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The 2002 Daytona 500, the 44th running of the event, was held on February 17 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida as the first of 36 races of the 2002 Winston Cup Season. Rookie Jimmie Johnson, driving the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, won the pole with fellow Daytona 500 rookie Kevin Harvick qualifying second, making this the first time the field would be led by two first-time Daytona 500 participants. Ward Burton, driving the No.22 Dodge for Bill Davis Racing, won the race. This race was the last for long-time veteran driver Dave Marcis.

2002 Daytona 500
Race details
Race 1 of 36 in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Track map of Daytona International Speedway showing mainly the speedway.
Date February 17, 2002 (2002-02-17)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4.02336 km)
Distance 200 laps, 500 mi (804.672 km)
Weather Temperatures reaching up to 70 °F (21 °C); wind speeds approaching 12 miles per hour (19 km/h)[1]
Average speed 130.810 miles per hour (210.518 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Qualifying race winners
Duel 1 Winner Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports
Duel 2 Winner Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Most laps led
Driver Sterling Marlin Chip Ganassi Racing
Laps 78
No. 22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing
Television in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons, and Wally Dallenbach Jr.
Nielsen Ratings 10.9/26
(18.8 million viewers)

As part of the television contract signed at the end of the 1999 NASCAR season, the 2002 Daytona 500 was televised by NBC. Allen Bestwick provided the play-by-play in the booth with color commentators Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. The prerace show was hosted by Bill Weber, who reported from the pits with Matt Yocum, Marty Snider, and Dave Burns. This was the first time NBC televised the Daytona 500.

Qualifying and Gatorade 125'sEdit

Jimmie Johnson qualified on the pole with a speed of 185.831 miles per hour (299.066 km/h). Two-time race winner Jeff Gordon and defending Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip both won each of the Gatorade 125's.

Race summaryEdit

Early favorite Tony Stewart was struck with an engine failure on lap 3. The race's first caution flew when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (another favorite) ran over debris and cut a tire on lap 23 while running in second-place. He managed to come through the pack into the Top 10 with a new nose after the tire tore up the right-front fender. On lap 79, Dave Marcis had problems with his engine causing him to exit the race, and this brought his Winston Cup career to an end. Just before halfway, Earnhardt, Jr. got into more trouble, when his brakes failed while trying to pit, bringing out yet a third caution. On the following restart, Brett Bodine spun off of Kenny Wallace's bumper, and the yellow flag came back out for the fourth time.

On lap 138, rookie Shawna Robinson and Mike Skinner touched exiting turn 2, bringing out the fifth caution of the day. But the course of the race took a twist on lap 148 when contact between Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick (both racing in the Top 5) triggered the "Big One", collecting 18 cars. Matt Kenseth, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, John Andretti, Jerry Nadeau, and Earnhardt, Jr. (his third incident in the race) were eliminated.

In a restart with five laps to go, 1997 and 1999 winner Jeff Gordon led 1994 and 1995 winner Sterling Marlin. A chain reaction began between the eighth and ninth positions after one driver missed a gear. Five cars were damaged, including the defending Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, who spun into the pits and nearly hit the pace car being driven by Jay Leno. Up front, Marlin came through the gears a bit quicker than Gordon, and took his momentum to the inside. Gordon went to block only to turn himself. The two incidents brought out the caution flag, but under the rules at the time the field continued racing at full speed back to the start/finish line, and Ward Burton pulled alongside of Marlin on the outside. Marlin, his car smoking from damage to the right front fender, beat Burton to the line by a nose, only for the red flag come out. Rather than have the race finish under caution, the officials stopped the field on the backstretch so the track could be cleared and the drivers could race to the finish. Concerned about damage on his right front fender, Marlin got out of his car and tried to pull the fender away from the tire while the cars waited. Because NASCAR rules forbid working on the car under a red flag except for non-points events, he was penalized before the restart and was sent to the rear of the field. Burton (a resident of South Boston) and Elliott Sadler (from Emporia) were first and second for the state of Virginia. 1986 race winner Geoffrey Bodine was the feel-good story of the day, as he finished third just two years after a crash that nearly took his life in the Craftsman Truck Series' Daytona 250 at the same racetrack.

