52 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition, the #52 has made 665 starts with 69 drivers. The number has earned 2 wins, 1 pole, 11 top 5s, 59 top 10s, and 262 DNFs.

  • Alabama Gang member Jimmy Means  by far has the most starts in the #52 with 446 from 1976-1993. In that time Jimmy never earned a top 5, but scored 17 top 10s. Means spent most of his career as an owner/driver. Jimmy is now an advisor for Front Row Motorsports and an owner for the NASCAR XFINITY Series #52 car.
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Jimmy Means, 1981
  • EJ Trivette  has the second most starts in #52 with 58 from 1964-1966. Trivette’s favorite track to race at was Richmond International Raceway.

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  • Canadian driver Earl Ross  is the only other driver with more than 10 starts in #52 with 25 starts from 1973-1976. Ross earned the only win of his career driving #52 in the 1974 Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Earl was named 1974 Rookie of the year.
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Earl Ross, 1974

 

 

  • Neil Cole drove #52 for 5 races in 1951. In that time he earned one win at the 108-mile race at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.

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  • Bobby Labonte  drove the #52 in the 2014 Daytona 500 for James Finch and HScott Motorsports, formerly Phoenix racing. Bobby finished 15th after starting in the back due to engine issues.
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Bobby Labonte, 2014
  • In 2013, Brad’s brother Brian Keselowski  made 2 of his 3 career Sprint Cup starts to date behind the wheel of the #52.
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Brian Keselowski, 2013
  • Morgan Shepard  & Paulie Harraka  made 1 start each in 2013 for Brian Keselowski Motorsports. Harraka ruined his day at Sonoma before it started by crashing  into Alex Kennedy leaving pit road.
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Morgan Shepherd at New Hampshire, 2013
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Paulie Harraka, 2013

 

 

  • In 2012 Mike Skinner  made 1 start in #52 for Jimmy Means. The same year Scott Speed  attempted to make a race at Martinsville with the same team, but DNQ’d.
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Mike Skinner, 2012
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Scott Speed, 2012

 

  • For 2 races in 1996 Ken Schrader would field a Cup ride for Jack Sprague  who was dominating the Craftsman (Camping World) Truck Series at the time. While Schrader uses #52 frequently in the Truck Series, XFINITY Series, and K&N Regional Series’, this is the only time Schrader fielded a Cup team.
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A model of Jack Sprague’s 1996 car. No photo was found.
  • In 1994 Bob Keselowski, father of Brad and Brian, would make his only career Cup start driving #52 at Pocono.
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Bob Keselowski would become a regular in the Truck series in the mid 1990s.

 

  • Indy Car driver Scott Sharp would drive Jimmy Means’ #52 in his only NASCAR start in the 1992 Watkins Glen race. Trans-Am road racer Tommy Kendall would also drive the #52 in one start that year at Sonoma.

 

  • Other notable names in #52:
    • Brad Teague, 8 races
    • Cale Yarborough, 6 races.
    • Mike Wallace, 3 races.
    • Bill Rexford, 2 races.
    • Herb Thomas, 1 race.
    • Hershel McGriff, 1 race.
    • Dale Jarrett, 1 race.
    • Kirk Shelmerdine, 1 race.
    • AJ Foyt, 1 race.
    • Bill Elliott  1 race.
  • In the XFINITY Series, Joey Gase  drives the #52 for the above mentioned Jimmy Means.

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  • Ken Schrader uses #52 for his limited starts in the Truck  series, ARCA , and other touring series.

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53 Days until the Daytona 500

Number 53 has been raced 204 times in the Sprint Cup Series  by 54 different drivers. The number has earned 1 win, no poles, 6 top 5s, 27 top 10s, and 121 DNFs. That’s right, #53 has failed to finish 60% of the races it has started. Only 2 drivers have made more than 10 starts in the number.

