Daytona 500


Daytona 500
Daytona 500
2011 Daytona 500.jpg
Venue Daytona International Speedway
Sponsor None
First race 1959
Distance 500 miles (805 km)
Laps 200
Previous names

First Annual 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
(1961–1991, 1994–2000, 2002–2006, 2008–present)

The Daytona 500 is a 500 miles (804.7 km)-long NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the Cup schedule.

The Daytona 500 is regarded as the most important and prestigious race on the NASCAR calendar, carrying by far the largest purse.[1] 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.[2]

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." It is held the second or third Sunday in February, and since 1971, has been loosely associated with both Valentine's Day and the Presidents Day weekend. On February 20, 2011 it was announced that the 54th running of the race will be moved one week later to February 26, 2012.

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.

Contents

Origins

Course map of Daytona International Speedway

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",[3] 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. It has been extended five times (2005–2007 and 2010–2011) to allow for a green-white-checker finish.

Memorable Daytona 500s

Qualifying procedure

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 that are not in the top 35 in owner points are given spots on the field, and the rest is set by the finishing order of the duels, with guaranteed spots to those in the top 35. The remaining spots, 40 to 43 are filled by top qualifying times of those not already in the field from the qualifying race. If there is a previous NASCAR Champion without a spot, he will get one of those four spots, otherwise, the fourth fastest car is added to the field.

Prior to 2005, after the top two cars were set, the top 14 cars in the qualifying races advanced to the field, and then between six (1998–2003), eight (1995–97, 2004), or ten (until 1994) fastest cars which did not advance from the qualifying race were added, and, since 1976, between one and seven cars were added by previous year's points performance and or championship, 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.

Television

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. Starting in 2007, FOX became the exclusive home of the Daytona 500 under the terms of NASCAR's new television package.

A byproduct of both the track's 1998 lighting system and both the 2001 and 2007 television packages has been later start times. The race started at 12:15 pm (EST) from 1979 until 2000. The start time was moved to 2:30 pm (EST) 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. The changing track conditions caused by the onset of darkness in the closing laps force the crew chiefs to predict the critical car setup adjustments needed for their final two pit stops. Since then, all races have ended after dark, with the 2007 race ending in prime time, at 7:07 pm (EST). However, in 2010, the race moved back to a 1:00 pm 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 PM EST, pushing the race into prime-time for the second time.

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 much 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.

List of Daytona 500 winners

For NASCAR Grand National winners at Daytona from 1949–1958, see Daytona Beach & Road Course.
Mario Andretti, born in Italy, is the only driver to win the race not from the United States.

