Daytona 500 Tidbits
· The 2018 edition will be the 60th running of the Daytona 500.
· Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.
· 542 drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 325 in more than one.
· Dave Marcis leads the series all-time in Daytona 500 starts with 33; followed by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (32) and Terry Labonte (32).
· Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch lead all active MENCS drivers in Daytona 500 starts with 16 each.
· Chase Elliott leads the series among active drivers with more than one start in the Daytona 500 in average starting position (4.0).
· 12 different manufacturers have made at least one start in the Daytona 500: Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Toyota, Plymouth, Mercury, Chrysler, American Motors Company and Studebaker
· 41 different drivers have won a pole for the Daytona 500; led by Bill Elliott, Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker with four each. Alex Bowman won the pole for 2018 Daytona 500.
· Only 10 drivers have posted more than one pole for the Daytona 500; Jimmie Johnson (two) and Chase Elliott (two) are the only active drivers with more than one Daytona 500 pole.
· Chase Elliott became the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner at the age of 20 years, 2 months, 17 days with his pole in 2016.
· Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 Daytona 500 poles, the series most: Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008), Mark Martin (2010), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017) and Alex Bowman (2018).
· Seven different manufacturers have won the pole for the Daytona 500, led by Chevrolet with 26; followed by Ford (12), Pontiac (eight), Mercury (five), Dodge (four), Oldsmobile (three), Plymouth (two).
· 38 different Monster Energy Series drivers have won a Daytona 500.
· Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by 2 feet.
· Youngest Daytona 500 winner: Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 - 20 years, 0 months, 1 days)
· Oldest Daytona 500 winner: Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 - 50 years, 2 months, 11 days)
· Nine different manufacturers have won the Daytona 500, led by Chevrolet with 23 victories; followed by Ford (15), Dodge (four), Plymouth (four), Buick (three), Mercury (three), Oldsmobile (three), Pontiac (three) and Toyota (one).
· Seven drivers posted their career-first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory with a win in the Daytona 500.
· Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
· The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
· Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
· Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been scheduled for under the lights ever since.
· The track underwent a repave in 2010.
· 2016 marked the next phase in the existence of Daytona International Speedway as the DAYTONA Rising project was completed, ushering in the first ‘motorsports stadium,’ a 400-million-dollar project.
· There have been 141 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 59 have been 500 miles, 55 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
· Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona in a Pontiac with a speed of 140.121 mph.
· Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
· Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
· 60 drivers have posted poles at Daytona.
· Six active drivers that won their first career pole at Daytona – Chase Elliott (2016), Austin Dillon (2014), Danica Patrick (2013), Paul Menard (2008), Kevin Harvick (2002), Jimmie Johnson (2002).
· Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
· Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and David Gilliland lead all active drivers with two poles each at Daytona.
· 62 different drivers have won at Daytona International Speedway; led by Richard Petty with 10 points-paying victories at Daytona.
· The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other organization.
· 18 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; most recent Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2015).