  • Jimmy Helms  raced the car 60 times from 1965-1966, the majority of his 88 career starts.  Helms earned 4 top-10 finishes in the number, the best being a 6th at Langley Field in 1965.  1965 was also his best year in points, coming home 18th.
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Jimmy Helms
  • Slick Johnson  would drive #53 21 times from 1980-1981. Slick scored 5 of his 7 career top 10s in #53, and finished runner up to Tim Richmond in a non-points consolation race for Daytona 500 non-qualifiers at Daytona International Speedway in 1982.
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Slick Johnson

In 1990, Slick lost his life in turn 4 of the ARCA Daytona 200. He died of a Basilar skull fracture, the same cause of death of Dale Earnhardt, Kenny Irwin Jr, JD McDuffie, Adam Petty, Neil Bonnett, and many other racing drivers. NASCAR and ARCA would not require a head and neck restraint system until after the death of Blasie Alexander in October 2001.

  • In 1993 & 1994 Ritchie Petty , son of Maurice Petty and nephew of Richard Petty, would drive the #53 in a total of 4 races in 11 attempts. The #53 car was owned by Maurice Petty, not by the racing giant Petty Enterprises that was still active during this time. These 4 starts would be the only starts of Ritchie’s career.

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  • Bob Burdick  made only 9 starts in #53 from 1960-1962, but he claims the only win in the number at the 1961 Atlanta 500.
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Bob Burdick
  • Former Champ Car driver Andrew Ranger  is now a regular in the NASCAR Pinty’s Canadian Series and since 2006 has won 19 races and 2 championships in #27, but occasionally he will also drive #53 in K&N East, ARCA, Truck Series, and XFINITY Series races.  He has 4 ARCA wins in the number.
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Ranger’s XFINITY Series car, 2013

 

  • Herbie the Love Bug  is #53. In 2005 Herbie starred in a NASCAR related movie alongside Lindsay Lohan in “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”

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  • Other Notable Names in #53
    • Bud Moore, 5 Starts.
    • Elmo Langley, 4 Starts.
    • Tiny Lund, 2 Starts.
    • Joe Weatherly, 1 Start.
    • Curtis Crider, 1 Start.
    • Bobby Isaac, 1 Start.

 

54 Days until the Daytona 500

In the Sprint Cup Series the number 54 has started 459 races with 3 wins, 9 poles, 67 top 5s, 166 top 10s, and 205 DNFs.

  • Jimmy Pardue  ran the #54 in 177 races from 1960-1964. During his career he earned 2 wins in #54. A part of his career was during the same time that the popular television show, “Car 54, Where Are You” was running on network television. On the door of his car, he added a small “Car” above the number, and “Here I Am” below it. In 1964, he was doing a tire test for Goodyear at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when a tire blew and caused him to lose control. The car went through the guardrail in Turns 3 and 4 and came to rest outside the track. The 33-year-old Pardue did not survive the wreck. Despite his season being cut short, he still finished 5th in points.

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  • Lennie Pond  started #54 a total of 141 times from 1973-1979. Pond beat out Darrell Waltrip to win the 1978 Talladega 500 in the #54, his only career win. Crew Chief Waddell Wilson would frequently  change the setup on the car without telling Lennie, so Pond would regularly end up sleeping in his car so that Waddell wouldn’t be able to change the setup on his vehicle without him knowing about it.
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Pond, 1976

 

  • Todd Bodine  drove the #54 most recently. He ran 35 of 36 races in the 2003 season driving the National Guard Ford; he DNQ’d for the fall race at Talladega.
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Todd Bodine, 2003
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Bodine and Kenny Wallace (23) crash hard at Michigan, 2003

 

  • From 1969-1970 Bill Dennis  made 24 starts in #56.
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Dennis, 1970
  • Robert Pressley  drove the #54 for 3 races in 1994. His father Bob Pressley  used the #54 while dominating his local short track.
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Pressley, 1994
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A young Robert Pressley leans against his Dad’s car
  • Other notable names in #54:
    • Nance Mattingly , 14 starts
    • David Simko , 4 starts
    • Ralph Earnhardt , 1 start
    • Donnie Allison, 1 start

 

