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Video: First Daytona 500 – 1959

Submitted by on February 27, 2012

While 2012 might be aiming for a Monday start to the classic race for the first time in it’s history, lets look back at the very first Daytona 500 run in 1959. 

The first running of the Daytona 500 took place on February 22, 1959 with Lee Petty edging out Johnny Beauchamp in a dramatic photo finish. Beauchamp was initially declared the winner and it took NASCAR 3 days to determine that Petty had won. There were no caution flags during the race and it was the only Daytona 500 that featured convertibles (20 of the 59 starters ran convertibles). The race lasted 3:41:22 with an average speed of 135.521 mph.

Time of race: 3:41:22
Average Speed: 135.521 mph
Pole Speed: 140.121 mph
Cautions: none
Margin of Victory: 2 feet
Attendance: 41,921
Purse: $19,050

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