DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2008) — The 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17 – the most anticipated event in racing history – will carry a record purse of more than $18 million.

The posted awards for “The Great American Race” on Sunday, Feb. 17 will be $18,689,238.The posted awards for the 2007 Daytona 500, which was won for the first time by Kevin Harvick in a photo finish over Mark Martin, was $18,386,023.

The winner of this year’s Daytona 500 will collect a minimum of $1,445,250. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,044,400, $752,400, $598,450 and $471,500 respectively. The last-place finisher in the Daytona 500 will also be well compensated with a minimum of $233,865.

The winner for the inaugural Daytona 500 back in 1959 – Lee Petty – collected $19,050 and the last-place finisher – Ken Marriott – earned $100.

“It’s no coincidence that the purse for NASCAR’s biggest., richest and most pretigious race — the 50th running of the Daytona 500 – will be the largest in stock car racing history,” Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig said. “The winner of this year’s 50th running of the Daytona 500 will be awarded handsomely as well as having the honor of taking home the gold Harley J. Earl trophy.”

Other purses for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events are:

· ARCA 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race: $283,552
· Budweiser Shootout: $1,217,154 with the winner pocketing $215,000
· Gatorade Duel At Daytona: $1,350,000, $675,000 for each race
· Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race: $875,448
· Camping World 300 presented by Chevy NASCAR Nationwide Series race: $2,640,772

Tickets to any of the DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.