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43rd Daytona 500
Location Daytona International Speedway
Date February 18, 2001
Laps 200
Daytona 500 Champion Michael Waltrip
Average speed 161.783
Pole Sitter Bill Elliott
Most Laps Led Ward Burton
Qualifying Race Winners Sterling Marlin and Mike Skinner
Television
Network FOX
Ratings 10.0
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds

The 43rd annual Daytona 500 was held February 18, 2001 at Daytona International Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. The race will be forever remembered for the final lap. Dale Earnhardt was in third behind his drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr and Michael Waltrip, but when going through turns 3 and 4, the elder Earnhardt lost control of his car and collected Ken Schrader in a head-on collision with the wall. Earnhardt was killed instantly by a basilar skull fracture. Also during the accident, his seat belts malfunctioned. The race was also marred by a 20-car crash on lap 173 when Robby Gordon and Ward Burton got together, sending Tony Stewart's car flipping down the backstretch. Eleven seconds after Earnhardt's crash, Michael Waltrip, in his first race in the #15 car for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., won the race. It was the first victory of his career, coming in his 463rd start.

Contents

The Big One

On the 173rd lap of the event, the lead pack was heading into turn two, Robby Gordon and Ward Burton, who lead the most laps of the event got into each other and then Tony Stewart was turned around and got some air. After that, he started to flip over a number of times and piled up the field. Collected in the wreck included Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, which he would later on comeback and finished in 3rd. Tony's teammate Bobby Labonte was involved in the wreck which Stewart's car was on top of him. The race was stopped after the wreck.

Results

  1. 15-Michael Waltrip, Led 27 of 200 Laps
  2. 8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Led 13 Laps
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 28-Ricky Rudd
  5. 9-Bill Elliott, Led 1 Lap
  6. 7-Mike Wallace
  7. 40-Sterling Marlin, Led 39 Laps
  8. 55-Bobby Hamilton
  9. 12-Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 92-Stacy Compton
  11. 33-Joe Nemechek
  12. 3-Dale Earnhardt, 199 Laps Completed (Fatal Accident); Led 17 Laps
  13. 36-Ken Schrader, 199 Laps (Accident); Led 7 Laps
  14. 77-Robert Pressley, 1 Lap down
  15. 11-Brett Bodine, 1 Lap down; Led 1 Lap
  16. 45-Kyle Petty, 1 Lap down
  17. 14-Ron Hornaday*, 1 Lap down
  18. 21-Elliott Sadler, 1 Lap down
  19. 99-Jeff Burton, 1 Lap down
  20. 19-Casey Atwood*, 2 Laps down
  21. 17-Matt Kenseth, 4 Laps down
  22. 88-Dale Jarrett, 186 Laps (Accident Damage); Led 1 Lap
  23. 32-Ricky Craven, 15 Laps down
  24. 5-Terry Labonte, 184 Laps (Accident Damage)
  25. 27-Kenny Wallace, 184 Laps (Accident Damage)
  26. 31-Mike Skinner, 17 Laps down; Led 24 Laps
  27. 26-Jimmy Spencer, 17 Laps down
  28. 10-Johnny Benson, 181 Laps (Engine Failure)
  29. 44-Buckshot Jones, 181 Laps (Accident Damage)
  30. 24-Jeff Gordon, 178 Laps (Accident Damage); Led 11 Laps
  31. 1-Steve Park, 23 Laps down; Led 2 Laps
  32. 25-Jerry Nadeau, 176 Laps (Accident)
  33. 6-Mark Martin, 175 Laps (Accident), Led 1 Lap
  34. 01-Jason Leffler*, 174 Laps (Accident)
  35. 22-Ward Burton, 173 Laps (Accident); Led 53 Laps
  36. 20-Tony Stewart, 173 Laps (Accident)
  37. 4-Robby Gordon, 173 Laps (Accident)
  38. 96-Andy Houston*, 173 Laps (Accident)
  39. 43-John Andretti, 173 Laps (Accident)
  40. 18-Bobby Labonte, 173 Laps (Accident)
  41. 97-Kurt Busch*, 31 Laps down
  42. 93-Dave Blaney, 135 Laps (Engine Failure)
  43. 51-Jeff Purvis, 47 Laps (Accident).

Notes

Failed to qualify

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