Burton's Daytona 500 win was the first for Dodge since Richard Petty's win in the 1974 race. This was Phoenix Racing's best finish until Brad Keselowski won the 2009 Aaron's 499 at Talladega. As of 2017, this has been the only Daytona 500 to feature more than one trio of brothers. All three Bodine brothers (Geoff, Brett, and Todd) had started the Daytona 500 together, as had all three Wallace brothers (Rusty, Mike, and Kenny), but never all three brothers from both families in the same year.


Pos Grid Car No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Laps Led Status
1 19 22 Ward Burton Bill Davis Racing Dodge 200 5 Running
2 41 21 Elliott Sadler Wood Brothers Racing Ford 200 0 Running
3 35 09 Geoffrey Bodine (W) Phoenix Racing Ford 200 0 Running
4 15 97 Kurt Busch Roush Racing Ford 200 16 Running
5 4 15 Michael Waltrip (W) Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 200 20 Running
6 39 6 Mark Martin Roush Racing Ford 200 0 Running
7 23 12 Ryan Newman (R) Penske Racing Ford 200 39 Running
8 13 40 Sterling Marlin (W) Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge 200 78 Running
9 3 24 Jeff Gordon (W) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 200 29 Running
10 38 10 Johnny Benson, Jr. MBV Motorsports Pontiac 200 0 Running
11 29 9 Bill Elliott (W) Evernham Motorsports Dodge 200 0 Running
12 33 99 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford 200 2 Running
13 12 31 Robby Gordon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 200 0 Running
14 21 88 Dale Jarrett (W) Robert Yates Racing Ford 200 0 Running
15 1 48 Jimmie Johnson (R) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 199 0 Flagged
16 27 11 Brett Bodine Brett Bodine Racing Ford 199 0 Flagged
17 43 32 Ricky Craven PPI Motorsports Ford 199 0 Flagged
18 37 2 Rusty Wallace Penske Racing Ford 198 0 Flagged
19 30 30 Jeff Green (R) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 197 0 Flagged
20 11 5 Terry Labonte Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 194 0 Contact FS
21 17 33 Mike Wallace Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet 193 0 Flagged
22 31 92 Robert Pressley Melling Racing Dodge 190 0 Engine
23 20 4 Mike Skinner Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 190 0 Flagged
24 36 49 Shawna Robinson (R) BAM Racing Dodge 187 0 Flagged
25 42 77 Dave Blaney Jasper Motorsports Ford 186 0 Flagged
26 7 36 Ken Schrader MBV Motorsports Pontiac 179 46 Flagged
27 24 14 Stacy Compton A.J. Foyt Racing Pontiac 178 0 Flagged
28 8 25 Jerry Nadeau Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 174 3 Contact T1
29 5 8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 171 0 Flagged
30 18 1 Kenny Wallace Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 171 0 Flagged
31 22 66 Todd Bodine Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford 158 0 Flagged
32 32 55 Bobby Hamilton Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet 156 0 Flagged
33 40 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Racing Ford 154 4 Contact T1
34 10 18 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 153 3 Overheating
35 26 7 Casey Atwood Ultra Evernham Motorsports Dodge 153 0 Contact T1
36 2 29 Kevin Harvick (R) Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 148 3 Contact T1
37 16 43 John Andretti Petty Enterprises Dodge 148 1 Contact T1
38 9 28 Ricky Rudd Robert Yates Racing Ford 148 0 Contact T1
39 28 19 Jeremy Mayfield Evernham Motorsports Dodge 148 0 Contact T1
40 25 26 Joe Nemechek Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford 148 0 Contact T1
41 34 45 Kyle Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 146 0 Engine
42 14 71 Dave Marcis Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet 79 0 Engine
43 6 20 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 2 0 Engine
Failed to Qualify
41 Jimmy Spencer Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge
23 Hut Stricklin Bill Davis Racing Dodge
44 Buckshot Jones Petty Enterprises Dodge
16 Greg Biffle (R) Roush Racing Ford
90 Rick Mast Donlavey Racing Ford
59 Bobby Gerhart (R) Gerhart Racing Pontiac
02 Hermie Sadler (R) SCORE Motorsports Chevrolet
85 Carl Long (R) Mansion Motorsports Dodge
84 Norm Benning (R) Norm Benning Racing Chevrolet
80 Kirk Shelmerdine (R) Hover Motorsports Ford
72 Dwayne Leik (R) Marcis Auto Racing Chevrolet


  1. ^ "Weather of the 2002 Daytona 500". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  2. ^ "2002 Daytona 500 -". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2013-06-13.

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2001 New Hampshire 300
Winston Cup Series
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