The first sanctioned stock car race at Daytona was a disaster
The first sanctioned stock car race at Daytona was held 80 years ago on March 8, 1936 — and it was a bit of a disaster.
The winner of the race, run on a beach road course, had to be towed out at least five times, and the race was called three laps early due to track conditions.
Oh, and the city of Daytona lost about $22,000 on it — or about $375,000 in today’s dollars — and hasn’t promoted a race since.
Good thing Bill France wasn’t deterred. He finished fifth that day and served as mechanic for winner Milt Marion. And NASCAR’s founder had found a home for the "Great American Race," building Daytona International Speedway more than 20 years later.