Today’s Story Lines:
1. History of the Firecracker 250/400/Pepsi400/Coke Zero 400:
2. Interesting Stats: www.nascar.com
3. Kylie rolls up another victory: www.nascar.com
The “second” event at The Daytona International Speedway was originally scheduled and ran as a USAC open-wheel event. It was ran in April of 1959 and was a crashed filled event. After the race USAC permanently cancelled the event, NASCAR quickly stepped in to take that date!
On July 4th, 1959 NASCAR launched the second stock car event staged at the newly finished Daytona International Speedway. Originally staged as a 100 lap/250 mile race called “The Firecracker 250”. The first winner was none other than Glen “Fireball” Roberts! In 1963 the race was lengthened from 100 laps/250 miles, to 160 laps/400 miles. From its inception until 1996 the race started at 10-11 am to combat the summer heat and humidity in Daytona! In 1997 ISC installed lights and ran “The Pepsi 400” at night. It was the largest “lights” project ever accompolished, and added a new twist to the way NASCAR ran its races!!
Back in July of 1984, there was a set of events that happened simultaneously. The first sitting President, Ronald W. Reagan, gave the commamd to start engines from Air Force One on his way to see the Pepsi 400. As it turned out that day, the President of the United States awarded “The King”, Richard Petty the trophy for the victory—- his 200th and last victory of his career!!!
Lastly, I would like to give you some interesting statistics for the July race at Daytona:
First winner/last winner:
1959 Glen “Fireball” Roberts Pontiac $7,050.00 140.581 mph
2007 Jamie McMurray Ford $302,500.00 138.983 mph
Most Wins in July at Daytona:
First Time Winners:
The race this evening was fairly tame until about 50 laps to go. Then the hands on the steering wheel started to get a little twitchy, “the get loud pedal” started to get a little itchy, the monkey got tight, and the voices started to unite in the pale moonlight!!!! The wreckin’ commenced!!!!!
Throughout the entire race there was one constant, Dale Jr. ran in the top three. It appeared that he was the car to beat this evening. But there was a Las Vegas Weasel laying low!! Early in the race ol Kylie was a player, but got just about turned backwards and faded to the very back of the line, all the way to 37th place! He slowly but steadily manipulated his way through the pack and emerged the leader with about 10 laps to go. Then another caution that led to a two lap shootout, the dreaded Green/White/Checkered!!! As the White flag flew, one lap to go, there was a big crash just behind the leaders that ended the race. But there was one plroblem, there were five rows of two, side-by side racing at that time. Now NASCAR must go to the video and decide who was leading at the precise time that the Caution flag was thrown. After some review by the NASCAR Officials, it was determined that the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota was slightly ahead of the #99 Ford Fusion driven by Carl Edwards.
This was Kyle Busch’s sixth Sprint Cup victory of the season. Joe Gibbs Racing in general, and Kyle Busch specifically, has thoroughly dominated NASCAR racing this season!! Does any team have something for Joe Gibbs Racing???