Daytona International Speedway
Home of NASCARs most prestigious race.
1801 W International Speedway Blvd
Daytona Beach, Fl 32114
Date of Birth
February 22, 1959
A bit about the race.
Daytona Beach became the unofficial “Birthplace of Speed” in 1903, when two men argued over who had the fastest horseless carriage and decided things in a race on the white, hard packed sand along the Atlantic Ocean.
“The World Center of Racing” was completed in 1959 and hosted the first Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. A crowd of more than 41,000 watched a field of 59 cars race for a purse of less than $70,000. The finish was so close it took three days to determine Lee Petty had edged Johnny Beauchamp.
The Daytona 200 motorcycle race continued to run on the beach until it moved to the speedway in 1961, and the next year the venue hosted the inaugural running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance sports car race.
From the hustle along beachside to now a $400 Million Dollar project, the Daytona 500 has created Daytona Beach to become the World Most Famous Home of Racing.
Moments in History
Lee Petty edges out son Richard Petty, and famed Johnny Beachamp for the first major championship series for NASCAR. The beginning of the greatest rivalry between Richard and Lee Petty.
Janet Guthrie in 1976 became the first female driver to compete in the Daytona 500, and finished 12th. Three years later, the race was televised live for the first time in event history by CBS Sports and Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed on the final lap while battling for the lead.
Dale Earnhardt suffered one of the greatest upsets in Daytona 500 history in 1990 when he cut a tire in the third turn of the final lap and Derrike Cope stole the win. In 1998, in his 20th attempt, Earnhardt finally earned his first and only Daytona 500 victory. Three years later, Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the final lap of the race.