Daytona 500 Victory

2/15/2004

Dale Jr. etched his name with NASCAR's all-time greats by winning the event affectionately known as "The Great American Race" – the Daytona 500. Driving a special Budweiser "Born-On Dating" paint scheme, Junior had the final word in a day-long bout with Tony Stewart by making a pass with no drafting help with 19 laps to go. He held onto the top spot with Stewart close behind and earned the popular victory on stock car racing's biggest stage. After the race, Junior received a phone call from President George W. Bush, to which he said, "That was the exciting race of my life." Earnhardt Jr. ended the day with 59 laps led, his first-ever Cup points lead, $1.5 million in race earnings, and the Harley J. Earl trophy.