1996 Daytona 500 (1996)

TV Special200 min.Sport
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$20MM (estimated)
The 38th running of NASCAR's biggest race carried an unusually high number of story lines, of which three stood out - Dale Earnhardt's quest to win the Daytona 500 after 17 years of trying, Sterling Marlin's bid to win three consecutive 500s and thus become the first to ever pull off such a feat, and the return of Ernie Irvan to racing after a near-fatal crash in 1994. Other stories involved Dale Jarrett, who was running a car as teammate to Ernie Irvan, and Jeff Gordon's bid to repeat as Winston Cup champion. New NASCAR engine rules had affected the race cars and their ability to pass, but when the green flag flew for the 500 the battle for the lead immediately erupted into one of the hardest-fought stock car races ever seen. Earnhardt, Irvan, Marlin, and Jarrett battled for the lead, but were joined by upstart John Andretti early on, and as the chaotic competition shook out a long draft of race cars found themselves in the final ten laps trying to grab the win. Written By Michael Daly  Less

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