kyle Busch would win stage 1 and Ryan Blaney would win stage 2. Matt DiBenedetto, driving for Leavine Family Racing, would lead a race-high of 49 laps until he was caught up in "The Big One" with nine laps to go after contact with Paul Menard going into turn 3, collecting 18 cars in all. Two more wrecks occurring in the final 5 laps forced the race into overtime. Denny Hamlin escaped through all the late crashes and would go on to win his second Daytona 500 race in his career. Joe Gibbs earned his third Daytona 500 victory. Gibbs-owned Toyotas swept the top three spots, as Kyle Busch finished second and Erik Jones third. It was the second time in event history that one team took home the first three spots, and the first time since Hendrick Motorsports achieved the feat in 1997.[19]
  • 2020: Donald Trump is the first President of the United States to serve as Daytona 500 Grand Marshal, and the opening lap is paced by the official Presidential state car.[20] Shortly after this, continuing rain showers caused the race to be postponed for one day, for the first time in eight years.[21] Denny Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 the next day in the second-closest finish in race history, though the win was overshadowed by a horrific accident for Ryan Newman on the final lap, being sent to a nearby hospital.[22]
  • 2021: Much like 2011, this race also had a "silent lap" on lap 3. Ironically, Derrike Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner making his final start, blew a tire on this lap headed into turn 3, much like how Dale Earnhardt blew a tire on the final lap of the aforementioned 500. On lap 14, a 16-car wreck occurred before the race was red-flagged due to rain. After a 5-hour 40 minute stoppage, at 9:07pm the race resumed with Denny Hamlin eventually winning both stages. On the last lap, which occurred after midnight, a big wreck occurred in turn 3 and Michael McDowell scored his first career Cup win.[23]
  • 2022: The first race with the Generation 7 "Next-Gen" car. On Lap 63, an eight-car wreck caused by Brad Keselowski, who now was a part owner at RFK Racing, would lead to rookie Harrison Burton flipping his car. Keselowski later turned Stenhouse Jr. with six laps to go in the race. Austin Cindric would hold off Bubba Wallace at the finish line to win the 500 in only his 7th Cup start, while also becoming the second youngest driver to win (behind Trevor Bayne).

Qualifying procedure[edit]

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 to 1967; 125 miles (201 km) from 1969 to 2004; and 150 miles (240 km) with a two-lap overtime, if necessary, beginning in 2005 (these races were not held in 1968 due to 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 again in 2013 – after the top two cars were set, the top fourteen cars in the qualifying races advance to the field, and then between six (1998–2003), eight (1995–97, 2004) or 10 (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) and 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, 10 more years were added to the contract, giving FOX every Daytona 500 from 2015 to 2024 as well, for a total of at least 20 Daytona 500s in a row. 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. in 2005 and 2006, and 3:30 p.m. 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. Eastern time. 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 (and only) 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. 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., 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 six hours and 22 minutes; the race finished the entire 500–mile distance around after 11:00 p.m. 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. The 2015 race started on time around 1:00  p.m., and ended after 203 laps due to a Green–white–checkered finish.

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[edit]

List of Daytona 500 winners[edit]

For NASCAR Grand National winners at Daytona from 1949 to 1958, see Daytona Beach and Road Course.

