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Statistical Advance: Analyzing The DAYTONA 500


Daytona 500 – Stats & Tidbits

  • The 2020 edition will be the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 (1959-2020).
  • Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.

Starts

  • A total of 554 different drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 334 have cometed in more than one Daytona 500.
  • Dave Marcis leads the series all-time in Daytona 500 starts with 33; followed by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (32) and Terry Labonte (32).
  • Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Daytona 500 starts with 18 each.

Starts

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the NASCAR Cup Series (all-time) in average starting position (5.6) in the Daytona 500 (18 starts).
  • Chase Elliott leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position (6.0) in the Daytona 500 (four starts).

Top 10 in Average Starting Position for the Daytona 500 (All-Time & Active)

Rank All-Time Drivers Avg Start Starts Rank Active Drivers Avg Start Starts
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr 5.7 18 1 Chase Elliott 6.0 4
2 Cotton Owens 5.8 4 2 Bubba Wallace 10.0 2
3 Chase Elliott 6.0 4 3 Alex Bowman 10.7 3
4 Paul Goldsmith 6.9 7 4 Jimmie Johnson 13.1 18
5 Bobby Isaac 7.3 10 5 Kyle Busch 14.2 14
6 Davey Allison 7.7 7 6 Ryan Blaney 14.4 5
7 Pete Hamilton 7.8 4 7 Austin Dillon 14.9 7
8 Dale Earnhardt 8.6 23 8 Joey Logano 15.0 11
9 Joe Weatherly 9.2 5 9 Kurt Busch 15.4 18
10 Tony Stewart 9.4 17 10 Kevin Harvick 15.7 18

Poles

Active Daytona 500 Pole Winners
Rank Active Pole Winners D500 Poles
1 Chase Elliott 2
2 Jimmie Johnson 2
3 Alex Bowman 1
4 Austin Dillon 1
5 Martin Truex Jr 1
6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1
7 William Byron 1

  • A total of 43 different drivers have won a pole for the Daytona 500; seven of the 43 drivers are active this weekend.
  • Bill Elliott, Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker lead the series in Daytona 500 poles with four each.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr won the pole for 2020 Daytona 500 drving for JTG Daugherty Racing.
  • A total of 10 drivers have posted multiple poles for the Daytona 500; Jimmie Johnson (two) and Chase Elliott (two) are the only active drivers with more than one Daytona 500 pole.
  • Five drivers have won consecutive Daytona 500 poles – Fireball Roberts (1961-1963), Buddy Baker (1979-1980), Bill Elliott (1985, 1986, 1987), Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017).

Poles

  • Chase Elliott became the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner at the age of 20 years, 2 months, 17 days with his pole in 2016.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has won 13 Daytona 500 poles, the series most: Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008), Mark Martin (2010), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011), Chase Elliott (2016, 2017), Alex Bowman (2018), William Byron (2019).
  • Hendrick Motorsports has won a record five Daytona 500 poles in a row – (2015-2019).
  • Seven different manufacturers have won the pole for the Daytona 500, led by Chevrolet with 28; followed by Ford (12), Pontiac (eight), Mercury (five), Dodge (four), Oldsmobile (three), Plymouth (two).

Wins

Active Daytona 500 Winners
Rank Race Winners Wins
1 Denny Hamlin 2
2 Jimmie Johnson 2
3 Austin Dillon 1
4 Joey Logano 1
5 Kevin Harvick 1
6 Kurt Busch 1
7 Ryan Newman 1

  • A total of 39 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won a Daytona 500, and seven of the 39 are active this weekend.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in Daytona 500 victories with seven – (1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981).
  • Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by two feet.
  • Denny Hamlin won the most recent (2019) Daytona 500; the second of his career.
  • Youngest Daytona 500 winner: Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 – 20 years, 0 months, 1 days).
  • Oldest Daytona 500 winner: Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 – 50 years, 2 months, 11 days).
  • Seven drivers posted their career-first NASCAR Cup Series victory with a win in the Daytona 500; the most recent to accomplish the feat was Trevor Bayne in 2011.