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Car
#
Start Winner's Prize
(USD)
Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Laps Miles (Km)
First Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes
1959 February 22 Lee Petty Petty Enterprises Oldsmobile 42 15th $19,050 200 500 (805) 3:41:22 135.521
Second Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes
1960 February 24 Junior Johnson John Masoni Chevrolet 27 9th $19,600 200 500 (805) 4:00:30 124.740
Daytona 500
1961 February 26 Marvin Panch Smokey Yunick Pontiac 20 4th $21,050 200 500 (805) 3:20:32 149.601
1962 February 18 Fireball Roberts Jim Stephens Pontiac 22 Pole $24,190 200 500 (805) 3:10:41 152.529
1963 February 24 Tiny Lund Wood Brothers Racing Ford 21 12th $24,550 200 500 (805) 3:17:56 151.566
1964 February 23 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises (2) Plymouth 43 2nd $33,300 200 500 (805) 3:14:23 154.334
1965 February 14 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 28 4th $27,100 133* 332.5 (535) 2:22:56 141.539
1966 February 27 Richard Petty (2) Petty Enterprises (3) Plymouth 43 Pole $28,150 198* 495 (797) 3:04:54 160.927
1967 February 26 Mario Andretti Holman-Moody (2) Ford 11 12th $48,900 200 500 (805) 3:24:11 146.926
1968 February 25 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing (2) Mercury 21 Pole $47,250 200 500 (805) 3:23:44 143.251
1969 February 23 LeeRoy Yarbrough Junior Johnson Ford 98 19th $38,950 200 500 (805) 3:09:56 157.950
1970 February 22 Pete Hamilton Petty Enterprises (4) Plymouth 40 9th $44,850 200 500 (805) 3:20:32 149.601
1971 February 14 Richard Petty (3) Petty Enterprises (5) Plymouth 43 5th $45,450 200 500 (805) 3:27:40 144.462
1972 February 20 A.J. Foyt Wood Brothers Racing (3) Mercury 21 2nd $44,600 200 500 (805) 3:05:42 161.550
1973 February 18 Richard Petty (4) Petty Enterprises (6) Dodge 43 7th $36,100 200 500 (805) 3:10:50 157.205
1974 February 17 Richard Petty (5) Petty Enterprises (7) Dodge 43 2nd $39,650 180* 450 (724) 3:11:38 140.894
1975 February 16 Benny Parsons L.G. DeWitt Chevrolet 72 32nd $43,905 200 500 (805) 3:15:15 153.649
1976 February 15 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing (4) Mercury 21 7th $46,800 200 500 (805) 3:17:08 152.181
1977 February 20 Cale Yarborough (2) Junior Johnson (2) Chevrolet 11 4th $63,700 200 500 (805) 3:15:48 153.218
1978 February 19 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering Ford 15 33rd $56,300 200 500 (805) 3:07:49 159.730
1979 February 18 Richard Petty (6) Petty Enterprises (8) Oldsmobile 43 13th $73,900 200 500 (805) 3:28:22 143.977
1980 February 17 Buddy Baker Harry Rainer Oldsmobile 28 Pole $102,175 200 500 (805) 2:48:55 177.602‡
1981 February 15 Richard Petty (7) Petty Enterprises (9) Buick 43 8th $90,575 200 500 (805) 2:56:50 169.651
1982 February 14 Bobby Allison (2) DiGard Motorsports Buick 88 7th $120,360 200 500 (805) 3:14:49 153.991
1983 February 20 Cale Yarborough (3) Harry Ranier (2) Pontiac 28 8th $119,600 200 500 (805) 3:12:20 155.979
1984 February 19 Cale Yarborough (4) Harry Ranier (3) Chevrolet 28 Pole $160,300 200 500 (805) 3:18:41 150.994
1985 February 17 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 9 Pole $185,500 200 500 (805) 2:54:09 172.265
1986 February 16 Geoffrey Bodine Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 5 2nd $192,715 200 500 (805) 3:22:32 148.124
1987 February 15 Bill Elliott (2) Melling Racing (2) Ford 9 Pole $204,150 200 500 (805) 2:50:12 176.263
1988 February 14 Bobby Allison (3) Stavola Brothers Racing Buick 12 3rd $202,940 200 500 (805) 3:38:08 137.531
1989 February 19 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports (2) Chevrolet 17 2nd $184,900 200 500 (805) 3:22:04 148.466
1990 February 18 Derrike Cope Bob Whitcomb Chevrolet 10 12th $188,150 200 500 (805) 3:00:59 165.761
Daytona 500 by STP
1991 February 17 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 4 2nd $233,000 200 500 (805) 3:22:30 148.148
1992 February 16 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 28 6th $244,050 200 500 (805) 3:07:12 160.256
1993 February 14 Dale Jarrett Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 18 2nd $238,200 200 500 (805) 3:13:35 154.972
Daytona 500
1994 February 20 Sterling Marlin Morgan-McClure Motorsports (2) Chevrolet 4 4th $258,275 200 500 (805) 3:11:10 156.931
1995 February 19 Sterling Marlin (2) Morgan-McClure Motorsports (3) Chevrolet 4 3rd $300,460 200 500 (805) 3:31:42 141.710
1996 February 18 Dale Jarrett (2) Robert Yates Racing (2) Ford 88 7th $360,775 200 500 (805) 3:14:25 154.308
1997 February 16 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports (3) Chevrolet 24 6th $377,410 200 500 (805) 3:22:18 148.295
1998 February 15 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 3 4th $1,059,805 200 500 (805) 2:53:42 172.712
1999 February 14 Jeff Gordon (2) Hendrick Motorsports (4) Chevrolet 24 Pole $1,172,246 200 500 (805) 3:05:42 161.551
2000 February 20 Dale Jarrett (3) Robert Yates Racing (3) Ford 88 Pole $1,277,975 200 500 (805) 3:12:43 155.669
Dodge Daytona 500
2001 February 18 Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 15 19th $1,331,185 200 500 (805) 3:05:26 161.783
Daytona 500
2002 February 17 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Dodge 22 19th $1,389,017 200 500 (805) 3:29:50 130.810
2003 February 16 Michael Waltrip (2) Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (2) Chevrolet 15 4th $1,419,406 109* 272.5 (439) 2:02:08 133.870
2004 February 15 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (3) Chevrolet 8 3rd $1,495,070 200 500 (805) 3:11:53 156.341
2005 February 20 Jeff Gordon (3) Hendrick Motorsports (5) Chevrolet 24 15th $1,497,150 203* 507.5 (817) 3:45:16 135.173
2006 February 19 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports (6) Chevrolet 48 9th $1,505,120 203* 507.5 (817) 3:33:26 142.734
Daytona 500 presented by Toyota
2007 February 18 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing (2) Chevrolet 29 34th $1,510,469 202* 505 (813) 3:22:55 149.333
Daytona 500
2008 February 17 Ryan Newman Penske Championship Racing Dodge 12 7th $1,543,045 200 500 (805) 3:16:30 152.672
2009 February 15 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 17 39th1 $1,536,388 152* 380 (612) 2:51:40 132.816
2010 February 14 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 1 13th $1,514,649 208* 520 (837) 3:47:16 137.284
2011 February 20 Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Racing (5) Ford 21 32nd $1,463,810 208* 520 (837) 3:59:24 130.326

