NASCAR Cup Series: 2024 Daytona 500 snaps a 784-race streak

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 was the first race without Kevin Harvick in nearly 22 years.
Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR
Daytona 500, Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season got underway one day later than expected due to rain on Sunday, but the full 200-lap distance of the 66th annual Daytona 500 at the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona International Speedway oval was able to be run on Monday afternoon and evening.

Kevin Harvick was on hand at the Daytona Beach, Florida venue, but he was not in a race car after retiring from his professional driving career following the 2023 season. The 2007 Daytona 500 winner and 2014 Cup Series champion spent the race in the Fox broadcast booth with Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer after taking on a new role for the 2024 season.

With Harvick in the booth and Josh Berry behind the wheel of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing car that he had driven for the final 10 years of his career following his move from Richard Childress Racing, the Daytona 500 brought an end to the third longest streak of all-time.

Daytona 500 snaps 784-race streak

Up until the Daytona 500, Harvick had competed in every single Cup Series going back to the April 2002 race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Had he not been suspended for the prior weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway for causing a collision with Coy Gibbs in the Truck Series race the day prior, he would have competed in every single race on the schedule since his career began in 2001. Even crazier is the fact that that suspension was a first for NASCAR since 1978.

Following the death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500, Harvick made his first career Cup Series start at Rockingham Speedway in February 2001. From that race until the end of his career last November, he missed only that one event.

His 784-race streak is the third longest all-time, trailing only Jeff Gordon's 797 races in a row from 1992 to 2015 and Ricky Rudd's 788 races in a row from 1981 to 2005. He finished his career with 826 starts, so had it not been for the aforementioned suspension, he would hold the record with 827 in a row.

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Harvick's 60 career victories rank 10th on the all-time list. He earned 23 of those wins with Richard Childress Racing from 2001 to 2013 and 37 with Stewart-Haas Racing from 2014 to 2023. He won a career-high nine races in 2020.