The culmination of Speedweeks is the Daytona 500, a NASCAR tradition. In 1980, Buddy Baker set the 500-mile world record at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Fla. during the Daytona 500 with a time of 177.602. Every year is a NASCAR event in itself as race fans all over the country tune in to see this race.
In 1959, the first winner of the Daytona 500 was Lee Petty, driving his super fast Oldsmobile. He won $19,000. In 1964, Richard Petty's Plymouth topped out at 154.334 mph to grab the checkered flag and a prize of $33,300. He again won in 1966, 1973, 1974 and 1979. In 1980, Buddy Baker won $102,175 when his Oldsmobile got up to 177 mph, the fastest NASCAR race at Daytona. Chevrolet has won the Daytona 500 the most in the past 20 years, winning 13 times. Michael Waltrip saw the winner's circle in 2003, garnering $1,400,406.