Daytona 500 stories in the SI Vault

The Return Of The Exile Was Rich And Racy By Tom C. Brody, March 07, 1966 After a year of forced idleness Driver Richard Petty came rolling back in a blue brute of a Plymouth to win Daytona's stock car 500, delighting his racing father -- but not Dearborn.

Sure Ain't Fun No More By Kim Chapin, March 4, 1968 Speeds were way up -- to 190 mph -- but joy way down in the Daytona 500 stock-car run as steady Cale Yarborough raced to a narrow win.

A Race That Keeps 'em Coming Back By Sam Moses, February 23, 1976 The 500's last lap was a fitting climax to a wild week in Daytona.

Hats Off To The King By Sam Moses, February 23, 1981 Richard Petty, sovereign of the speedways, let the race go to the swift for most of the way, then gambled and won his seventh Daytona 500.

Foul Luck On Chicken Bone Alley By Sam Moses, February 26, 1990 After Dale Earnhardt met a bizarre fate, Derrike Cope plucked a last-lap win at Daytona.

The Hunt's Over By Ed Hinton, February 23, 1998 After 19 failed attempts, seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt finally won his first Daytona 500 -- and even a guy as ornery as the Man in Black got a little misty over that.

Worth The Wait For 48 By Lars Anderson, February 27, 2006 The Great American Race had Jimmie Johnson's number--until Sunday, when he capped off a controversial week with a late charge that put him in Victory Lane.

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