Six decades of DAYTONA 500 history-making will be honored this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with displays involving some of the most memorable stock cars driven to victory in “The Great American Race.”
In line with this year’s milestone 60th annual DAYTONA 500 set for Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3:05 p.m. ET (TV – FOX, FOX Deportes; Radio – MRN, SiriusXM), the championship-winning cars collectively represent some of the race’s defining results. A total of seven cars have been assembled for display on Saturday and Sunday. Six will be displayed in the UNOH Fanzone in the speedway infield, at the FPL Solar Patio. One car – the No. 11 FedEx Toyota driven to victory in 2016 by Denny Hamlin – will be shown at the Toyota Injector area inside the stadium.
“The DAYTONA 500 is all about the moments and the memories that make history – for both competitors and fans,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “These are cars that have helped to define the DAYTONA 500 over the course of 60 years, driven to victory by some of NASCAR’s iconic stars. It’s a fantastic collection people are really going to enjoy.”
2017 – No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion driven by Kurt Busch: Busch, the 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, ended years of frustration by finally winning the DAYTONA 500. He had previously finished second three times. The No. 41, fielded by car owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart, started eighth in the field. It will be on display on pit road for Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 pre-race ceremonies after spending the last year in the speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building.
2016 – No. 11 FedEx Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin: Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 started 11th in 2016, with Hamlin beating Martin Truex Jr. by .010 seconds, the closest margin of victory in DAYTONA 500 history. Hamlin himself has provided this championship machine from his personal collection.
2014 – No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Earnhardt’s second DAYTONA 500 victory was the highlight of his stint driving for car owner Rick Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports. It came 10 years after his first triumph in “The Great American Race.” The No. 88 started ninth in the field. This is one of three former Hendrick Motorsports cars loaned by the organization for the display.
1997 – No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Jeff Gordon: Fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, the No. 24 was crewed by a group that became known as the “Rainbow Warriors,” because of the car’s red, blue and yellow paint scheme that would make longtime team sponsor DuPont a NASCAR icon in its own right. Gordon got the first of his three DAYTONA 500 championships in 1997 and went on to win the Monster Energy Series title for the second time.
1989 – No. 17 Tide Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Darrell Waltrip: During the 1980s, corporate America went all in when it came to NASCAR, with a seemingly endless array of sponsors signing on to support the cars in the Monster Energy Series. As a result, the decade spawned the term “Rolling Billboards” due to inventive paint schemes that indelibly linked cars to sponsors. Darrell Waltrip drove one of those cars, the No. 17 of Hendrick Motorsports called the “Tide Machine” because it was painted to resemble a box of Tide detergent on four wheels – travelling at nearly 200 mph. The Tide Machine carried Waltrip to his only DAYTONA 500 championship in 1989.
1971 – No. 43 Southern Chrysler-Plymouth Road Runner driven by Richard Petty: Driven by “The King,” this “Petty Blue” machine ran with factory support from Chrysler. The paint scheme was simple, as the landmark Petty sponsor relationship with STP was still a year away. This race was a preview of what was to come. Petty won the DAYTONA 500 for a third time and then went on to a third series championship. This car was provided by the Petty Museum.
1968 – No. 21 60 Minute Cleaners Mercury Cyclone driven by Cale Yarborough: Yarborough drove the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 to the first of his four DAYTONA 500 victories in 1968, a total second only to Richard Petty’s seven victories. Yarborough qualified the Cyclone on the pole at a then-record speed of 189.222 mph. This car was loaned by a private individual; it is a replica of the original Cyclone and has been validated by the Wood Brothers.
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