Winning Daytona 500 and Cup title in same year difficult to do

Winning the Great American Race doesn't necessarily translate into a Great American Season. More often than not, writes Ryan McGee, the winner of the Daytona 500 does not go on to win the Cup title.

Updated: February 16, 2008, 1:32 PM ET
By Ryan McGee | ESPN The Magazine

In 1959 NASCAR held its inaugural Daytona 500 (this year is the 50th anniversary, in case you've been asleep for the past week and haven't yet had the logo burned into your cranial matter). Lee Petty won the Super Bowl of stock car racing and 41 races later celebrated the NASCAR Grand National championship.

Seems only fair, right? Surely, winning the sport's biggest event has to be a natural springboard to winning the Cup. Not really. More often than not, the Great ...

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