Top 10 Daytona 500 finishes in pictures

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Top 10 Daytona 500 finishes in pictures
Nick DeGroot
By: Nick DeGroot
Feb 18, 2018, 5:04 PM

Ahead of the 60th running of the Daytona 500, take a look back at some of the most memorable finishes from 'The Great American Race.'

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1. 1979 Daytona 500 - The fight

1. 1979 Daytona 500 - The fight
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Photo by: RacingOne/Getty Images

It was the race that put NASCAR on the map. The '79 500 was the first nationally televised 500-mile race, but beyond that, the east coast was completely snowed in. It was a perfect storm of sorts and the finish turned out to be one of the most iconic in the history of motorsports. The crash, the fight, 'The King' taking the checkered flag; it all made for a day that changed the way the sport was viewed and launched it into the national spotlight for years to come.

2. 1959 Daytona - The very first

2. 1959 Daytona - The very first
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

The first ever Daytona 500 in 1959 ended in a photo finish as Johnny Beauchamp edged Lee Petty at the line for the victory. The only problem was, NASCAR got it wrong. It was actually Petty who was ahead at the stripe, and only three days laters after review of photos and newsreels was the error corrected.

3. 1998 Daytona 500 - 20 years of frustration

3. 1998 Daytona 500 - 20 years of frustration
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

In one of the most emotional moments in NASCAR history, Dale Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 in 1998 after "20 years of trying, 20 years of frustration," as Mike Joy famously said. No driver has ever been as successful as Earnhardt at Daytona, but the 1998 Daytona 500 remains his only win in The Great American Race. After the race, every man from every crew came out to congratulate him in the ultimate sign of respect.

4. 1976 Daytona 500 - Pearson and Petty collide

4. 1976 Daytona 500 - Pearson and Petty collide
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

NASCAR's most famous rivalry came to a head in the 1976 Daytona 500 when David Pearson and Richard Petty collided on the final lap. The legendary drivers spun out of control and both stopped short of the line. As Petty's crew raced out to push the car, Pearson limped what was left of his Wood Brothers machine across the line for the victory.

5. 2007 Daytona 500 - Photo finish and 'The Big One'

5. 2007 Daytona 500 - Photo finish and 'The Big One'
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

Kevin Harvick edged Mark Martin at the line in the thrilling conclusion to the 2007 Daytona 500 as the majority of the field piled into a massive crash behind them. Among them, Harvick's teammate Clint Bowyer, who slid across the finish line on his roof.

6. 1988 Daytona 500 - Bobby and Davey go 1-2

6. 1988 Daytona 500 - Bobby and Davey go 1-2
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

There have been many great family moments in the Daytona 500 such as Ned Jarrett calling his son Dale across the line in 1993, but it was Bobby and son Davey Allison's 1-2 finish in the 1988 Daytona 500 that made our list. For Bobby, it was his third win in the race. Davey would go on to win it himself in 1992 before his tragic passing during the 1993 season.

7. 2016 Daytona 500 - Closest finish

7. 2016 Daytona 500 - Closest finish
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

The closest finish in Daytona 500 history came just two years ago in 2016. In a race controlled by the Toyota drivers, Denny Hamlin made a show of it on the final lap as he squeezed underneath teammate Matt Kenseth in the final corner. He and Martin Truex Jr. then drag-raced to the line, separated by a mere 0.010 at the checkered flag.

8. 2011 Daytona 500 - The upset

8. 2011 Daytona 500 - The upset
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

NASCAR loves an underdog story, and what better race to have one than in the biggest of them all? Trevor Bayne, just one day after his 20th birthday, returned the famed Wood Brothers to Victory Lane. NASCAR's oldest team had won four Daytona 500s before Bayne came along, but none since 1976.

9. 2008 Daytona 500 - Penske prevails

9. 2008 Daytona 500 - Penske prevails
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Photo by: Eric Gilbert

It was a long time coming, but 'The Captain' Roger Penske finally got a Daytona 500 win in 2008 at the hands of Ryan Newman. As if that wasn't special enough for Penske, Kurt Busch made it a 1-2 finish for the legendary race team.

10. 1989 Daytona 500 - Lucky number 17

10. 1989 Daytona 500 - Lucky number 17
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

In his 17th attempt, driving the No. 17, NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip finally won the Daytona 500 in 1989. Possibly more memorable than the actual win was his Victory Lane celebration where he did his own version of the 'Ickey Shuffle.'

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona 500
Location Daytona International Speedway
Author Nick DeGroot
Article type Top List