Year Date No. Driver Team Manufacturer Sponsor Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (Km)
1959 February 22 42 Lee Petty Petty Enterprises Oldsmobile Newton Chappell Motors 200 500 (804.672) 3:41:22 135.522 Report
1960 February 14 27 Junior Johnson John Masoni Chevrolet Daytona Kennel 200 500 (804.672) 4:00:30 124.74 Report
1961 February 26 20 Marvin Panch Smokey Yunick Pontiac N/A 200 500 (804.672) 3:20:32 149.601 Report
1962 February 18 22 Fireball Roberts Jim Stephens Pontiac Stephens Pontiac 200 500 (804.672) 3:10:41 157.329 Report
1963 February 24 21 Tiny Lund Wood Brothers Racing Ford English Motors 200 500 (804.672) 3:17:56 151.566 Report
1964 February 23 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Plymouth Patterson Motors, Inc/Plymouth 200 500 (804.672) 3:14:23 154.334 Report
1965 February 14 28 Fred Lorenzen Holman Moody Ford LaFayette 133* 332.5 (535.106) 2:22:56 141.539 Report
1966 February 27 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Plymouth Plymouth GTX 198* 495 (796.625) 3:04:54 160.927 Report
1967 February 26 11 Mario Andretti Holman Moody Ford Bunnell Motor Company 200 500 (804.672) 3:24:11 146.926 Report
1968 February 25 21 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 60 Minute Cleaners 200 500 (804.672) 3:23:44 143.251 Report
1969 February 23 98 LeeRoy Yarbrough Junior Johnson & Associates Ford Jim Robbins Special/Torino Cobra 200 500 (804.672) 3:09:56 157.95 Report
1970 February 22 40 Pete Hamilton Petty Enterprises Plymouth 7-Up 200 500 (804.672) 3:20:32 149.601 Report
1971 February 14 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Plymouth Southern Chrysler-Plymouth 200 500 (804.672) 3:27:40 144.462 Report
1972 February 20 21 A. J. Foyt Wood Brothers Racing Mercury Purolator 200 500 (804.672) 3:05:42 161.55 Report
1973 February 18 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge STP 200 500 (804.672) 3:10:50 157.205 Report
1974 February 17 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge STP Oil Treatment + Oil Filters 180* 450 (724.205) 3:11:38 140.894 Report
1975 February 16 72 Benny Parsons L.G. DeWitt Chevrolet King's Row Fireplace 200 500 (804.672) 3:15:15 153.649 Report
1976 February 15 21 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury Purolator 200 500 (804.672) 3:17:08 152.181 Report
1977 February 20 11 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson & Associates Chevrolet Holly Farms 200 500 (804.672) 3:15:48 153.218 Report
1978 February 19 15 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering Ford Norris Industries 200 500 (804.672) 3:07:49 159.73 Report
1979 February 18 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Oldsmobile STP/Southern Pride Car Wash Systems 200 500 (804.672) 3:28:22 143.977 Report
1980 February 17 28 Buddy Baker Ranier-Lundy Oldsmobile NAPA Auto Parts/Regal Ride Shocks 200 500 (804.672) 2:48:55 177.602‡ Report
1981 February 15 43 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Buick STP 200 500 (804.672) 2:56:50 169.651 Report
1982 February 14 88 Bobby Allison DiGard Motorsports Buick Gatorade 200 500 (804.672) 3:14:49 153.991 Report
1983 February 20 28 Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy Pontiac Hardee's 200 500 (804.672) 3:12:20 155.979 Report
1984 February 19 28 Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy Chevrolet Hardee's 200 500 (804.672) 3:18:41 150.994 Report
1985 February 17 9 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford Coors 200 500 (804.672) 2:54:09 172.265 Report
1986 February 16 5 Geoff Bodine Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Levi Garrett 200 500 (804.672) 3:22:32 148.124 Report
1987 February 15 9 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford Coors 200 500 (804.672) 2:50:12 176.263 Report
1988 February 14 12 Bobby Allison Stavola Brothers Racing Buick Miller High Life 200 500 (804.672) 3:38:08 137.531 Report
1989 February 19 17 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Tide with Bleach 200 500 (804.672) 3:22:04 148.466 Report
1990 February 18 10 Derrike Cope Whitcomb Racing Chevrolet Purolator 200 500 (804.672) 3:00:59 165.761 Report
1991 February 17 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan–McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Kodak Film 200 500 (804.672) 3:22:30 148.148 Report
1992 February 16 28 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford Havoline 200 500 (804.672) 3:07:12 160.256 Report
1993 February 14 18 Dale Jarrett Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 200 500 (804.672) 3:13:35 154.972 Report
1994 February 20 4 Sterling Marlin Morgan–McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Kodak Film 200 500 (804.672) 3:11:10 156.931 Report
1995 February 19 4 Sterling Marlin Morgan–McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Kodak Film 200 500 (804.672) 3:31:42 141.71 Report
1996 February 18 88 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit 200 500 (804.672) 3:14:25 154.308 Report
1997 February 16 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet DuPont 200 500 (804.672) 3:22:18 148.295 Report
1998 February 15 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet GM Goodwrench Plus 200 500 (804.672) 2:53:42 172.712 Report
1999 February 14 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet DuPont 200 500 (804.672) 3:05:42 161.551 Report
2000 February 20 88 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford Quality Care/Ford Credit 200 500 (804.672) 3:12:43 155.669 Report
2001 February 18 15 Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 200 500 (804.672) 3:05:26 161.783 Report
2002 February 17 22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Dodge Caterpillar 200 500 (804.672) 3:29:50 130.81 Report
2003 February 16 15 Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 109* 272.5 (438.546) 2:02:08 133.87 Report
2004 February 15 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet Budweiser Born on Date 200 500 (804.672) 3:11:53 156.341 Report
2005 February 20 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet DuPont 203* 507.5 (816.742) 3:45:16 135.173 Report
2006 February 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Lowe's 203* 507.5 (816.742) 3:33:26 142.667 Report
2007 February 18 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Shell/Pennzoil 202* 505 (812.719) 3:22:55 149.333 Report
2008 February 17 12 Ryan Newman Penske Racing Dodge Alltel 200 500 (804.672) 3:16:30 152.672 Report
2009 February 15 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford DeWalt 152* 380 (611.551) 2:51:40 132.816 Report
2010 February 14 1 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats 208* 520 (836.859) 3:47:16 137.284 Report
2011 February 20 21 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing Ford Motorcraft 208* 520 (836.859) 3:59:24 130.326 Report
2012 February 27–28* 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford Best Buy 202* 505 (812.719) 3:36:02 140.256 Report
2013 February 24 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Lowe's 200 500 (804.672) 3:08:23 159.25 Report
2014 February 23 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet National Guard 200 500 (804.672) 3:26:29 145.29 Report
2015 February 22 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford Shell/Pennzoil 203* 507.5 (816.742) 3:08:02 161.939 Report
2016 February 21 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota FedEx Express 200 500 (804.672) 3:10:25 157.549 Report
2017 February 26 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Haas Automation/Monster Energy 200 500 (804.672) 3:29:31 143.187 Report
2018 February 18 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Dow 207* 517.5 (832.835) 3:26:15 150.545 Report
2019 February 17 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota FedEx Express 207* 517.5 (832.835) 3:44:55 137.44 Report
2020 February 16–17* 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota FedEx Express 209* 522.5 (840.882) 3:42:10 141.11 Report
2021 February 14–15* 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford Love's Travel Stops/Speedco 200 500 (804.672) 3:27:44 144.416 Report
2022 February 20 2 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford Discount Tire 201* 502.5 (808.695) 3:31:53 142.295 Report

