Checkered Countdown: Top-Five Daytona Finishes

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No.5 Three-wide photo finish during the first ever Daytona 500 (1959).

In 1959 the history of NASCAR took a new direction: after finishing the construction of the speedway, Bill France organized the first race on the newly born Daytona International Speedway. With more than 40.000 fans attending, the event resulted in a legendary three-wide photo finish between Lee Petty, Johnny Beauchamp and Joe Weatherly. Beauchamp was initially declared the winner, but after almost three days a picture which showed that Lee Petty had crossed the finish line first changed the officials’ mind and the victory was assigned to the patriarch of the Petty family. Quite a peculiar way to begin the “World Center of Racing” history for sure.