Daytona 500 Through The Years: All-Time Winners

Sunday, Feb. 26, will mark the 59th running of the Daytona 500 (2 p.m. Eastern Time, Fox).

In 2016, Denny Hamlin won the race with a thrilling final lap finish – the closest finish in Daytona 500 history – beating Martin Truex Jr. to the line by 0.011 seconds and giving the Joe Gibbs Racing team its first Daytona win since Dale Jarrett’s victory in 1993.

To date, Richard Petty remains the record holder for most Daytona 500 victories, while 10 other drivers have won NASCAR’s premier event at least twice: Petty (seven), Cale Yarborough (four), Bobby Allison (three), Dale Jarrett (three), Jeff Gordon (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Bill Elliott (two), Jimmie Johnson (two), Matt Kenseth (two), Sterling Marlin (two) and Michael Waltrip (two).

This year, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will return – driving the No. 88 Chevrolet – for the first time since missing half of the 2016 season due to a concussion.

While we wait to see how this year’s event will pan out, let’s take a minute to recognize past winners of the Daytona 500.

Past Daytona 500 Champions By Year:

1959: Lee Petty

1960: Junior Johnson

Junior Johnson (born Robert Glenn Johnson, Jr.) began his NASCAR career in 1955 and retired in 1966. During his time as a NASCAR driver, Johnson accumulated more than 50 official NASCAR wins, becoming one of the only drivers to have the most wins without a championship title. In 2010, Johnson was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

1961: Marvin Panch

1962: Fireball Roberts

1963: Tiny Lund

1964: Richard Petty

1965: Fred Lorenzen

1966: Richard Petty

1967: Mario Andretti

1968: Cale Yarborough

1969: LeeRoy Yarbrough

1970: Pete Hamilton

On Feb. 22, 1970, Pete Hamilton became the 12th driver to win the Daytona 500. Previously, Hamilton earned the 1968 Grand National Rookie of the Year title and went on to win 12 out of 26 Grand American Division races in 1969. In addition, Hamilton was the first driver to win $100,000 on a super speedway in one season.

1971: Richard Petty

1972: A.J. Foyt

1973: Richard Petty

1974: Richard Petty

1975: Benny Parsons

1976: David Pearson

1977: Cale Yarborough

1978: Bobby Allison

1979: Richard Petty

1980: Buddy Baker

After nearly 17 years of bad luck, Buddy Baker won the 198 Daytona 500 with an average speed of 177.6 mph – a record that still stands today.

1981: Richard Petty

1982: Bobby Allison

1983: Cale Yarborough

1984: Cale Yarborough

1985: Bill Elliott

1986: Geoff Bodine

1987: Bill Elliott

1988: Bobby Allison

1989: Darrell Waltrip

1990: Derrike Cope

On Feb. 18, 1990, Derrike Cope won the 32nd running of the “Great American Race” – his first NASCAR win. Cope started in 12th and won the race with an average speed of 165.761 mph. Let’s see if he can pull it off again this year.

1991: Ernie Irvan

1992: Davey Allison

1993: Dale Jarrett

1994: Sterling Marlin

1995: Sterling Marlin

On Feb. 19, 1995, Dale Jarrett started on the pole at the 37th running of the Great American Race, with Dale Earnhardt starting second, Sterling Marlin third, and Jeff Gordon fourth. With just 20 laps to go, Marlin stole the lead and raced his way to Victory Lane, winning the Daytona 500 for the second year in a row.

1996: Dale Jarrett

1997: Jeff Gordon

1998: Dale Earnhardt

1999: Jeff Gordon

2000: Dale Jarrett

In 2000, Dale Jarrett joined Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, and Richard Petty as one of the few drivers who had won the Daytona 500 more than twice.

2001: Michael Waltrip

2002: Ward Burton

2003: Michael Waltrip

2004: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2005: Jeff Gordon

On Feb. 20, 2005, Rusty Wallace was given a final chance to win the Great American Race. Unfortunately for Wallace, Jeff Gordon swooped in on the last two laps, passing Dale Jr., just before Kasey Kahne hit the wall. The race ended with an exciting green, white, checkered finish, giving Jeff Gordon his third Daytona 500 Win.

2006: Jimmie Johnson

2007: Kevin Harvick

2008: Ryan Newman

2009: Matt Kenseth

2010: Jamie McMurray

In 2010, Jamie McMurray became best friends with Victory Lane, not only winning in Daytona, but in Indianapolis and Charlotte as well. This year McMurray, running the No. 19 Chevrolet, will start the race in third place.

2011: Trevor Bayne

2012: Matt Kenseth

2013: Jimmie Johnson

2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2015: Joey Logano

2016: Denny Hamlin

[Feature Image By Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images]

Share this article: Daytona 500 Through The Years: All-Time Winners
More from Inquisitr