There are over 75 million NASCAR fans in the United States, and over 6 million of them will attend races each year. The sport of auto racing and NASCAR in particular has steadily grown in popularity over the years, and is now as big as ever.
An interesting fact about NASCAR, they have their biggest race of the season at the beginning. After the first of the year, the anticipation starts building for the start of the racing season. For the next month and a half, the tension builds until the big day for the Daytona 500 arrives, and the new racing season is off and running.
The first two Daytona 500 races were not 500 miles. The race didn’t become 500 miles until 1961. The first race in 1959 was won by Lee Petty, Richard Petty’s father. The race winner was originally said to be Johnny Beauchamp. After reviewing the film and photos for 3 days, the winner was declared to be Lee Petty. The photo finish camera at the time was at track level, 3 cars were side by side at the finish line which made it hard to determine the winner.