† – Andretti was born in a part of Italy that is now in Croatia, but became a naturalized American citizen.
‡ – 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 July 25, 2004 until November 22, 2009, only one attempt was permitted in Sprint Cup Series racing. Starting February 11, 2010, a maximum of three attempts was permitted.

  • 2005 and 2006: 507.5 miles (203 laps)
  • 2007: 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

Pole position winners

Race winner records

Prerace ceremonies before the 2008 Daytona 500.

Multiple victories

Consecutive victories

Winners from the pole position

Family winners

  • Petty
    • Father Lee (1959) and son Richard (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981)
  • Allison
    • Father Bobby (1978, 1982, 1988) and son Davey (1992)
      • The 1988 race was the third 1st–2nd finish by a father and son in a NASCAR Cup Series race.
  • Earnhardt
  • Waltrip

Winners as both driver and owner

Won Daytona 500 and Budweiser Shootout in same year

Won Daytona 500 and Gatorade Duel in same year

Daytona 500 winners born outside of United States

Drivers whose first NASCAR Cup Series win was the Daytona 500

Drivers whose first two career wins were the Daytona 500

Youngest winners of the Daytona 500

  • 2011 Trevor Bayne Age 20 years 1 day

Drivers who won in their first Daytona 500 attempt (excluding inaugural race in 1959)

  • 2011 Trevor Bayne (First rookie to win the Daytona 500)

References

  1. ^ "Culture, Class, Distinction"Bennett, Tony. Culture, Class, Distinction. Routledge (2009) Disaggregating cultural capital. English translation ISBN 0-415-42242-6 (hardcover).
  2. ^ "World’s most watched TV sports events: 2006 Rank & Trends report". Initiative. 2007-01-19. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20070208200248/http://initiative.com/static/prDec2006.html. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  3. ^ 1959, 1960, and 1961 Daytona 500 Programs

External Links


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