The Daytona 500 is just six days away. Are you ready? To get you in the mood, here are some tidbits from the brand-new book The Daytona 500: The Thrill and Thunder of the Great American Race by Nancy Roe Pimm. (Nancy knows more than a thing or two about this race; her husband, Ed Pimm, drove in the Daytona 500 twice.)
-The early races in Daytona Beach, Florida, took place right on the beach. Cars would sometimes kick up mighty clouds of sand while racing!
-Construction on the Daytona Beach International Speedway began in November 1957, and the first Daytona 500 was held at the track on February 22, 1959.
-In 1977 Janet Guthrie was the first woman to earn a starting spot in the Daytona 500. She finished 12th and was named the top rookie of the race.
-The 1979 Daytona 500 was the first race ever to have start-to-finish coverage on national television.
-The Daytona 500 became known as the Great American Race in 1982. Bobby Allison won that year, and race announcer Ken Squier dubbed it the Great American Race.
In addition to all kinds of fascinating facts, this book also includes a piece from John Andretti with his firsthand account of driving in the Daytona 500. What does he have to say about it? You’ll have to get a copy of the book and see for yourself!