Daytona 500

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Daytona 500
2015 Daytona 500 Logo.png
VenueDaytona International Speedway
First race1959
Distance500 miles (805 km)
Previous names

First Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1959)
Second Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1960)
Daytona 500 by STP
Daytona 500 by Dodge
Daytona 500 by Toyota

Daytona 500
(1961–1990, 1994–2000, 2002–2006, 2008–present)
Jump to: navigation, search
For the motorcycle race, see Daytona 200. For the song by Ghostface Killah, see Daytona 500 (song).
Daytona 500
2015 Daytona 500 Logo.png
VenueDaytona International Speedway
First race1959
Distance500 miles (805 km)
Previous names

First Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1959)
Second Annual 500 Mile International Sweepstakes (1960)
Daytona 500 by STP
Daytona 500 by Dodge
Daytona 500 by Toyota

Daytona 500
(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 the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. It is one of four restrictor plate races on the 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.[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 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.[3]

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 56 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,[4] 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. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is the race's defending champion after winning it in 2014.


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,"[5] by which it is still commonly known.

Daytona International Speedway is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and a 500-mile race[6] 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 six occasions. (2005–2007 and 2010–2012).


Main article: Daytona 500 history

Qualifying procedure[edit]

Main article: Budweiser Duel

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.

List of Daytona 500 winners[edit]

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

YearDateDriverTeamManufacturerNo.GridWinner's Prize
DistanceRace TimeAverage Speed
LapsMiles (Km)
1959February 22Lee PettyPetty EnterprisesOldsmobile4215th$19,050200500 (805)3:41:22135.521Report
1960February 24Junior JohnsonJohn MasoniChevrolet279th$19,600200500 (805)4:00:30124.74Report
1961February 26Marvin PanchSmokey YunickPontiac204th$21,050200500 (805)3:20:32149.601Report
1962February 18Fireball RobertsJim StephensPontiac22Pole$24,190200500 (805)3:10:41152.529Report
1963February 24Tiny LundWood Brothers RacingFord2112th$24,550200500 (805)3:17:56151.566Report
1964February 23Richard PettyPetty Enterprises (2)Plymouth432nd$33,300200500 (805)3:14:23154.334Report
1965February 14Fred LorenzenHolman-MoodyFord284th$27,100133*332.5 (535)2:22:56141.539Report
1966February 27Richard Petty (2)Petty Enterprises (3)Plymouth43Pole$28,150198*495 (797)3:04:54160.927Report
1967February 26Mario AndrettiHolman-Moody (2)Ford1112th$48,900200500 (805)3:24:11146.926Report
1968February 25Cale YarboroughWood Brothers Racing (2)Mercury21Pole$47,250200500 (805)3:23:44143.251Report
1969February 23LeeRoy YarbroughJunior Johnson & AssociatesFord9819th$38,950200500 (805)3:09:56157.95Report
1970February 22Pete HamiltonPetty Enterprises (4)Plymouth409th$44,850200500 (805)3:20:32149.601Report
1971February 14Richard Petty (3)Petty Enterprises (5)Plymouth435th$45,450200500 (805)3:27:40144.462Report
1972February 20A.J. FoytWood Brothers Racing (3)Mercury212nd$44,600200500 (805)3:05:42161.55Report
1973February 18Richard Petty (4)Petty Enterprises (6)Dodge437th$36,100200500 (805)3:10:50157.205Report
1974February 17Richard Petty (5)Petty Enterprises (7)Dodge432nd$39,650180*450 (724)3:11:38140.894Report
1975February 16Benny ParsonsL.G. DeWittChevrolet7232nd$43,905200500 (805)3:15:15153.649Report
1976February 15David PearsonWood Brothers Racing (4)Mercury217th$46,800200500 (805)3:17:08152.181Report
1977February 20Cale Yarborough (2)Junior Johnson & Associates (2)Chevrolet114th$63,700200500 (805)3:15:48153.218Report
1978February 19Bobby AllisonBud Moore EngineeringFord1533rd$56,300200500 (805)3:07:49159.73Report
1979February 18Richard Petty (6)Petty Enterprises (8)Oldsmobile4313th$73,900200500 (805)3:28:22143.977Report
1980February 17Buddy BakerRanier-LundyOldsmobile28Pole$102,175200500 (805)2:48:55177.602‡Report
1981February 15Richard Petty (7)Petty Enterprises (9)Buick438th$90,575200500 (805)2:56:50169.651Report
1982February 14Bobby Allison (2)DiGard MotorsportsBuick887th$120,360200500 (805)3:14:49153.991Report
1983February 20Cale Yarborough (3)Ranier-Lundy (2)Pontiac288th$119,600200500 (805)3:12:20155.979Report
1984February 19Cale Yarborough (4)Ranier-Lundy (3)Chevrolet28Pole$160,300200500 (805)3:18:41150.994Report
1985February 17Bill ElliottMelling RacingFord9Pole$185,500200500 (805)2:54:09172.265Report
1986February 16Geoffrey BodineHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet52nd$192,715200500 (805)3:22:32148.124Report
1987February 15Bill Elliott (2)Melling Racing (2)Ford9Pole$204,150200500 (805)2:50:12176.263Report
1988February 14Bobby Allison (3)Stavola Brothers RacingBuick123rd$202,940200500 (805)3:38:08137.531Report
1989February 19Darrell WaltripHendrick Motorsports (2)Chevrolet172nd$184,900200500 (805)3:22:04148.466Report
1990February 18Derrike CopeWhitcomb RacingChevrolet1012th$188,150200500 (805)3:00:59165.761Report
1991February 17Ernie IrvanMorgan-McClure MotorsportsChevrolet42nd$233,000200500 (805)3:22:30148.148Report
1992February 16Davey AllisonRobert Yates RacingFord286th$244,050200500 (805)3:07:12160.256Report
1993February 14Dale JarrettJoe Gibbs RacingChevrolet182nd$238,200200500 (805)3:13:35154.972Report
1994February 20Sterling MarlinMorgan-McClure Motorsports (2)Chevrolet44th$258,275200500 (805)3:11:10156.931Report
1995February 19Sterling Marlin (2)Morgan-McClure Motorsports (3)Chevrolet43rd$300,460200500 (805)3:31:42141.71Report
1996February 18Dale Jarrett (2)Robert Yates Racing (2)Ford887th$360,775200500 (805)3:14:25154.308Report
1997February 16Jeff GordonHendrick Motorsports (3)Chevrolet246th$377,410200500 (805)3:22:18148.295Report
1998February 15Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress RacingChevrolet34th$1,059,805200500 (805)2:53:42172.712Report
1999February 14Jeff Gordon (2)Hendrick Motorsports (4)Chevrolet24Pole$1,172,246200500 (805)3:05:42161.551Report
2000February 20Dale Jarrett (3)Robert Yates Racing (3)Ford88Pole$1,277,975200500 (805)3:12:43155.669Report
2001February 18Michael WaltripDale Earnhardt, Inc.Chevrolet1519th$1,331,185200500 (805)3:05:26161.783Report
2002February 17Ward BurtonBill Davis RacingDodge2219th$1,389,017200500 (805)3:29:50130.81Report
2003February 16Michael Waltrip (2)Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (2)Chevrolet154th$1,419,406109*272.5 (439)2:02:08133.87Report
2004February 15Dale Earnhardt, Jr.Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (3)Chevrolet83rd$1,495,070200500 (805)3:11:53156.341Report
2005February 20Jeff Gordon (3)Hendrick Motorsports (5)Chevrolet2415th$1,497,150203*507.5 (817)3:45:16135.173Report
2006February 19Jimmie JohnsonHendrick Motorsports (6)Chevrolet489th$1,505,120203*507.5 (817)3:33:26142.667Report
2007February 18Kevin HarvickRichard Childress Racing (2)Chevrolet2934th$1,510,469202*505 (813)3:22:55149.333Report
2008February 17Ryan NewmanPenske Championship RacingDodge127th$1,543,045200500 (805)3:16:30152.672Report
2009February 15Matt KensethRoush Fenway RacingFord1739th1$1,536,388152*380 (612)2:51:40132.816Report
2010February 14Jamie McMurrayEarnhardt Ganassi RacingChevrolet113th$1,514,649208*520 (837)3:47:16137.284Report
2011February 20Trevor BayneWood Brothers Racing (5)Ford2132nd$1,463,810208*520 (837)3:59:24130.326Report
2012February 27–28*Matt Kenseth (2)Roush Fenway Racing (2)Ford174th$1,589,387202*505 (813)3:36:02140.256Report
2013February 24Jimmie Johnson (2)Hendrick Motorsports (7)Chevrolet489th$1,525,275200500 (805)3:08:23159.25Report
2014February 23Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2)Hendrick Motorsports (8)Chevrolet889th$1,506,363200500 (805)3:26:29145.29Report