  • In the XFINITY series the #54 has started 226 races with 28 wins.  The number has become the flagship number for Kyle Busch  Motorsports with most of the starts coming by Kyle with 89 starts and 25 wins . Busch often fields the #54 with teammates and friends behind the wheel. In 2015, Kyle Busch’s Daytona crash sidelined him for the first half of the season, allowing a host of guest stars in the car.  Kurt Busch has 11 starts in #54 with 1 win. Erik Jones started 8 races in the 54 car with 1 win.  Sam Hornish Jr. started 7 races in #54 earning 1 win. Denny Hamlin  has started 5 races in #54. Boris Said, Joey Coulter,  and Owen Kelley have also started the #54 in 5 or less races each.
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Kyle Busch, 2012

 

 

 

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Denny Hamlin, 2015
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Boris Said, 2015

 

  • Bubba Wallace  drove the number in the Truck series for KBM in 2013 & 2014, and has 4 wins in the series driving #54. Wallace’s 5th win came on a weekend when he was honoring Wendell Scott by driving #34 .
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Bubba Wallace, 2013

55 Days until the Daytona 500

In the Sprint Cup Series the number 55 has been driven 1070 times with 13 wins, 20 poles, 94 top 5s, 234 top 10s, and 332 DNFs.

 

  • In 2016 Premium Motorsports fielded the #55 Car in 30 races as either a Chevrolet or a Toyota. Reed Sorenson  started the most races with 24 starts, Cole Whitt started 3 races, and D.J. Kennington, Alex Kennedy, & Michael Waltrip all started 1 race.
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Reed Sorenson with his “Trump/Pence 2016” Toyota, Texas 2016
  • Brian Vickers  ran the entire 2014 season in #55, and ran part time for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012-2013 for a total of 60 starts in the number. After missing the 2015 Daytona 500 & Atlanta 500 due to heart surgery to battle his longtime struggle with blood clots, Vickers returned to the #55 at Las Vegas. After just 2 starts in 2015 Vickers was forced to remove himself from the driver’s seat. His new blood thinning medication prevented him from being medically able to drive.

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Vickers intended to return to the driver’s seat in 2016, but the shutdown of MWR has left him without a car to drive. Vickers has made a few appearances as a broadcaster with NASCAR on NBC during 2015. Vickers earned one win  in the number in a 2013 New Hampshire race, he also earned 1 pole in 2014.

 

  • During Vicker’s absence in 2015 Brett Moffitt David Ragan piloted the #55 for most of the remaining races. Moffitt made a total of 6 starts, and turned some heads by finishing 8th in his first start at Atlanta. Ragan, after subbing for Kyle Busch in the #18 for several races, drove the #55 for 26 races in 2015 earning no top 10 finishes.
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David Ragan’s Darlington car (2015), a throwback paint scheme similar to one of his father Ken Ragan’s cars.

 

  • Mark Martin (39 starts), Elliot Sadler (4 starts), Terry Labonte (4 starts), and Patrick Carpentier (2 starts) have all made starts from 2007-2013 along with Brian Vickers as the number was a part time entry for MWR during this time.
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Mark Martin
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Elliott Sadler
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Terry Labonte
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Patrick Carpentier
  • Michael Waltrip  has the most career starts in #55 with 129. Mikey drove the car full time in 2006 for Bill Davis Racing before bringing his Busch Series team Michael Waltrip Racing to Cup for 2007.
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Waltrip driving for Bill Davis, 2006

 

He would continue to drive #55 in 2008, & 2009 and part time from 2010-2013. In 2007 NASCAR inspectors found evidence in the engine manifold that Waltrip’s team had used an illegal fuel additive. NASCAR confiscated the car, forcing Waltrip to move to a back-up for the Daytona 500. Waltrip was docked 100 driver points & 100 owner points. After a 30th place finish in the Daytona 500, Waltrip became the first driver in series history to go into the second race of the season with a negative number of points (−27).

 

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Waltrip, 2007

 

Waltrip failed to qualify for the next eleven races following the Daytona 500, so he maintained his negative point total for almost 4 months. He qualified for the thirteenth race of the season at Dover and finished 28th, moving his point total above zero to 52 points.

 

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Waltrip 2010

Beginning in 2010, Mikey retired from driving full-time, but became one of the rotating cast of drivers in the #55, usually starting at restrictor plate tracks. This continued until 2014 when Brian Vickers was named the full time driver of the #55 car. In 2015, Waltrip started #55 at Daytona & Talladega in place of  Vickers. In 2016, Waltrip started 1 race at Talladega in the #55 Toyota for Premium Motorsports.

