2008 Daytona 500

2008 Daytona 500

won the race.

A number of firsts

The race was the first Daytona 500 run using NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow, which was introduced in 2007 and became standard as of 2008. Additionally, this was the first official race under the new Sprint Cup banner as the telecommunications giant replaces NEXTEL as the series sponsor after their 2005 merger.

Television and radio coverage

The race was televised on FOX in the USA, with the telecast scheduled beginning at 2 p.m. EST. 1960 Daytona 500 winner Junior Johnson drove the pace car and the green flag was waved the honorary starter, seven-time race winner Richard Petty around 3:30 p.m. Radio coverage was be handled by MRN Radio and started at about 2:30 EST. Trisha Yearwood performed the national anthem, followed by a flyover from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying team. As many as 24 past champions of this race served as Grand Marshals for this historic event to deliver the command to start the engines.

Celebrity tickets for charity

To commemorate the golden running of "The Great American Race", Daytona International Speedway held a “Celebrity Tickets for Charity” competition. Those designs were whittled on daytona500.com by internet users down to the top ten choices. Celebrities including Daytona 500 winners Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Michael Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson and Mario Andretti, sitcom stars Jason Lee and Leah Remini, TV hosts Kelly Ripa "(Live with Regis and Kelly)", Jeff Foxworthy "(Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?)" and Carson Daly "(Last Call with Carson Daly)", NASCAR announcers Mike Joy from FOX and Dr. Jerry Punch from ESPN, wrestler Goldberg and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk submitted ticket designs. A blue-ribbon panel made up of NASCAR's family selected the winner and announced it prior to the running of the Pepsi 400, with the ten finalists among Harvick (defending 2007 champion), Earnhardt, Jr. (2004 winner), Andretti (1967 winner) and Marvin Panch (1961 winner), Hawk, Joy, Katie Cole (the second of two designs), Foxworthy, and two children - 17-year-old Patrick McRae (for Jimmie Johnson, the 2006 winner) and seven-year-old Derek Wynne (for owner Rick Hendrick). Foxworthy was later declared the winner of the contest and his winning ticket artwork along with the others of all the celebrities were auctioned off to benefit the Jeff Gordon Foundation.


As befitting the official start of the NASCAR season, the posted awards (announced on January 28, 2008) was a record $18,689,238 (US), with the winning team and their driver taking home a minimum of $1,445,250. [ [http://jayski.com/cupnews#tracks Jayski.com] ]

Race Recap

Pole Qualifying and Gatorade Duels

As is the unique approach that is The Great American Race, qualifying, which was held on February 10, only the top two drivers (which will be the front row) were locked in, with Jimmie Johnson taking position one and Michael Waltrip sitting next to him. Also qualifying vis the fastest speeds among the "Go or Go Home" entries were Joe Nemechek and David Reutimann. The remaining spots were determined by the top finishers excluding the front row drivers in two convert|150|mi|km|sing=on races called the Gatorade Duels, which were raced February 14 (Valentine's Day), which filled the next 36 positions. The remaining spots were determined by exemptions and the fastest speeds and a champions provisional.

Drivers in boldface qualified to the Daytona 500.

(W) - Denotes former race winner.(R) - Denotes rookie.

• - Led most laps

Average Speed: convert|152.672|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on
Margin of Victory: .092 seconds
Time of Race: Three hours, 16 minutes and 30 seconds
Lead Changes: 42 among 17 drivers
Cautions: Seven for 23 laps [http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2008/1/data/results/official.html NASCAR.com] ]

* — On Wednesday, February 20th, NASCAR docked Robby Gordon and his self-owned team both 100 owner and driver points for violations during the first day of inspections back on February 8, including an illegal nose cover. His crew chief, Frank Kerr, was fined $100,000, suspended for the next six races starting at California, and was placed on probation until 12/31/08 as a result. An appeal, heard on March 5, the points penalties and the Kerr suspension were overturned, however, the fine was increased to $150,000,



External links

* [http://www.daytona500.com Daytona 500 official website]
* [http://www.nascar.com NASCAR.com web site]
* [http://jayski.com/stats/2008/entries/1dis2008-entry.htm Official entry list from Jayski.com]

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