Lee Petty in a “photo finish” for the ages. Fist fights on the backstretch. “The Intimidator’s” long-awaited trip to victory lane. The DAYTONA 500® has produced some of the most monumental moments in sports history and now fans have the chance to decide which one is the best of the best.
From Feb. 2 – Feb. 19, NASCAR® is inviting sports fans to visit DaytonaMoments.NASCAR.com to vote for the event they consider the moment that defined the DAYTONA 500. The “Ultimate DAYTONA 500 Moment Challenge” will pit 16 distinct moments in “The Great American Race®” history against one another in a four-round, elimination-style set-up, similar to the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ format that debuted in 2014.
“Coming off one of the most exhilarating season finales the sport has ever seen, NASCAR created the ‘Ultimate DAYTONA 500 Moment Challenge’ to heighten anticipation for the 2015 season,” said Steve Phelps, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at NASCAR. “This year, we’re letting NASCAR’s passionate fans set the tone for the season by voting on the moments they believe shaped the most iconic race on NASCAR’s schedule.”
NASCAR is encouraging sports enthusiasts to use #DAYTONA500moments on their social media channels to share, champion and discuss the events they believe have made “The Great American Race®” one of the most highly anticipated events in all of sports. Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will showcase archival photos and video content related to the DAYTONA 500 across its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Rare mementos, such as tickets and race programs from Daytona International Speedway’s archives will also be revealed on NASCAR’s social platforms to showcase the rich history of NASCAR’s season-opening, crown jewel race.
The opening round of the “Ultimate DAYTONA 500 Moment Challenge” will be introduced tonight, Feb. 2 on NASCAR Race Hub at 6 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, with regular updates and exclusive announcements on the Hub when voting blocks end and round winners advance. The “ultimate moment” of the DAYTONA 500 will be revealed Thursday, Feb. 19 on NASCAR RaceDay on FOX Sports 1. Fans who vote in each round will be entered for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2016 DAYTONA 500, including access to the three NASCAR national series race events.
· Round 1 Vote (16 moments) Monday, Feb. 2 – Monday, Feb. 9
· Round 2 Vote (12 moments) Tuesday, Feb. 10 – Thursday, Feb. 12
· Round 3 Vote (8 moments) Friday, Feb. 13 – Monday, Feb. 16
· Final Round Vote: (4 moments) Tuesday, Feb. 17 – Thursday, Feb. 19
The 16 DAYTONA 500 “Ultimate Moments
· 1959 – In a true “photo finish,” Lee Petty was crowned the first DAYTONA 500 champion three days after the race.
· 1960 – Junior Johnson discovers the art of drafting en route to his only DAYTONA 500 win.
· 1964 – Richard Petty, a second-generation driver, wins his first of a record seven DAYTONA 500s.
· 1967 – Mario Andretti wins his only NASCAR race.
· 1972 – AJ Foyt calls his shot, joining Andretti as DAYTONA 500 and Indy 500 winners.
· 1976 – David Pearson limps across the finish line after wrecking with rival Richard Petty coming out of Turn 4 on the last lap of the race.
· 1979 – “There’s a fight between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison! The tempers overflowing, they’re angry, they know they have lost.”
· 1981 – Seven-time premier series champion Richard Petty extends his record with a seventh DAYTONA 500 title
· 1988 – Bobby Allison holds off son Davey Allison for the first father-son, one-two finish in the history of the DAYTONA 500.
· 1989 – Darrell Waltrip wins in his 17th attempt, in the No. 17 car, while his team celebrated in pit box…17.
· 1993 – Dale Jarrett holds off Dale Earnhardt with his father Ned Jarrett narrating the “Dale and Dale show” for CBS.
· 1998 – At long last, Dale Earnhardt wins “The Great American Race” and is greeted by an endless line of congratulations by opposing crew members.
· 2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the race that eluded his father for so long.
· 2007 – Kevin Harvick beats Mark Martin to the finish line by inches in the closest finish in DAYTONA 500 history.
· 2011 – Youngster Trevor Bayne pulls the upset giving the legendary Wood Brothers their fifth DAYTONA 500 win.
· 2013 – Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to win the Coors Light Pole for the DAYTONA 500, as well as the first to lead a lap.
The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will kick off with the 57th running of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. ET from Daytona International Speedway®. “The Great American Race” will be broadcast live on FOX, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com. Purchase tickets for the 2015 DAYTONA 500 via 1-800-PITSHOP or www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.