CONCORD, N.C. – We’re back with the third part of our special series titled, “The Started The Daytona 500?”
Each day until Saturday we’ll be looking at five drivers that you may have forgotten competed in the Great American Race at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Yesterday we highlighted Al Unser, Andy Hillenburg, Ron Hornaday Jr., Scott Pruett and Marty Robbins. Now lets take a look at five more drivers who you may have forgotten raced in the Daytona 500.
Sammy Swindell – Much like his longtime rival Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell dabbled in NASCAR racing during the early 1990s. In addition to running the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule in 1995, Swindell made a single start in the Daytona 500 in 1991. Driving the No. 20 Oldsmobile for Dick Moroso, Swindell started 32nd but fell out of the race after only 28 laps and finished 41st. It was his second and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.
Christian Fittipaldi – Christian Fittipaldi has tried his hand at many different forms of motorsports, including Formula One, Indy car, road racing and NASCAR. His foray into NASCAR came in 2003 and ’04 and included a start in the ’03 Daytona 500. The two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship prototype champion started his lone Daytona 500 34th in the No. 33 Chevrolet owned by Andy Petree. He finished 35th when the race was called after 109 laps because of rain.
Dorsey Schroeder – A championship road racer, Dorsey Schroeder made several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts on road courses during the 1990s. He also ran a few races on ovals, including the 1992 Daytona 500. Behind the wheel of Junie Donlavey’s trademark No. 90 Ford, Schroeder started 31st and finished 19th.
Kirk Shelmerdine – A championship-winning crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the late Dale Earnhardt, Kirk Shelmerdine was also a driver. Steering his own underfunded No. 27 Chevrolet, Shelmerdine shocked many by qualifying for the 2006 Daytona 500. He started 42nd, but finished on the lead lap in 20th. It was the best finish of his brief NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.
Jack Sprague – A three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Jack Sprague got his shot at the Daytona 500 in 2003. Driving for Gene Haas, Sprague qualified the No. 0 NetZero Pontiac 24th and finished 14th in his lone Daytona 500 start. It was the best finish of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.