90 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #90 car has started 909 races and has 1 win, 2 poles, 64 top 5s, 231 top 10s, and 338 DNFs

 

  • In NASCAR, the #90 is pretty much synonymous with longtime car owner Junie Donlavey and Donlavey Racing.  Donlavey served in the United States Navy during the 1940s. Afterwards, Donlavey started his own auto repair business, and began to develop an interest in racing.  Donlavey began fielding the team in 1950. He drove for his team at first, but soon gave way to other drivers. Donlavey earned a reputation as working well with young drivers over his tenure, as Ken Schrader and Jody Ridley won NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors while driving for Donlavey.
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Donlavey (standing) talks to his driver in the garage, 1968.

 

 

Donlavey closed his racing team after the 2002 season; in 2006, he stated that he still had several cars in his race shop, but was in the process of selling them and had no plans to return to racing. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007. He died in Richmond, Virginia on June 9, 2014. Poetically, he was 90 years old.

 

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Donlavey talks to his driver Ken Schrader, 1985

 

Donlavey was honored shortly after his death by the Sprint Cup Garage at Richmond International Raceway being named the Wesley C. Donlavey Garage. At the September Cup race in Richmond, team owner Joe Falkchanged the number of David Stremme‘s Circle Sport car from 33 to 90 and used a retro paint scheme similar to Donlavey’s Truxmore-sponsored cars. The deck lid contained the names of the 67 drivers who raced for Donlavey. Falk considered Donlavey a mentor.

 

 

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  • Donlvey fielded cars infrequently from 1950-1962. The real debut of the famous car #90 came in 1965 with driver Sonny Hutchins. Hutchins started a total of 26 races for Donlavey between 1965-1970.
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Sonny Hutchins, 1967
  • In 1970 Bill Dennis won Rookie of the year honors after driving  mostly as an independent, though he would finish the year driving the #90 for Donlavey. He would return for a full season in 1971 for the full season in #90. He would make just a few more starts in the next few years, with a total of 34 in #90.

 

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Bill Dennis, 1971
  • Driver Dick Brooks has the most starts in the Donlavey #90 with 175. Brooks drove for Donlavey on several occassions in 1972, 1975, 1977-1978, & 1983-1984.
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Dick Brooks in the #90. 1970s.

Driving for the underfunded Donlavey team, Brooks finished 10th in points in 1975 & 1976. A sixth place point finish in 1977 was the highest Brooks would finish. After finishing 8th in the points in 1978, Brooks left the team for several years. He would triumphantly return in 1983, finishing fifth in the Daytona 500. After four races, Brooks led the point standings for the only time in his NASCAR career. The rest of the season was not as good though and Brooks faded to 14th at season end. 1984 was more of the same as the Donlavey team struggled to keep up with the higher financed teams and Brooks finished 15th.

  • In 1973 Charlie Glotzbach started 1 race in #90 during the 1973, and returned in 1974 to run 11 more races with Donlavey. In the period from 1989-1992 Glotzbach would drive the car 8 more times for a total of 20 starts in the number.

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    Charlie Glotzbach, 1973

 

  • In 1979 Rick Rudd  started 28 races in the Donlavey #90.

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    Ricky Rudd, 1979

 

 

  • From 1973-1982 Jody Ridley intermittently filled the place of Dick Brooks as he was driving for other teams. Ridley drove the Donlavey #90 in 79 starts.  Ridley won the only race for both Junie Donlavey and the #90 at the 1981 Mason Dixon 500 at Dover. It was also Ridley’s only career win.
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Jody Ridley, 1980.
  • Ken Schrader got his first full-time NASCAR ride driving the Donlavey #90 in 1985. Schrader drove the car in 86 races. While he never won a points-paying races in the car, he did win one of the 125 mile qualifying races at Daytona in 1987.
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Ken Schrader at Watkins Glen, 1986
  • After Schrader left for Hendrick Motorsports in 1988, Benny Parsons took over the Donlavey ride making 27 starts.
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Benny Parsons, 1988
  • From 1989-1992 the #90 car did not run a full schedule, but competed in most races throughout the season with a variety of drivers. During this time names like Chad Little, Stan Barrett, Lennie Pond, Ernie Irvan, Buddy Baker, Robby Gordon, Wally Dallenbach Jr, Dorsey Schrader, Hut Stricklin,  and the legendary Charlie Glotzbach all made starts in the #90

 

  • After 1 start in the 1992 season, Donlavey signed Bobby Hillin Jr to drive the #90 car. Hillin started 34 races in the car number. His most memorable moment came in the first race of the 1993 season when he collected Kyle Petty in a wreck at Daytona. Kyle, the polesitter and contender for the win, was understanbly upset with Hillin.

 

  • Mike Wallace started the Donlavey #90 a total of 56 times from 1994-1996 with a best finish of 5th at Talladega in 1994.
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    Mike Wallace, 1995

     

  • From 1996-1998 Dick Trickle made 77 starts in the Donlavey #90. After sponsorship issues, Trickle left the team and for the 1999 season and the #90 made only a handful of starts. 
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    Dick Trickle, 1998

     

  • In 2000 Ed Berrier was hired to pilot the #90 car with sponsorship from Hills Bros Coffee. After 14 total starts from 1999-2000, Berrier was released and the team remained mostly inactive for the rest of the season.
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    Ed Berrier, 2000

     

  • In 2001 Hut Stricklin took over the #90, but struggled. Near the end of the season Hills Bros Coffee opted to move to Bill Davis racing, taking Stricklin with them.  Stricklin started a total of 27 races in #90.
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    Hut Stricklin (90) races Mike Wallace (7), 2001.

     

  • After losing sponsorship in 2001 the Donlavey #90 would run select races with driver Rick Mast. After 12 starts in the car Mast would leave due to health concerns. A handful of field-fillers  would make starts in #90, but lack of funds would cause the Donlavey team to make it’s final start in 2002.

 

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