Drivers Seasons
Tiny Lund 1963
Mario Andretti 1967
Pete Hamilton 1970
Derrike Cope 1990
Sterling Marlin 1994
Michael Waltrip 2001
Trevor Bayne 2011

Wins

  • Three other drivers posted their career-first victory in (points-paying) qualifying races at Daytona: Johnny Rutherford (1963), Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966).
  • Lee Petty, who won the inaugural Daytona 500, and Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, are the only two drivers to win the Daytona 500 in their first appearance.
  • A total of 12 drivers have won multiple Daytona 500s, led by Richard Petty with seven victories.

The 12 Drivers With Multiple Daytona 500 Wins
No. of Wins Drivers Seasons
7 Richard Petty 1964 1966 1971 1973 1974 1979 1981
4 Cale Yarborough 1968 1977 1983 1984
3 Bobby Allison 1978 1982 1988
3 Dale Jarrett 1993 1996 2000
3 Jeff Gordon 1997 1999 2005
2 Bill Elliott 1985 1987
2 Sterling Marlin 1994 1995
2 Michael Waltrip 2001 2003
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2004 2014
2 Jimmie Johnson 2006 2013
2 Matt Kenseth 2009 2012
2 Denny Hamlin 2016 2019

  • A driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s three times – Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).

  • The Daytona 500 has been won from the Busch Pole position nine times; a winning percentage of 14.7%.

Season Driver
1962 Fireball Roberts
1966 Richard Petty
1968 Cale Yarborough
1980 Buddy Baker
1984 Cale Yarborough
1985 Bill Elliott
1987 Bill Elliott
1999 Jeff Gordon
2000 Dale Jarrett

  • NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill Elliott (1985, 1987) and Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) are the only two drivers to accomplish the feat more than once.

Wins

  • The pole position is the most proficient starting position in the Daytona 500 field, producing more winners (nine) than any other position.
  • 16 of the 61 Daytona 500s (26.23%) have been won from the front row; nine from the pole position and seven from the second-place position
  • Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.

Daytona 500 Wins By Starting Positions

Starting Position Wins Win % Starting Position Wins Win %
1 9 14.75% 11 1 1.64%
2 7 11.48% 12 3 4.92%
3 3 4.92% 13 2 3.28%
4 7 11.48% 14 1 1.64%
5 2 3.28% 15 2 3.28%
6 2 3.28% 19 3 4.92%
7 5 8.20% 32 2 3.28%
8 3 4.92% 33 1 1.64%
9 5 8.20% 34 1 1.64%
10 1 1.64% 39 1 1.64%
Additional Starting Position Stats
Wins From The Pole 9 14.75%
Wins From The Front Row 16 26.23%
Wins From The Top Five 28 45.90%
Wins From The Top 10 44 72.13%
Wins From The Top 15 53 86.89%
Wins From Outside The Top 20 5 8.20%

  • Five reigning NASCAR Cup Series champions have gone on to win the Daytona 500 the season after winning the championship: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).
  • Five Daytona 500 winners have won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season; Richard Petty pulled it off four times:

Drivers Seasons
Richard Petty 1964 1971 1974 1979
Jimmie Johnson 2006 2013
Lee Petty 1959
Cale Yarborough 1977
Jeff Gordon 1997

  • A driver has swept both the Daytona 500 and the July race only five times at Daytona International Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), LeeRoy Yarborough (1969), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Fireball Roberts (1962).
  • Drivers who have won the Busch Clash and the Daytona 500 in the same season:

Driver – (Year)

    • Bobby Allison (1982)
    • Bill Elliott (1987)
    • Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
    • Jeff Gordon (1997)
    • Denny Hamlin (2016)

  • 18 different drivers have won both the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600:

Winner Daytona 500s Coca-Cola 600s
1 Richard Petty 7 2
2 Bobby Allison 3 3
3 Dale Jarrett 3 1
4 Jeff Gordon 3 3
5 Jimmie Johnson 2 4
6 Matt Kenseth 2 1
7 Darrell Waltrip 1 5
8 Austin Dillon 1 1
9 Benny Parsons 1 1
10 Buddy Baker 1 3
11 Dale Earnhardt 1 3
12 Davey Allison 1 1
13 David Pearson 1 3
14 Fred Lorenzen 1 2
15 Kevin Harvick 1 2
16 Kurt Busch 1 1
17 LeeRoy Yarbrough 1 1
18 Marvin Panch 1 1

  • Eight different drivers have won both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis:

