The Daytona 500 – Auto Racing
The most exciting race for car lovers is the Daytona 500. Starting with the first race in 1959, the excitement has never waned. With that first race the achievement of excellence was cemented for the entire racing community. This is the race that makes legends out of everyone who crosses the finish line first. The winner of the first 500 was Lee Petty, the patriarch of the famous racing family. The race was so close that it took three days after the raced had finished for a winner to be declared by photo. Lee Petty’s car edged Johnny Beauchamp by a mere two feet.
Daytona started on the sandy beaches of the area with drivers racing in an oval for little more than pride and bragging rights. When in the 1959 the cars moved from the beach to the now famous Daytona International Speedway, the “Great American Race” was created. Most of the sporting world’s major championships takes place at the end of the season, but the Daytona 500 is what makes NASCAR so much different than its sporting competitors. The big race is the first of the season and it’s richest.
Some say that NASCAR is now one of America’s top four sports and I would have to agree. On most Sunday afternoon’s thousands are in the grandstands among the roar of racing engines, while millions are glued to their televisions sets to cheer on their favorite car drivers. With Daytona being the biggest race of the year more 150,000 fill its arena while television ratings soar through the roof.
When that Sunday in February arrives, grab yourself a cold beer, don the cap of your favorite driver and watch the Great American Race create another legend.