1959 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500
Lee Arnold Petty (March 14, 1914 – April 5, 2000) was an American stock car racing driver who competed during the 1950s and 1960s.
In the inaugural race at Daytona International Speedway, Petty battled with Johnny Beauchamp during the final laps of the race.
Petty, Beauchamp, and Joe Weatherly drove side by side by side across the finish line at the final lap for a photo finish.
Petty drove a 1959 Oldsmobile Super 88 (No. 42), while Beauchamp drove a 1959 Ford Thunderbird (No. 73) and Weatherly did so in a 1959 Chevrolet (No. 48), all coupés.
He was one of the pioneers of NASCAR and one of its first superstars.
Extra Note: He is also the father of Richard Petty, who went on to become one of the most successful stock car racing drivers of all time.
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