The Daytona 500 : “The 500 Mile International Sweepstakes”
When was the first Dayton 500 race? Who won the first Daytona 500?
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Did you know…..
On February 22, 1959, the Daytona International Speedway hosted the first Daytona 500. Known as the “500-mile International Sweepstakes”, the total awards posted were $67,760!
59 cars took the green flag for a 200 lap race. 41,000 people gathered as spectators to witness the beginning of a new chapter in the history of racing at the Daytona Speedway.
The end of the race also made history. At the finish, there were 2 cars in a dead heat. Johnny Beauchamp went to victory Lane and celebrated and “unoffical” win.
61 hours after the Victory Lane celebration, Lee Petty was officially declared the winner by a mere few feet!
Petty, Bauchamp and Joe Weatherly all got the checkered flag but only after review of the news reels was a winner declared.