The History of Daytona 500

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Wed, Mar 02, 2011 at 7:22AM

The history of racing in Daytona Florida started long before the track was built. Racing started in 1936 with the course winding 1 ½ miles down A1A  then turning to the beach for another mile and a half. Eventually, William “Big Bill” France took over the beach races. It was in Daytona FL, at the Streamline Hotel, that France presided over the meeting that created Nascar.

Ten years later, in 1957, France began building the 2 ½  mile super speedway. The first race was held in 1959 with Bob Welborn winning the pole at 140 miles per hour. Lee Petty held off a charging Johnny Beauchamp to become the first race winner. Some time later, Junior Johnson discovered he could go faster if he tucked his front bumper under the car ahead and the art of drafting was born.

In 1983, Cale Yarborough topped 200 mph for the first time in Nascar history and in 1987, Bill Elliott qualified at over 210 mph to achieve the fastest lap ever at the Daytona 500. With restrictor plates added soon there after that speed looks like in will endure. In 1998, in his twentieth try, Dale “The Intimidator” Earnhardt finally came out victorious. Sadly, three years later, a crash in turn four ended his life.

This past offseason the surface at Daytona was replaced and should result in faster speeds and more exciting close draft racing.  In Daytona Beach not only has the racetrack been resurfurced but we are seeing the NEW Daytona emerge right in front of our eyes.  Interested in relocating to Daytona Beach, contact Art or Susan Today!  There are great real estate deals to be had in Daytona Beach!


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