Five Of NASCAR’s Memorable Daytona Moments

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The 2010 Daytona 500 Goes Into The Night Hours For A Pothole

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Within the last few Daytona 500s, the 2010 season opener was one for the history book as it would be one of the longest Daytona 500s after an unexpected event.

During the 2010 Daytona 500, the race had to come to a stop twice throughout the day as a pothole had formed on the track. The race had been red flagged twice so NASCAR officials and track personnel could work on repairing the damage. The race had started in the early afternoon hours and drivers would have to go on to the night hours to race under the lights to find out who would be Daytona 500 champion.

After several hours of racing and delays, Jamie McMurray left Daytona as the race winner.

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The 2012 Daytona 500 Brings Out The Unexpected

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just when fans, drivers and teams thought they had seen it all, the 2012 Daytona 500 saw one of its most bizarre and unexpected moments ever after the race had been pushed back several times.

In the first ever Monday night Daytona 500, after the race had been pushed back from its Sunday afternoon starting spot for rain, the race was already on its way to make history but it also featured another long delay. Later on in the race, the unexpected occurred when Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into a jet dryer, lighting the track on fire.

It took a little more than two hours to clean up the track so drivers could get back to racing. The 2012 Daytona 500 came to an end in the early hours of the following day.

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Trevor Bayne Wins The Daytona 500

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2011 Daytona 500 brought the sport one of its feel-good moments and its own Cinderella story when Trevor Bayne won the race.

Throughout most of Speed Weeks 2011, Bayne had a very fast car and had worked well with other drivers throughout the Duel and the Daytona 500. Towards the end of the Daytona 500, he was behind David Ragan for the restart and was willing to work with him to help him get the win. In a surprising turn of events, Ragan was penalized by NASCAR, which left Bayne with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Heading into the final lap of the race, Bayne took the lead and eventually the checkered flag. Capturing the win at Daytona gave Bayne his first championship as he became 2011 Daytona 500 champion and also became the youngest driver to win the race.

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A Tribute To A Legend

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2011 Daytona 500 marked the 10-year anniversary of the tragic loss of one of NASCAR’s biggest stars.

During the 2011 season opener, NASCAR paid tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt, who had lost his life on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. In his honor, NASCAR paid tribute to the legend by painting a number three on the grass. Along with Earnhardt’s former number, everyone in attendance held out three fingers in the air of lap three as a salute to Earnhardt.

During the live broadcast of the Daytona 500, race analysts remained silent for lap three.

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Kyle Busch Saves Himself Twice

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most unforgettable moments of the past few seasons came at Daytona, but it didn't occur during the Daytona 500.

During Speed Weeks 2012, in the year’s first race, Kyle Busch managed to do what several other drivers couldn't do during the 2012 Budweiser Shootout, now known as the Sprint Unlimited. Throughout the race, drivers began to wreck meanwhile Busch was able to save his car twice throughout the race and saved himself from wrecking.

Busch was able to keep control of his car and his two saves of the night came in handy as he made his way into victory lane that night.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

A new NASCAR season has arrived and as the new season officially begins with the Daytona 500 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, many memories are made within the Great American race.

Over the years since NASCAR started racing at Daytona International Speedway, it has played host to Speed Weeks and to races such as the Sprint Unlimited, the Budweiser Duel and the Daytona 500. Since the beginning many unforgettable moments have occurred at the track with most of them within the Daytona 500.

Many of those unforgettable memories include the late Dale Earnhardt winning his first Daytona 500. Others include an unforgettable fight between Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers. Overall, there have been plenty of good moments throughout the race’s history.

Over the last few seasons there have been several moments that have gone on to become unforgettable moments and plenty that have gone to become part of NASCAR history.

Within recent Daytona 500’s there were Cinderella stories with surprise winners. There were moments within the race that featured unexpected moments, events that no one ever thought would occur.

The Great American race not only gives drivers a chance at becoming Daytona 500 champion but it also allows the sport to take up the spotlight and headlines. As the 2013 season is already creating headlines following the 2013 Daytona 500 qualifying session and the Budweiser Duel, this year’s race may be well on it’s way to create all new memories.

Before the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series officially kicks off their season with the Daytona 500, its time to relive five unforgettable Daytona moments of the last few seasons.