Winners Daytona 500s Brickyard 400s
Dale Jarrett 3 2
Jeff Gordon 3 5
Bill Elliott 2 1
Jimmie Johnson 2 4
Dale Earnhardt 1 1
Jamie McMurray 1 1
Kevin Harvick 1 2
Ryan Newman 1 1

  • Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:

Car Number – Drivers – (Years)

    • No. 43 – Richard Petty (1964, ’66, ’71, ’73, ’74, ’79, ’81)
    • No. 21 – Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
    • No. 28 – Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992)
    • No. 4 – Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
    • No. 15 – Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
    • No. 17 – Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
    • No. 88 – Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014)
    • No. 24 – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
    • No. 11 – Mario Andretti (1967), Cale Yarborough (1977), Denny Hamlin (2016, 2019)

  • Nine different manufacturers have won the Daytona 500, led by Chevrolet with 24 victories; followed by Ford (15), Dodge (four), Plymouth (four), Buick (three), Mercury (three), Oldsmobile (three), Pontiac (three) and Toyota (two).
  • Drivers who have won the Daytona 500 in more than one car manufacturer:

Driver – Manufacturer (Number of wins in that manufacturer)

    • Richard Petty – Plymouth (3), Dodge (2), Oldsmobile (1) and Buick (1)
    • Cale Yarborough – Chevrolet (2), Mercury (1) and Pontiac (1)
    • Bobby Allison – Buick (2) and Ford (1)
    • Dale Jarrett – Ford (2) and Chevrolet (1)

  • The driver with the all-time most Daytona 500 starts without a victory is Dave Marcis with 33 races; Martin Truex Jr. (15) leads all active drivers with the most Daytona 500 starts without a win.
  • Eight drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker (18), Kurt Busch (16), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin (12) and Denny Hamlin (11).

Additional Finishing Positions

  • Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500 with five.
  • Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in the series in runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500 with three.
  • Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes in the Daytona 500 with 12 top fives in his 23 Daytona 500 starts.

Additional Finishing Positions

  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in Daytona 500 top-five finishes with seven (Johnson is tied with NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen for ninth most-all-time).
  • Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty each posted a series-leading 16 top 10s in the Daytona 500.
  • Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch lead all active drivers in Daytona 500 top-10 finishes with eight each.
  • Lee Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing positon with a 2.5 in two Daytona 500 appearances.
  • Denny Hamlin (13.2) has the best average finish among active drivers with more than one start; he has made 15 appearances in the Daytona 500

Female Competitors

  • Danica Patrick on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2013 became the first female in NASCAR Cup Series history to win a pole for the Daytona 500 posting a speed of 196.434 mph.
  • Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female NASCAR premier series driver, starting ninth twice in 1977 – at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.
  • In 2012, Danica Patrick became the third female driver to compete in a Daytona 500 joining Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson. Below are the previous female driver performances in the Daytona 500.

Race Season Driver Start Finish
Daytona 500 1977 Janet Guthrie 39 12
Daytona 500 1980 Janet Guthrie 18 11
Daytona 500 2002 Shawna Robinson 36 24
Daytona 500 2012 Danica Patrick 29 38
Daytona 500 2013 Danica Patrick 1 8
Daytona 500 2014 Danica Patrick 27 40
Daytona 500 2015 Danica Patrick 20 21
Daytona 500 2016 Danica Patrick 16 35
Daytona 500 2017 Danica Patrick 12 33
Daytona 500 2018 Danica Patrick 28 35

Track / Daytona 500 Specific Stats

  • Denny Hamlin’s001-second margin of victory over Martin Truex Jr. in the 2016 Daytona 500 is the closest Daytona 500 finish and tied with Atlanta (3/12/2000) and Phoenix (3/13/2016) as the seventh closest MOV since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.
  • Kevin Harvick’s020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 12th-closest overall since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, and the second closest in Daytona 500 history.
  • Top five closest margins of victory in the Daytona 500:

Margin of Victory Winner Runner-Up Date
0.001 Denny Hamlin Martin Truex Jr Sunday, February 21, 2016
0.020 Kevin Harvick Mark Martin Sunday, February 18, 2007
0.092 Ryan Newman Kurt Busch Sunday, February 17, 2008
0.118 Trevor Bayne Carl Edwards Sunday, February 20, 2011
0.119 Jamie McMurray Dale Earnhardt Jr Sunday, February 14, 2010

