Announcing Online Auctions! Rare classic and collector cars vetted by our dealer network.
 Click here to bid now.

Watch The Last Four Decade-Opening Daytona 500 Races

By Jeffrey N. Ross Feb 11, 2020
news
Shop Sports
By Jeffrey N. Ross Feb 11, 2020
NASCAR action has changed quite a bit over the last 40 years!

As NASCAR fans prepare to enjoy the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 on February 16, 2020, it's hard to believe that this iconic race now spans eight different decades! A lot sure has changed in the sport since the first Daytona 500 race took place in 1959, and as proof of that, here is a look back at the last four decade-opening races with full race videos.

1980 Daytona 500 

The 1980 Daytona 500 took place on February 17, 1980, and when it concluded, it broke a record for the fastest 500-mile race at the time with an average speed of 177.602 mph. Buddy Baker dominated the race in his Oldsmobile leading almost three quarters of all laps, and by the time he crossed the finish line, there were only two other cars on the lead lap!

1990 Daytona 500

If you were at the 1990 Daytona 500 on February 18, 1990, then you definitely got to enjoy some unique action from start to finish. Preceding and in the early stages of the race, filming for Days Of Thunder took place using the track and actual in-car racing footage, but even more drama unfolded at the end of the race. Dale Earnhardt had just a half a lap standing in between him and his first Daytona 500 win, but debris on the track caused a tire failure resulting in a fifth-place finish for the Intimidator. Derrick Cope and his Chevrolet took advantage of Earnhardt's misfortune marking the first of only two NASCAR Cup wins in Cope's career.

2000 Daytona 500

View in gallery

Entering the new millennium, the 2000 Daytona 500 ran on February 20, 2000, and it represented the largest purse ever for a NASCAR race at the time with the winner taking home more than $2 million. The winner ended up being Dale Jarrett driving a Ford, but the ending was a bit anticlimactic as the race finished under caution following a single-car accident that occurred just before the final lap.

2010 Daytona 500

View in gallery

Ten years ago, the 2010 Daytona 500 occurred on February 14, 2010, and this race had a nail-biting finish. Following a crash on what should have been the final lap, the race was extended by not one but two attempts at a two-lap shootout under green to end the race. Jamie McMurray moved his Chevrolet up from seventh to second after the first attempt and quickly made his way to the front to take the white flag. He outlasted Dale Earnhardt Jr. to secure his first and only Daytona 500 victory.


Related articles

Muscular 1974 Super Duty Trans Am Commands Attention

Some call this the last great Pontiac muscle car! Authentic Trans Am Super Duty cars are not as easy to come by as ...
By Elizabeth Puckett Feb 14, 2020

Scarface’s Cadillac is Available To Buy

This is the ride the notorious Al Capone made famous. Love or loathe him, everyone knows Al Capone or “Scarface.” T...
By Steven Symes Feb 14, 2020

Father And Son Reflect On 1971 Alfa Romeo Spider 1300 Junior

Even through the language barrier, the love of cars translates. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what const...
By Steven Symes Feb 14, 2020

For Valentine's Day, Give the Gift of 760 Horsepower

You’ll be helping a worthwhile cause, too. Donate to the Shelby American Collection and get entered to win a 2020 S...
By Steven Symes Feb 14, 2020
Show Me More

URL copied to clipboard