10 Years After

Daytona 500

Daytona 500 THEN (1960) and NOW (2010)

Top qualifying speed:
Then: 151.556 mph
Now: 191.188 mph

Cars on track:
Then: 68
Now: 43

Approximate race-car cost:
Then: $5000
Now: $250,000

1st Place Winnings:
Then: $19,600
Now: $1,514,649

Margin of Victory:
Then: 23 sec.
Now: 119 sec.

Safety measures implemented by NASCAR since Earnhardt's death:

  • Full-face helmets must be worn by all drivers.
  • Head-and-neck restraints (HANS devices) must be worn by all drivers.
  • SAFER barriers (soft walls) were installed at all major NASCAR-sanctioned oval tracks.
  • Six-point racing harnesses replaced traditional five-point restraints.
  • NASCAR's "car of tomorrow" began development with a focus on driver safety; the car is used by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series today.

Number of race-car driver fatalities at Daytona International prior to Dale Earnhardt's death: 22
Since Earnhardt's death: 0

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