Daytona 500 History

Events in Sport

  • 1959-02-22 Inaugural Daytona 500: Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp cross finish line side by side; Beauchamp declared unofficial winner; ruling overturned after 3 days by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr
  • 1960-02-14 2nd Daytona 500: Junior Johnson survives a 37 car crash on Turn 4 to win driving a John Masoni owned Chevrolet
  • 1961-02-26 3rd Daytona 500: Marvin Panch wins in a 1960 Pontiac owned by Smokey Yunick when race leader Fireball Roberts' car suffered a blown engine with 13 laps remaining
  • 1962-02-18 4th Daytona 500: Race winner Fireball Roberts dominates the event, leading 144 of the 200 laps
  • 1963-02-24 5th Daytona 500: Tiny Lund driving for Wood Bros Racing, wins on 4 pit stops as first 10 laps run under caution flag because of rain
  • 1964-02-23 6th Daytona 500: Race winner Richard Petty leads for record 184 of the 200 laps
  • 1965-02-14 7th Daytona 500: Fred Lorenzen wins driving for Holman-Moody; race ends on lap 133 due to persistent rain
  • 1966-02-27 8th Daytona 500: Polesitter Richard Petty comes from 2 laps down to win the event after 198 laps were completed because of rain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967-02-26 9th Daytona 500: Mario Andretti wins his first and only NASCAR Grand National event; only time driver born outside the US has ever won the Great American Race

Racing Car Driver Mario Andretti
Racing Car Driver
Mario Andretti
  • 1968-02-25 10th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough driving for Wood Brothers Racing wins by less than a second from LeeRoy Yarbrough; grid set exclusively by qualifying times
  • 1969-02-23 11th Daytona 500: LeeRoy Yarbrough driving for Junior Johnson, catches Charlie Glotzbach on final lap to win; first Daytona 500 won on a last lap pass
  • 1970-02-22 12th Daytona 500: Pete Hamilton wins by just 3 car lengths over David Pearson, after passing him with 9 laps to go
  • 1971-02-14 13th Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins his 3rd Great American Race; goes on to win the inaugural Winston Cup title

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972-02-20 14th Daytona 500: A.J. Foyt dominates the race, winning by almost 2 laps over his closest competitor Charlie Glotzbach

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • 1973-02-18 15th Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins his 4th Great American Race by more than 2 laps from Bobby Isaac
  • 1974-02-17 16th Daytona 500: Richard Petty first driver to win back-to-back titles at Daytona; his 5th Great American race

  • 1975-02-16 17th Daytona 500: Benny Parsons wins after Cale Yarborough sends race leader David Pearson spinning on the backstretch; Parsons avoids the accident and takes the victory
  • 1976-02-15 18th Daytona 500: David Pearson makes contact with Richard Petty just yards from finish line into a wall and to infield; Petty stalls whilst Pearson re-starts to win
  • 1977-02-20 19th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins his 2nd Great American Race; Janet Guthrie first female NASCAR Cup Series driver; finishes 12th
  • 1978-02-19 20th Daytona 500: Bobby Allison takes lead with 11 laps remaining; lowest starting position (33rd) for winner until 2007
  • 1979-02-18 21st Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins after race leaders Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison collide with each other on final lap; first 500 mile race broadcast from start to finish
  • 1980-02-17 22nd Daytona 500: Buddy Baker wins ahead of Bobby Allison and Neil Bonnett
  • 1981-02-15 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins record 7th title at Daytona, beating Bobby Allison to the line by 3.5 seconds
  • 1982-02-14 24th Daytona 500: Bobby Allison wins with margin of victory over Cale Yarborough an impressive 23 seconds, more than half a lap
  • 1983-02-20 25th Daytona 500: 3rd win in the event for Cale Yarborough; first time an in-car camera goes into victory lane before a national CBS Sports audience
  • 1984-02-12 Cale Yarborough, becomes 1st Daytona 500 qualifier, above 200 MPH
  • 1984-02-19 26th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins for 2nd consecutive year and 4th time in career; last-lap pass to beat Darrell Waltrip
  • 1985-02-17 27th Daytona 500: After taking pole at then-record speed of 205.114 mph Bill Elliott dominates race leading 136 of 200 laps
  • 1985-09-01 Bill Elliott claims a $1 million bonus for winning 3 of the 4 crown jewel races on the NASCAR schedule: the Daytona 500, Winston 500 and Southern 500
  • 1986-02-16 28th Daytona 500: Geoff Bodine wins on fuel mileage after Dale Earnhardt forced to pit for gas with 3 laps to go, then blows engine leaving the pits
  • 1987-02-15 29th Daytona 500: Bill Elliott leads for 104 of 200 laps including the last 3; had won pole with record speed of 210.364 mph
  • 1988-02-14 30th Daytona 500: Bobby Allison beats his son, Davey, to the finish line; remembered for Richard Petty's rollover crash in the tri-oval on lap 106, rolls over 8 times and hit by Brett Bodine; walks away unhurt
  • 1989-02-19 31st Daytona 500: Darrell Waltrip wins when Hendrick Racing team decides to use fuel strategy, being the only car not to pit in the closing laps
  • 1990-02-18 32nd Daytona 500: Derrike Cope wins after Dale Earnhardt shreds right rear tyre on last lap
  • 1991-02-17 33rd Daytona 500: Ernie Irvan, driving for Morgan-McClure Motorsports coasts to win after challengers crash on finals laps
  • 1992-02-16 34th Daytona 500: Davey Allison joins father Bobby as a race winner; Richard Petty and A.J. Foyt's final drives in the event