‡ – Record for fastest Daytona 500 at 177.602 mph (285.823 km/h) set by Buddy Baker in 1980.


  • 1965–66, 2003, 2009: Races shortened due to rain.
  • 1974: Race shortened due to energy crisis.
  • 2005–07, 2010–12, 2015, 2018–20, and 2022: Races extended due to NASCAR overtime.
  • 2012: Race was postponed from Sunday afternoon to Monday night due to rain and finished after midnight on Tuesday.
  • 2020: Race suspended until Monday evening due to rain.
  • 2021: Race ran on Sunday, but finished after midnight on Monday.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# 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
Denny Hamlin 2016, 2019, 2020
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)[edit]

# 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
4 Joe Gibbs Racing 1993, 2016, 2019, 2020
3 Ranier-Lundy 1980, 1983, 1984
Morgan–McClure Motorsports 1991, 1994, 1995
Robert Yates Racing 1992, 1996, 2000
Richard Childress Racing 1998, 2007, 2018
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. 2001, 2003, 2004
Team Penske 2008, 2015, 2022
2 Holman Moody 1965, 1967
Junior Johnson & Associates 1969, 1977
Melling Racing 1985, 1987
Roush Fenway Racing 2009, 2012

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
24 Chevrolet 1960, 1975, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2018
17 Ford 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2021, 2022
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
Toyota 2016, 2019, 2020

Race winner records[edit]

Prerace ceremonies before the 2008 Daytona 500.

