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Cars drafting during a practice session at Daytona International Speedway
Cars drafting during a practice session at Daytona International Speedway in 2004

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, abbreviated to NASCAR, is currently referred as the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. The 67th season has concluded, with Kyle Busch, Chris Buescher, and Erik Jones crowned with the drivers' national championships. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup, the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. The NASCAR season consists of a series of races held on purpose-built race tracks. The results of each race are combined to determine two annual NASCAR Championships for each series, one for the drivers, and one for the manufacturers. NASCAR cars race at high speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h). The cars are capable of pulling in excess of five G-forces in some curves. Charlotte, North Carolina is NASCAR's traditional center, where most of the teams are based. However, the sport's scope has expanded significantly in recent years with races being held all over North America.

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David Pearson

David Pearson (born December 22, 1934) is a former American stock car racer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Pearson began his NASCAR career in 1960 and ended his first season by winning the 1960 NASCAR Rookie of the Year award. He won three championships (1966, 1968, and 1969) in NASCAR's Grand National Series (now Sprint Cup Series). NASCAR described his 1974 season as an indication of his "consistent greatness"; that season he finished third in the season points having competed in only 19 of 30 races. At his finalist nomination for NASCAR Hall of Fame's inaugural 2010 class, NASCAR described Pearson as "... the model of NASCAR efficiency during his career. With little exaggeration, when Pearson showed up at a race track, he won." Pearson ended his career in 1986, and currently holds the second position on NASCAR's all-time win list with 105 victories; as well as achieving 113 pole positions. Pearson was successful in different venues of racing; he won three times on road courses, 48 times on superspeedways, 54 time on short tracks, and had 23 dirt track wins. Pearson finished with at least one Top 10 finish in each of his 27 seasons. Pearson was nicknamed the "Fox" (and later the "Silver Fox") for his calculated approach to racing. ESPN described him as being a "plain-spoken, humble man, and that added up to very little charisma." Pearson's career paralleled Richard Petty's, the winningest driver in NASCAR history. They accounted for 63 first/second place finishes. Petty said, "Pearson could beat you on a short track, he could beat you on a superspeedway, he could beat you on a road course, he could beat you on a dirt track. It didn't hurt as bad to lose to Pearson as it did to some of the others, because I knew how good he was."

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Did You know?

  • ... that in 2002, Randy and Teri MacDonald were the first brother-sister combination to compete against each other in NASCAR since Ethel and Tim Flock in 1949?
  • ... that Brett Moffitt was the youngest driver ever to win in NASCAR touring series competition, but held that honor for less than a year?
  • ... that Brad Teague was fastest in third-round qualifying for the 1989 Daytona 500, but did not compete in the event?
  • ... that when he was 13, Leonard Wood created a washing machine engine-powered go-kart that reached a top speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h)?

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Trevor Bayne - Wood Brothers 2011 Daytona 500 winning Ford, Automotive Hall of Fame, Michigan USA

The 2011 Daytona 500, the 53rd running of the event, was held on February 20, 2011 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida as the first race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Trevor Bayne, driving for Wood Brothers Racing, won the race becoming the youngest Daytona 500 winner. Carl Edwards finished second, while David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, and Kurt Busch rounded out the Top 5. Bayne had taken the lead shortly before the final restart and maintained it to win his first Cup Series race and Wood Brothers' fifth Daytona 500. The race featured 16 cautions and 74 lead changes among 22 different drivers. Following the race, Edwards led the Drivers' Championship with 42 points, one ahead of Gilliland and Labonte. Ford led the Manufacturers' Championship with nine points, three ahead of Toyota and five ahead of Dodge. A total of 182,000 people attended the race, while 15.6 million watched it on television.

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