TDIH: February 17, 1957


Cotton Owens leads all but nine laps on the soft Daytona sand, en route to his first career Grand National victory. Starting the day in third, he would pilot his Pontiac Chieftain to an average speed of 101.541, the fastest ever on the beach. The only other driver to lead was Paul Goldsmith, finding his way to the front for a total of nine laps, sitting behind the wheel of Smokey Yunick’s #3 Chevrolet. This was the 28th start for Owens, having scored a previous best finish of 5th on three occasions, coming at North Wilkesboro, Spartanburg, and Hillsboro. In addition to being the first win for Owens, it would also mark the first for Pontiac, with the manufacturer going on to see victory 155 times.


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