1.

February 22, 1959

Johnny Beauchamp is flagged the winner of the first Daytona 500 in a photo finish with Lee Petty. Beauchamp and Petty cross the finish line abreast after 500 miles of green-flag racing. Most observers feel that Petty had reached the finish line first. Bill France announces the results are unofficial and solicits all still photos and film so a decisive winner can be determined.

2.

July 4, 1960

Jack Smith edges Cotton Owens at the finish line to win the second annual Firecracker 250 at Daytona. Smith becomes the first driver to win on a superspeedway using radio communication with his pit crew. Crew chief Bud Moore keeps Smith abreast of pertinent information during the race.

3.

July 4, 1974

Cagey David Pearson outfoxes Richard Petty to win the Firecracker 400 in a puzzling finish. Pearson leads entering the final lap, but pulls to the low groove right as they’re exiting the tri-oval to allow Petty to pass. Pearson regains stride, runs Petty down, and makes the decisive pass just before the finish line. Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough finish in a dead heat for third place.

4.

February 16, 1975

Benny Parsons takes the lead three laps from the finish and wins the Daytona 500 when leader David Pearson spins midway down the backstretch, ending up in the infield near the entrance to Turn 3. Parsons comes from the 32nd starting position to claim the upset win and the biggest victory of his career.

5.

February 15, 1976

David Pearson creeps across the finish line at 20 mph to beat Richard Petty in a stunning finish to the Daytona 500. Pearson and Petty swap the lead four times on the final lap and tangle off the fourth turn. Pearson gets his Mercury straightened out and crosses the finish line first.

6.

February 19, 1989

In his 17th Daytona 500 start, Darrell Waltrip prevails in an economy run. Waltrip runs the final 132.5 miles without a pit stop and coasts across the finish line 7.64 seconds ahead of runner-up Ken Schrader.

7.

February 19, 1989

In his 17th Daytona 500 start, Darrell Waltrip prevails in an economy run. Waltrip runs the final 132.5 miles without a pit stop and coasts across the finish line 7.64 seconds ahead of runner-up Ken Schrader.

8.

July 2, 1994

Jimmy Spencer nabs Ernie Irvan a few feet short of the finish line and prevails in a photo finish, scoring the first NASCAR Winston Cup win of his career in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Spencer leads only the final lap and beats Irvan by .08 second.

9.

February 18, 2007

Kevin Harvick beats Mark Martin to the finish line as cars crash behind them at the end of the Daytona 500. Harvick won by .020 second, the second-closest finish in the 500 since electronic scoring began in 1993 (The 2016 Daytona 500 holds the record for the closest finish). Clint Bowyer finishes 18th while on his roof.

10.

February 27, 2012

During yellow-flag racing with 40 laps to go in the Daytona 500 Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet dryer in Turn 3 as he tried to catch up with the rest of the pack. Montoya’s car came to rest at the bottom of the track as 200 gallons of jet fuel poured from the dryer

 

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