† – 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:

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.

Only one race has been rescheduled from its original date.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# WinsDriverYears Won
7Richard Petty1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981
4Cale Yarborough1968, 1977, 1983, 1984
3Bobby Allison1978, 1982, 1988
Dale Jarrett1993, 1996, 2000
Jeff Gordon1997, 1999, 2005
2Bill Elliott1985, 1987
Sterling Marlin1994, 1995
Michael Waltrip2001, 2003
Matt Kenseth2009, 2012
Jimmie Johnson2006, 2013
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.2004, 2014

Multiple winners (teams)[edit]

# WinsTeamYears Won
9Petty Enterprises1959, 1964, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981
8Hendrick Motorsports1986, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014
5Wood Brothers Racing1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 2011
3Ranier-Lundy1980, 1983, 1984
Morgan-McClure Motorsports1991, 1994, 1995
Robert Yates Racing1992, 1996, 2000
Dale Earnhardt, Inc.2001, 2003, 2004
2Holman-Moody1965, 1967
Junior Johnson & Associates1969, 1977
Melling Racing1985, 1987
Richard Childress Racing1998, 2007
Roush Fenway Racing2009, 2012

Manufacturer wins[edit]

# WinsManufacturerYears Won
23Chevrolet1960, 1975, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014
13Ford1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1978, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2009, 2011, 2012
4Plymouth1964, 1966, 1970, 1971
Dodge1973, 1974, 2002, 2008
3Mercury1968, 1972, 1976
Oldsmobile1959, 1979, 1980
Pontiac1961, 1962, 1983
Buick1981, 1982, 1988

Pole position holders[edit]

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]

Won Daytona 500 and Sprint Unlimited in same year[edit]

Won Daytona 500 and Budweiser Duel 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. 53: 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. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ a b Blount, Terry (2012-02-28). "Bizarre moments dominate Daytona 500 weekend". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  5. ^ 1959, 1960, and 1961 Daytona 500 Programs
  6. ^ "The Rise And Fall Of NASCAR At Indy". Jul 24, 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Previous race:
Ford EcoBoost 400
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona 500
Next race:
The Profit on CNBC 500