Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
Driving a potent Plymouth with the new Hemi engine, Richard Petty led 184 of the 200 laps to win the 1964 Daytona 500. Plymouths ran 1-2-3 at the finish. The triumph was Petty's first on a super-speedway. Petty drove his number 43 to victory in 3 hours and 14 minutes. There were three caution flags that slowed the race for 19 laps. The Chrysler teams debuted their brand-new 426 ci Chrysler Hemi engine in this race; NASCAR ordered the teams who had it to sandbag it during practice and qualifying due to their superiority. During the race itself, Richard Petty, who at the time was known best for his skill on short tracks, led 184 of the 200 laps (a Daytona 500 record that stands to this day) and Chrysler teams took four of the top five spots. The transition to purpose-built racecars began in the early 1960s and occurred gradually over that decade. Changes made to the sport by the late 1960s brought an end to the "strictly stock" vehicles of the 1950s; most of the cars were trailered to events or hauled in by trucks. Bobby Marshman would retire from NASCAR Grand National Series racing after the conclusion of this event. For some drivers, this would be their last Daytona 500, as the 1960s were an especially brutal era for NASCAR. Jimmy Pardue was killed later in the year in a test crash. Billy Wade was killed in a tire test in January 1965. Bobby Marshman killed in a test crash in late 1964 at Phoenix. Fireball Roberts died in July from injuries inflicted while racing in the World 600 and Joe Weatherly was killed at Riverside early that year.