The Daytona 500 is the biggest race in stock car racing and features some of the most significant history in the sport. The Great American Race is 500 miles long and runs across 200 laps of the Daytona International Speedway. It runs in February and has opened the NASCAR season every year since 1982.
Richard Petty is the most prolific winner of the race, claiming seven checkered flags in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981. The next closest is Cale Yarborough, who won the race in 1968, 1977, 1983, and 1984. Petty was the first driver to win the race in consecutive years, and has been followed by three other drivers. Yarborough, Sterling Marlin (1994-1995), and Denny Hamlin (2019-2020) all accomplished the feat. No driver has won the race three straight years.
Bobby Allison is the oldest driver to win the race, capturing his third checkered flag in 1988 at the age of 50. Trevor Bayne is the youngest driver to win the race, doing so at the age of 20 when he claimed the checkered flag in 2011.
Nine drivers have won the race after starting in the pole position. The last pole-sitter to win the race was Dale Jarrett in 2000. Matt Kenseth has the honor of the worst starting position to win the race. In 2009, he started in 39th, but had to drop back to the last position at No. 43 due to changing to a backup car after he crashed in qualifying.
Here’s a look at every winner of the Daytona 500 dating back to the inaugural race in 1959.
Every Daytona 500 winner
|1972||A. J. Foyt||2nd||21|
|2004||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||3rd||8|
|2014||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||9th||88|