TDIH: February 20, 1972


AJ Foyt wins the 1972 Daytona 500, putting his name in the record books. Having already won the Indianapolis 500 (’61, ’64, ’67) and 24 Hours of Le Mans (’67), his victory in the Daytona 500 would make him the only driver to win all three events. He would later add wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona (’83, ’85) and 12 Hours of Sebring (’85) to further the mark, a feat which remains unmatched to this day. Driving for the Wood Brothers in the 500, he would lead 167 laps of 200, easily taking the win. Richard Petty, who started in 32nd place, led 31 laps, finding his way to the point by lap 21. His day would end early however, when a dropped valve forced him from the lead, and the race, on lap 80. Foyt would re-inherit the lead, and stay out front the remaining 120 laps, finishing the race with a record average speed of 161.55mph. His nearest competitor was Charlie Glotzbach, who would come home in second a lap down to Foyt, and five laps ahead of third place finisher Jim Vandiver. Starting 31st in the #11 STP Dodge, Buddy Baker would lead a pair of laps, but retired on lap 18 with a blown motor. Foyt would only race six times in 1972, recording 3 pole positions, 2 victories, and five top-5 finishes. Trevor Bayne would win the Daytona 500 for the Wood’s in 2011, 39 years to the day after Foyt’s triumph.


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