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Bill France Jr.'s Greatest Accomplishments
Feb. 18, 1979
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The Daytona 500 is aired by CBS Sports, the first time the Great American Race is broadcast flag-to-flag by a major sports network. A blizzard keeps most of the Northeast shuttered in their homes, giving a larger-than-expected audience to a race that had an amazing finish; Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough crash on the last lap while going for the win, handing legend Richard Petty his sixth Daytona 500 victory as Yarborough and Allison engaged in a fistfight once their cars came to rest. Millions were captivated, and the seeds for growth had been planted; NASCAR was on its way to gaining nationwide recognition.
Text: Tom Bowles/
Photo: AP