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The Greatest Daytona Summer Races You Can Watch NOW On NASCAR Classics

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Joshua Lipowski

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With the NASCAR Cup Series moving to Daytona this weekend, it has many thinking about the greatest summer race moments at Daytona. Thanks to NASCAR Classics, there are plenty of Daytona Summer races that you can watch RIGHT NOW! Here are the best Daytona Summer races on NASCAR Classics.

With the NASCAR Cup Series moving to Daytona this weekend, it has many thinking about the greatest summer race moments at Daytona. Thanks to NASCAR Classics, there are plenty of Daytona Summer races that you can watch RIGHT NOW! Here are the best Daytona Summer races on NASCAR Classics.

5. 1961 Firecracker 250

The earliest Daytona summer race to be featured on NASCAR Classics just happened to be an incredible race. A young David Pearson started on the front row alongside Fireball Roberts. Roberts would dominate early, but he would lose the lead with 20 laps to go to Fred Lorenzen.

It came down to Pearson and Lorenzen as the final cars on the lead lap, and an incredible battle ensued between two future NASCAR Hall of Famers. The margin of victory was just a bit over a car length after Pearson took the lead for the final time with two laps to go. It was just the second victory of the young Pearson’s career, and it would not be his last in the summer race at Daytona.

Watch here: 1961 Firecracker 250

4. 1974 Firecracker 400

The 1974 Firecracker 400 was an iconic battle between arguably NASCAR’s two greatest drivers. The lead swapped hands 49 times on the day, with people holding the lead for more than 10 laps at a time only twice out of those 49 changes on the day, and holding the lead for more than five laps only eight out of 49 changes on the day.

After falling one lap down due to a flat tire, Richard Petty found himself on the back bumper of David Pearson in the final laps. As the white flag waved, Pearson backed off, and Petty took a massive lead. Well, Pearson closed back up and took the lead back off of turn four on the final lap. It was Pearson’s third straight win in the Firecracker 400.

3. 2007 Pepsi 400

The 2007 Pepsi 400 was the end of an era in multiple ways. It was the final Daytona summer race with Pepsi as the title sponsor, and it was the final superspeedway race with the Gen-4 cars and their iconic superspeedway sound. The race was a barn burner including teammates getting into each other and an iconic finish.

A seven-lap shootout decided the race, and Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch battled side by side for virtually the entire final six laps of the race. The race was decided by 0.005 seconds, and McMurray won his first race since the 2002 fall race at Charlotte.

Watch Here: 2007 Pepsi 400

2. 2001 Pepsi 400

Was this a NASCAR race or the ending of a storybook? The first race at Daytona following the death of Dale Earnhardt was dominated by none other than his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. also emulated his father in the final laps.

After getting shuffled to sixth on the final restart, Earnhardt Jr. sliced his way through the field just like his father did. Over 180,000 people stood and cheered as Earnhardt Jr. took home the biggest win of his career, and truly one of the most iconic moments in NASCAR history.

1. 1984 Firecracker 400

The President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, made Daytona International Speedway a stop on the campaign trail for the 1984 Presidential Election. As Air Force One landed behind the backstretch, a battle between two future NASCAR Hall of Famers ensued. Cale Yarborough was going for the season sweep at Daytona after winning the Daytona 500 in February, and Richard Petty was going for his 200th career win.

A caution flag came out with three laps to go, and Petty and Yarborough both battled to the caution flag. Petty won by a nose, and he celebrated his 200th win with Ronald Reagan in attendance. It was Petty’s final win, and what better final win to have?

These are some iconic Daytona moments on NASCAR Classics. What other moments could be added to this list this weekend?

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