  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has led the most laps in a single Daytona 500; leading 184 laps in the 1964 Daytona 500.
  • Among active drivers, Ryan Blaney has led the most laps in a single Daytona 500, when he led 118 laps in the 2018 Daytona 500.
  • Kurt Busch (2017) and Austin Dillon (2018) have led the fewest laps in the Daytona 500 and won – both led just the final lap on their way to winning the Daytona 500.
  • The 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time lead changes with 74; which is 14 more than the race with the second-most lead changes – the 1974 Daytona 500 with 60 lead changes.
  • The 1964 Daytona 500 won by Richard Petty had the fewest lead changes with a mere six.
  • 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time leaders with 22.
  • 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time cautions with 16.
  • 1968 and 2011 Daytona 500s had the most all-time Caution Laps with 60 laps each.
  • The Daytona 500 has finished under NASCAR Overtime conditions nine times: 2019, 2018, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

Track / Daytona 500 Specific Stats

  • Due to the overtime rules in NASCAR, the longest Daytona 500 ever run was the 2010 and 2011 Daytona 500 races – both went 208 laps/520 miles – eight laps and 20 miles more than the scheduled distance
  • The largest field to compete in the Daytona 500 was 68 cars in the 1960 race.

Additional Stats From Daytona International Speedway

History

  • Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
  • The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
  • Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
  • Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been scheduled for under the lights ever since.
  • The track underwent a repave in 2010.
  • 2016 marked the next phase in the existence of Daytona International Speedway as the DAYTONA Rising project was completed, ushering in the first ‘motorsports stadium,’ a 400-million-dollar project.

Notebook

  • There have been 145 NASCAR Cup Series races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 61 have been 500 miles, 57 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
  • Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona in a Pontiac with a speed of 140.121 mph.
  • Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
  • Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
  • A total of 62 different drivers have posted poles at Daytona in the NASCAR Cup Series.
  • A total of six active drivers have won their first career pole at Daytona – Chase Elliott (2016), Austin Dillon (2014), Paul Menard (2008), Kevin Harvick (2002), Jimmie Johnson (2002) and William Byron (2019).
  • Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona – (D500 = 4; July Race = 8).
  • Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott lead all active drivers with two poles each at Daytona.
  • A total of 65 different drivers have won at Daytona International Speedway.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with 10 points-paying victories at Daytona, leads the series.
  • The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other organization.
  • 18 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole; most recent Dale Earnhardt Jr. (July, 2015).

NASCAR in Florida

  • There have been 399 NASCAR national series races among 10 tracks held in the state of Florida.

Tracks in Florida
Track Name City Cup Xfinity Gander Truck Total Races First Year
Daytona International Speedway Daytona Beach 145 56 20 291 1959
Homestead-Miami Speedway Homestead 21 25 24 76 1995
Daytona Beach & Road Course Daytona Beach 10 0 0 10 1949
Palm Beach Speedway W. Palm Beach 7 0 0 7 1952
Speedway Park Jacksonville 6 0 0 6 1951
Volusia County Speedway Barberville 0 4 0 4 1989
Walt Disney World Speedway Orlando 0 0 2 2 1997
Five Flags Speedway Pensacola 1 0 0 1 1953
Golden Gate Speedway Tampa 1 0 0 1 1963
Titusville-Cocoa Speedway Titusville 1 0 0 1 1957
TOTALS 192 85 46 399

NASCAR Drivers From Florida

  • A total of 183 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series have their home state recorded as Florida.
  • There have been 12 race winners with their home state recorded as Florida in NASCAR’s three national series; totaling 97 victories among them:

Drivers From Florida
Driver Cup Xfinity Gander Truck Combined
Fireball Roberts 33 0 0 33
LeeRoy Yarbrough 14 0 0 14
Marshall Teague 7 0 0 7
Joe Nemechek 4 16 0 20
Aric Almirola 2 3 2 7
Bobby Johns 2 0 0 2
David Reutimann 2 1 1 4
Shorty Rollins 1 0 0 1
Ross Chastain 0 2 3 5
Rick Wilson 0 2 0 2
Joey Coulter 0 0 1 1
Ben Kennedy 0 0 1 1
TOTALS 65 24 8 97

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