Consecutive victories[edit]

Winners from the pole position[edit]

Family winners[edit]

Winners as both driver and owner[edit]

* – DEI won after Earnhardt's death

Won the Daytona 500 and Busch Clash in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and Can-Am Duel in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and Spring Talladega race in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and the Southern 500 in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and 1 other Crown Jewel Race in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and 2 other Crown Jewel Races in same year[edit]

Won the Daytona 500 and the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in same year[edit]

Drivers whose first NASCAR Cup Series win was the Daytona 500[edit]

Youngest and oldest winners of the Daytona 500[edit]


  1. ^ Chad Culver (2014). Dover International Speedway: The Monster Mile. Arcadia Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 1467121371.
  2. ^ "Culture, Class, Distinction"Bennett, Tony. Culture, Class, Distinction. Routledge (2009) Disaggregating cultural capital. English translation ISBN 0-415-42242-6 (hardcover).
  3. ^ Staff, The Athletic. "Daytona 500 posts record-worst TV rating, in part due to rain delay". The Athletic. Archived from the original on 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2021-10-20.
  4. ^ "Indy 500 viewership highest in five years". June 2, 2021. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  5. ^ "World's most watched TV sports events: 2006 Rank & Trends report". Initiative. 2007-01-19. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  6. ^ "A History of the Daytona 500". TicketCity. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Crossman, Matt (February 22, 2015). "Daytona 500 Magic Hour: Best 60 minutes in sports". NASCAR. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Briggs, Josh. "How Daytona Qualifying Works". HowStuffWorks. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  9. ^ 1959, 1960, and 1961 Daytona 500 Programs
  10. ^ "The Rise And Fall Of NASCAR At Indy". Jul 24, 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  11. ^ Bob Zeller, Daytona 500: An Official History (Phoenix: David Bull Publishing, 2002): 48-52.
  12. ^ Mark Aumann (January 23, 2003). "1979: Petty winds up in 'fist' place". Turner Sports Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  13. ^ "1979 Daytona 500". Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  14. ^ " — The 1990 Daytona 500 – July 28, 2003". 2008. Archived from the original on August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  15. ^ "Jayski's Silly Season Site — Race Info Page". 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  16. ^ "2003 Daytona 500 -". 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-03-09. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
  17. ^ Grace Wyler (July 28, 2012). "Could This Woman Be On Mitt Romney's V.P. Shortlist?". NASCAR. Business Insider, Inc. Archived from the original on February 22, 2020. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Cain, Holly (21 February 2016). "DENNY HAMLIN WINS THRILLING DAYTONA 500". Archived from the original on 24 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  19. ^ Spencer, Reid (February 17, 2019). "Denny Hamlin wins 61st annual Daytona 500 as JGR finishes 1-2-3". NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Bromberg, Nick. "President Donald Trump leads field on a pace lap after giving command ahead of Daytona 500". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  21. ^ Jay Busbee (2020-02-16). "NASCAR: 2020 Daytona 500 postponed until 4 p.m. ET Monday". Archived from the original on 2021-02-16. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  22. ^ Jenna Fryer. ""Denny Hamlin wins 3rd Daytona 500; Ryan Newman hospitalized"". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  23. ^ Spencer, Reid (February 14, 2021). "Michael McDowell misses last-lap crash, scores first victory in Daytona 500". NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. Archived from the original on February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.

External links[edit]

Previous race:
NASCAR Cup Series
Daytona 500
Next race:
WISE Power 400