Before the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb.18, 2018, baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron called NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on pit road at Daytona International Speedway. Aaron endured much racist vitriol as he neared and finally broke Babe Ruth's Major League career home-run record. Aaron's record of 755 home runs stood for more than 30 years.
During the second stage of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18, 2018 NASCAR drivers Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne got loose coming out of Turn 3 at Daytona International Speedway with all three wrecking. Harvick was able to continue but Elliott and Kahne were knocked out of the race due to heavy damage sustained.
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was asked by a reporter following the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 if he is always so emotional. Wallace responded understandably that when you have family and run a good race it tugs at your heartstrings. Wallace started his fifth cup race and finished second in the season opener.
The memory of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's 1998 victory at Daytona International Speedway isn't far from driver Austin Dillon's memory. In fact, Dillon can watch the victory through a window at the team's shop, where it plays continuously. Twenty years ago, Earnhardt received a lucky penny from a young girl and won the Daytona 500. Dillon won the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 after receiving a penny from a young fan during an autograph session a few days ago. The legendary N. 3 Chevrolet returned to Victory Lane with Earnhardt's close friend and Dillon's grandfather Richard Childress standing alongside on the dais.
Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr said on Sunday, February 18, 2018 that how fans remember his father's career would have been completely if he had never won a Daytona 500. Dale Jr knew first had the pressure and stress that not winning had had on Dale Sr before he finally won. Dale Jr was fortunate to win a Daytona 500 early in his career and then duplicate it with a win eight years later. Dale Earnhardt Sr won a Daytona 500 which had fans, opposing team's and crew members standing in applause.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. says that he made peace with Daytona International Speedway a long time ago. Dale Earnhardt Sr. passed away 17 years ago in a wreck on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001. Dale Jr recognizes how special Daytona International Speedway was to his father and it is a place that has become more special to him. He chose to embrace the track more.
Richard Petty won an amazing seven Daytona 500 races -- in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979 and 1981. On Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, the NASCAR Hall of Fame member took a moment to reminisce. Petty is the only seven-time winner of the Daytona 500. Among his other accolades, The King won 200 races and was a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds raced across Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 in preparation for their performance before Sunday's Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The Thunderbirds are an air-demonstration squadron assigned to the 57th Wing. The squadron is the world's third oldest formal flying aerobatic team.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is preparing to race in her final Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Following the team's final practice on Saturday, Patrick stopped to sign autographs for fans inside and outside her garage stall.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired following the 2017 Monster NASCAR Cup Series season having won the series Most Popular Driver award 15 times, the longest streak by one driver. However, one driver won the award 16 times. The answer: Bill Elliott, the father of current NASCAR driver Chase Elliott. Will Chase Elliott add his name to a NASCAR award that his father owns for popularity?
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is excited to get his 17th season underway. This year has brought a lot of change to Hendrick Motorsports with new crew members, the over the wall procedure changing, a new car and NASCAR's new regulations. Johnson is looking to start the season off right with a victory in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 18, 2018.
Former NASCAR driver and Hall of Fame member Richard Petty says that the biggest challenge NASCAR faces is getting new fans. Petty, known as The King for his 200 career wins and seven championships, believes that all sports are suffering for entertainment dollars because of the many options available to people.