DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 53rd running of the Daytona 500, the first on the brand-new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway, featured a track-record 74 lead changes and 22 leaders.
The lead-change record was especially noteworthy, considering the previous mark lasted more than three decades. The prior lead change mark was 60, set in the 1974 Daytona 500.
For the second consecutive year, the record for different leaders fell. In last year’s 500, 21 different drivers led.
Additionally, there were 16 cautions, a track record. The 60 caution laps tied a record at Daytona.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 continued a record-breaking Speedweeks trend. Last Saturday night, the Budweiser Shootout featured a record-breaking 28 lead changes.
Records also were broken in each of Thursday’s two Gatorade Duel races. The first Duel race had a record 20 lead changes. That mark was immediately broken in the second Duel event, which had 22 lead changes.
Trevor Bayne, who became the youngest Daytona 500 winner (20 years, one day), led the final six laps. He gave the Wood Brothers organization its fifth Daytona 500 win. The Woods’ last victory came in 1976 with NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson beating Richard Petty in a legendary last-lap battle. Bayne became the seventh driver to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Daytona 500.