From the legendary fist fight after the first Daytona 500, to Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s fatal crash in 2001, here are NASCAR’s most gripping events ever.
No other sport has the suspense of potential disaster like auto racing. In NASCAR, every lap is dangerous — the slightest twitch from a driver can cause six-figure damage to the car, and injury or death to himself, other racers, and spectators. Talk about intense. And you don’t have to look far off the track to find more drama: NASCAR culture is basically a mix of petty high school politics and the organized disarray of a traveling circus. Here then, are the 10 most dramatic moments in NASCAR history.
10. Richard Petty Wins 200th Race with President Ronald Reagan in Attendance
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave the command, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” onboard the Air Force One via phone as he flew to attend the 4th of July race at Daytona International Speedway — the first president to do so. At this race, Richard Petty got his 200th W, the most wins ever, by a whopping 95. Petty raced for eight more years and never visited victory lane again.