The first Daytona 500 is run in front of more than 41,000 fans at the new
2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. The race ends in a photo finish, and
NASCAR takes 61 hours before finally ruling that Lee Petty had nosed out Johnny
NASCAR is televised nationally for the first time when CBS Sports Spectacular
broadcasts the Grand National Pole Position races from Daytona.
Richard Petty (left) wins at Charlotte, the first of his record 200 NASCAR
Wendell Scott (above) becomes the only African-American to win a Cup race, at
In response to sponsor Holly Farms' request that he present a "more
professional appearance," Curtis Turner races in a three-piece suit and tie
at Columbia, S.C., and places third.
David Pearson takes the checkered flag in Macon, Ga., just weeks after federal
agents raided Middle Georgia Raceway and found an intricate cave-and-tunnel
system that led to a fully operational still for brewing moonshine, under the
After 25 years in charge, Bill France Sr., the founder of NASCAR, steps down as
president, making way for his son, Bill Jr.
After a thrilling duel and last-lap crash with Petty, Pearson wins the Daytona
500 by rolling his car across the finish line at 10 mph.
Janet Guthrie (left) becomes the first woman to qualify for the Daytona 500;
she goes on to place 12th.
With her husband busy moderating the Camp David summit, First Lady Rosalynn
Carter (right) hosts a NASCAR party at the White House. The guest list includes
Pearson, Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Benny Parsons.