DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Sept. 7, 2007) -- On Friday at the Richmond International Raceway infield media center, a select group of winning Daytona 500 owners gathered to look back on "The Great American Race" as the 50th running approaches on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008.
The four owners included Richard Petty, representing Petty Enterprises (nine-time DAYTONA 500 winners), Leonard Wood, representing Wood Brothers Racing (four-time Daytona 500 winners), Larry McClure, three-time Daytona 500 winner and Richard Childress, two-time Daytona 500 winners.
Combined, the four owners have accrued nearly 20 victories in NASCAR's most prestigious race.
"Sitting on this stage with these three gentlemen makes me feel good," said Larry McClure, who won the Daytona 500 with Ernie Irvan and captured back-to-back wins with Sterling Marlin.
Among the topics discussed by the owners included Tiny Lund's upset win with the Wood Brothers in 1963, A.J. Foyt's dominating 1972 win with the Wood Brothers, Dale Earnhardt's emotional 1998 victory and the impact of the Car of Tomorrow on the 50th running of the Daytona 500.
"The 1998 win with Dale was special because we won Daytona 499 about four times and could never seem to put it together," said Childress. "To watch (Dale's) look and hear his voice. Going into that day, we knew we had a really good shot like so many other times and fortune just smiled on us that day. To see Dale's career with the Daytona 500 by it was very special and to be part of it was very special. It's a moment that I'll never forget."
Said Petty: "If you win Daytona, you're a winner for the rest of the year, whether or not you show up the rest of the year. That was the significance of Daytona. I was fortunate as Daytona was growing up, and as NASCAR was growing up, Richard Petty was growing up. So we all grew up together. It was always a big deal for me but it's a big deal for anybody. At Daytona, you start out a winner and you are a winner all year long."
Tickets for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 are available online at http://www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.