As the 75th DAYTONA 200 By Victory approaches, we are sharing exclusive images from the ISC Archives and Research Center, highlighting the seven decades of motorcycle action, from the hard-packed sands of the Daytona Beach Road Course to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.
The first DAYTONA 200 By Victory was won in 1937 by Californian Ed Kretz, riding an Indian motorcycle with an average speed of just over 73 miles per hour. Although the beach was hard and fast, riders found the rough, sandy turns to be extremely demanding, requiring careful attention during such a marathon race.
Image: Ed Kretz was one of the top riders of the 1930s and 1940s, but his best known known victory was for winning the first DAYTONA 200 By Victory in 1937 on the Daytona Beach-Road Course. For the 50th running of the Daytona 200 By Victory, Kretz took a lap around the Daytona International Speedway on the Indian he won the race with in 1937.
In 1941, due in large part to the implementation of WWII rationing of tires, fuel, metal, and engine components, the annual race temporarily discontinued from 1942-46. However, it relaunched in 1947 to much fanfare.
In the 1948 DAYTONA 200 By Victory, the first year the beach course was moved from 3.2 miles to 4.1 miles, Floyd Emde became the first rider to go flag-to-flag and captured the win by just 12 seconds. He remains the last rider to win the DAYTONA 200 By Victory on an Indian Motorcycle.
Image: Riders in action during the DAYTONA 200 By Victory on the Daytona Beach-Road Course
Under the guidance of Bill France Sr. the Daytona 200 By Victory grew greatly in importance and attendance throughout the 1950s.
By the mid-1950s, it was becoming obvious that continuing to race on the beach course would be very difficult with the rapid growth of the Daytona Beach area making it increasingly complicated to run the race. In 1957, construction began on Daytona International Speedway.
Image: March 1953: Paul Goldsmith in victory lane at the Daytona Beach-Road Course following his win in the DAYTONA 200 By Victory on a Harley-Davidson.
With the opening of Daytona International Speedway in 1959, it was long before bikes followed stock cars to the high banks of the superspeedway, moving permanently in 1961. That year Roger Reiman captured the first of his three DAYTONA 200 By Victory wins on a Harley-Davidson 750. Throughout the decade the combination of Reiman and Harley-Davidson were unstoppable at DAYTONA.
The 1969 event marked the end of an era. After having a DAYTONA 200 By Victory winner in 13 of 15 years, with the streak starting in 1953, Harley-Davidson recorded its final DAYTONA 200 By Victory win in 1969.
Image: Roger Reiman of Kewanee, Illinois, on his way to winning the first DAYTONA 200 By Victory to be held at Daytona International Speedway. Reiman rode a Harley-Davidson to the victory.
By the early 1970s, the Daytona 200 By Victory attracted the largest crowds of any AMA race and the event took on international prominence.
Dick Mann won the DAYTONA 200 By Victory in 1970 and 1971, with his first win coming atop a Honda 750, the first victory for a Japanese bike in the event.
Don Emde won the event in 1972, joining his father Floyd as they became the first and only father-son duo to win the prestigious race. In fact, his 1972 win was full of first as he became the first win for a two-cycle engine, which was also the smallest engine to win.
Image: Riders prepare for the start of the 1970 DAYTONA 200 By Victory motorcycle race at Daytona International Speedway. Dick Mann came home with the victory.
Yamaha won for a record 13th consecutive time in 1984 as Kenny Roberts became the fourth rider to win three DAYTONA 200 By Victory races.
SuperBikes were used for the first time in 1985, instead of the traditional Formula One bikes. This didn’t stop the winning ways of the Japanese manufacturers as Honda and Yamaha combined to win nine times in the decade.
Image: For the first time in 13 years, a motorcycle nameplate other than a Yamaha found victory in the DAYTONA 200 By Victory at Daytona International Speedway, as Freddie Spencer takes the checkered flag aboard a Honda. It was the first win for Honda in the DAYTONA 200 By Victory since Dick Mann did so in 1970.
This decade will be remembered for the emergence and dominance of “Mr. Daytona” Scott Russell. In the 1990s, the brash, hard-riding Russell practically owned America’s most prestigious motorcycle race, taking victories at Daytona International Speedway in 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998 – often winning in dominating fashion.
Image: Scott Russell waves the checkered flag during a victory lap after one of his five wins in the DAYTONA 200 By Victory motorcycle race at Daytona International Speedway. Russell rode a Kawaski to victory in the event in 1992, 1994 and 1995, and a Yamaha to the win in 1997 and 1998. Russell ran the DAYTONA 200 By Victory 13 times between 1988 and 2001, and finished either first or second each year between 1992 and 1998.
The 2000s saw the ageless Miguel Duhamel win his fourth and fifth DAYTONA 200 By Victory, tying the seemingly unbreakable record set by Scott Russell just a decade earlier. Duhamel’s achievements are even more impressive when considering that his fifth win came on the new-for-2005 class, Formula Xtreme, a class on which he had yet to win the race.
The decade experienced great changes in bikes classes as the race moved from Superbikes to Formula Xremes to Daytona SportBikes, by the end of the decade.
Image: Miguel Duhamel takes the traditional victory lap with the checkered flag after winning his fifth career DAYTONA 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
Since the beginning of this decade, the race has seen a large degree of parity with five different winners in six races.
Josh Herrin has been particularly consistent with three top five finishes, including his win in the 2010 DAYTONA 200 By Victory.
The race proved its eternal nature as it survived an overhaul in 2015, with ASRA (American Sportbike Racing Association) serving as the new sanctioning body.
The rest of the decade should add to the already legendary legacy of the race, as the 2016 DAYTONA 200 By Victory will be the first to be run at the new Daytona International Speedway.
Image: Josh Herrin celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane after winning the 2010 DAYTONA 200 By Victory.
ISC Archives and Research Center
While here for Bike Week, visit the ISC Archives and Research Center to see exclusive images, race programs, trophies and other memorabilia from the 75-year history of the DAYTONA 200 By Victory.
Fans may visit the ISC Archives and Research Center as part of a Daytona International Speedway “VIP Tour” that provides race fans an opportunity for an intimate, exclusive look behind-the-scenes at the “World Center of Racing.”
Admission to the VIP Tour is $52 per person and advanced reservations are encouraged as availability is limited. Reservations can be made in person at the Daytona International Speedway Ticket Office or by calling 877-306-7223.