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993-02-14 35th Daytona 500: Dale Jarrett, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, wins from Dale Earnhardt and Geoff Bodine

NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner Joe Gibbs
NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner
Joe Gibbs
  • 1994-02-20 36th Daytona 500: Sterling Marlin wins his first NASCAR race; Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr killed in separate practice incidents
  • 1995-02-19 37th Daytona 500: Sterling Marlin wins for 2nd straight year; 3rd driver to achieve back-to-back titles (Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough)
  • 1996-02-18 38th Daytona 500: Dale Jarrett wins his 2nd Great American race ahead of Dale Earnhardt and Ken Schrader
  • 1997-02-16 39th Daytona 500: Hendrick Motorsports posts a 1-2-3 finish with Jeff Gordon winning the race, ahead of Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven
  • 1998-02-15 40th Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt's only Daytona win in his 20th start; snaps a 59-race winless streak
  • 1999-02-14 41st Daytona 500: Jeff Gordon wins; first Daytona 500 pole sitter to win the race since Bill Elliott in 1987
  • 2000-02-20 42nd Daytona 500: Polesitter Dale Jarrett wins his 3rd Great American Race ahead of Jeff Gordon and Bill Elliott
  • 2001-02-18 43rd Daytona 500: Michael Waltrip wins tragic race; last lap crash claims life of Dale Earnhardt, prompting sport to implement new safety procedures
  • 2002-02-17 44th Daytona 500: Ward Burton's win first for Dodge since Richard Petty's victory in the 1974 race
  • 2003-02-16 45th Daytona 500: Michael Waltrip wins for the second time in 3 years; race ends after 109 laps when rain pours on the track
  • 2004-02-15 46th Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins exactly 6 years to the day after his father Dale Earnhardt Sr. won his first and only Daytona 500 in 1998
  • 2005-02-20 47th Daytona 500: Jeff Gordon able to hold off Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr over 3 extra laps to win his third Daytona 500
  • 2006-02-19 48th Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson driving from Hendrick Motorsports wins 203 lap race; goes on to win his first championship
  • 2007-02-18 49th Daytona 500: Kevin Harvick wins by 0.02s over Mark Martin in the closest finish since the first race at Daytona in 1959
  • 2008-02-17 50th Daytona 500: Ryan Newman wins shootout going into the final turn from Tony Stewart, and the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle
  • 2009-02-15 51st Daytona 500: Matt Kenseth wins shortened race; called off with 48 laps to go after a severe rainstorm hits the track
  • 2010-02-14 52nd Daytona 500: Jamie McMurray, driving for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing wins; Mark Martin, oldest polesitter in Daytona 500 history at 51 years, 27 days
  • 2011-02-20 53rd Daytona 500: 20 year old Trevor Bayne, driving for Wood Brothers Racing, wins to become the youngest Daytona 500 winner
  • 2012-02-28 54th Daytona 500: Rain affected race stopped for 2 hours because of fuel on track; Matt Kenseth leads for final 34 laps to win
  • 2013-02-24 55th Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson wins 2nd Great American Race; Danica Patrick first female to start from pole position; also best-ever finish by a woman at Daytona (8th)
  • 2014-02-23 56th Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks a 55-race winless streak to win his 2nd Great American Race
  • 2015-02-22 57th Daytona 500: Joey Logano wins event for 2nd time after taking lead with 10 laps to go; is ahead of Kevin Harvick before caution flag on last lap ends race in his favour
  • 2016-02-21 58th Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin wins closest finish in race history - by just 0.01s from Martin Truex Jr
  • 2017-02-26 59th Daytona 500: Kurt Busch wins after Kyle Larson runs out of gas on last lap; Jeffrey Earnhardt makes NASCAR history, 1st ever 4th generation driver to compete in Daytona 500
  • 2018-02-18 60th Daytona 500: Austin Dillon wins after multi-car wreck sends race into overtime (207 laps) ahead of rookie Darrell Wallace Jr
  • 2019-02-17 61st Daytona 500: Joe Gibbs Racing goes 1-2-3; Denny Hamlin holds off reigning Cup Series champion Joey Logano and teammate Kyle Busch to win his 2nd Great American Race

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1929-01-20 Fireball Roberts, American racing driver (Daytona 500 1962), born in Tavares, Florida (d. 1964)
  • 1937-07-02 Richard Petty, American auto racer (7 x NASCAR Championship, 7 x Daytona 500), born in Level Cross, North Carolina
  • 1937-12-03 Bobby Allison, auto racer (3 time winner of Daytona 500)
  • 1938-03-07 Janet Guthrie, American professional race car driver (1st woman to race in Indie 500 and Daytona 500), born in Iowa City, Iowa
  • 1939-03-27 Cale Yarborough, American auto racer (Daytona 500-1968, 77, 83, 84), born in Timmonsville, South Carolina
  • 1955-05-29 Ken Schrader, American auto racer, promoter (Daytona 500 1988, 89, 90), born in Fenton, Missouri
  • 1961-02-25 Davey Allison, American auto racer (Daytona 500 1992), born in Hollywood, Florida (d. 1993)
  • 1974-10-10 [Ralph] Dale Earnhardt Jr., American auto racer (2-time Daytona 500 winner), born in Kannapolis, North Carolina

Deaths in Sport

  • 1964-07-02 Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, American auto racer (Daytona 500 1962), dies from injuries in May 24 crash at 35
  • 1993-07-13 Davey Allison, American auto racer (Daytona 500 1992), dies in a plane crash at 32
  • 2001-02-18 Dale Earnhardt, American auto racer (7 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships), dies in crash during Daytona 500 at 49