Everyone knows the Daytona 500 is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. But here are 10 things you may not have known about the Daytona 500:
1. In 1959, the inaugural Daytona 500 was run caution-free.
2. The 1967 Daytona 500 was the only NASCAR win for racing superstar Mario Andretti.
3. Richard Petty is in the Daytona 500 history books as winning the most races (1964, 66, 71, 73, 74, 79 & 81), leading the most races (20) and completing the most miles (12,150 miles or 4,860 laps) among his many other accomplishments on the track.
4. Paul Bass drove an Edsel convertible in the inaugural Daytona 500. It was the only appearance of an Edsel in a NASCAR competition.
5. The 1974 Daytona 500 was actually the “Daytona 450.” NASCAR cut the distance of the races by 10 percent in the early part of the season because of America’s energy crisis at the time.
6. In 1989, Darrell Waltrip finally won the 500 in his 17th attempt. He drove car number 17 that day and pitted in pit stall number 17.
7. Upon seeing the mammoth Daytona International Speedway for the first time, in preparation for the first Daytona 500, driver Jimmy Thompson said, “There have been other tracks that separated the men from the boys. This is the track that will separate the brave from the weak after the boys are gone.”
8. Curtis Turner’s 1967 Daytona 500 pole speed of 180.831 mph was the first time a NASCAR stock car had qualified at more than 180 mph.
9. Loy Allen Jr., Mike Skinner and Jimmie Johnson won the pole for the Daytona 500 in their rookie seasons.
10. Jimmie Johnson is the only racer to have swept Daytona, taking home tropies in the 2013 Daytona 500 and in the 2013 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. These weren't his first Daytona wins; he took home the 2006 Daytona 500 trophy.
To get your tickets for the Daytona 500 or any other speedweeks at Daytona events, visit www.daytona500.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.