Sunday 1st February 1953
Lee Petty won the season opening 100-mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1/2 mile dirt Palm Beach Speedway at Daytona Beach, Florida (US). Pole winner Dick Rathmann led the first 3 laps before a coil problem retired his Hudson Hornet. Herb Thomas then took over, leading through the 48th lap when his Hudson Hornet fell out because of universal joint failure. Petty took the lead and drove his short wheelbased Dodge Diplomat to the checkered over 2 laps ahead of runner-up Jimmie Lewallen, giving the Petty Engineering team a 1-2 finish as Lewallen was in a Petty Engineering Plymouth. Petty averaged 60.220 mph in taking the 7th win of his GN career.