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Waltrip, 2015
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Waltrip, 2016

 

  • In 2010-2011 Davey Blaney , Michael McDowell, Jeff Green, Mike Bliss, JJ Yeley, and Travis Kvapil all drove the #55 for Prism racing in limited starts.
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Mike Bliss, 2010

 

 

  • Bobby Hamilton  drove #55 from 2001-2002, before a broken shoulder caused him to miss the last few races of the season. Hamilton scored 1 win  for Andy Petree racing at Talladega in 2001. While Hamilton was injured Greg Biffle and Ron Hornaday filled in for him.
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Hamilton, 2001

 

At Martinsville in October 2001, Hamilton moved rookie Kevin Harvick out the way to take the lead. In the following corner, Harvick repayed the favor by spinning Hamilton out of the lead. The incident ended in a memorable interview with Hamilton comparing Harvick to the man who previously drove that Goodwrench Chevy.

 

  • Prior to Hamilton, Kenny Wallace  drove the #55 in 68 races from 1999-2000. Kenny’s best finish was 2nd in 2000 at Talladega when he pushed Dale Earnhardt  to his 76th and final win.
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Kenny Wallace, 1999

 

 

 

  • In 1994 Jimmy Hensley  drove the #55 for 15 races. That year Butch Miller made 2 starts in the number and Tim Fedewa made 1 start.
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Jimmy Hensley, 1994

 

  • From 1991-1993 Ted Musgrave  made 87 starts in #55.

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  • From 1987-1989 Phil Parsons  drove the #55 in 86 starts as a teammate to Harry Gant’s #33. Phil’s older brother Benny Parsons  drove the same car in 66 races from 1982-1986. Benny and Phil  earned 1 win each in the number, Phil Parsons’ only career win as a driver.
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Phil Parsons, 1987
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Benny Parsons

 

 

  • Tiny Lund  started #55 119 times from 1957-1973 with 4 wins.
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Tiny Lund, 1971

 

  • Junior Johnson  drove #55 to 5 wins in 42 starts between 1955-1957.
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Junior Johnson

 

  • Other notable drivers in #55:
    • Leeroy Yarbrough, 4 races
    • Wendell Scott, 1 race
    • Banjo Matthews, 1 race
    • Hut Stricklin, 1 race

 

 

56 Days until the Daytona 500

The number 56 car has been driven in 291 Sprint Cup Series races with 2 wins, 3 poles, 32 top 5s, 85 tops 10s, and 86 DNFs.

 

  • Martin Truex Jr. claims exactly half of the total starts #56 has made with 144 from 2010-2013. During that time Truex Jr. earned 1 win at Sonoma and accumulated 3 poles while completing 96% of all possible laps.

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Truex Jr. and Michael Waltrip Racing would lose NAPA as a sponsor following the “Spingate”cheating scandal of 2013 leading to Truex Jr’s move to the #78 Furniture Row Car.

 

  • 56 is the family number of the Truex Family, as Martin Truex Sr.  drove the number for most of his starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series between 1993-1996.
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Martin Truex Sr.’s XFINITY Series car,

 

  • Jim Hurtubise  was a successful USAC  and Indy Car  driver who experimented in NASCAR running a career total of 36 races, but piloted #56, his open wheel number, for 13 races between 1966 & 1968. Hurtubise has the only other win  in the #56 in 1966 at Atlanta.

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Hurtubise’s USAC Indy Car, 1964
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Another Hurtubise Indy Car (year unknown).
  • Bill Morton drove the #56 in 15 Grand National Races from 1958-1965. Morton also ran the number in the other NASCAR divisions of the time including modified  and convertibles .
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Bill Morton (56), 1958
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Bill Morton’s modified, 1968
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Bill Morton’s car in the NASCAR Convertible Series, 1958

 

  • Ed Livingston  is the only other driver with more than just a handful of starts in #56. From 1963-1964 Livingston started #56 13 times, but would be best known for his career in #68.
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Livingston, 1963
  • In 1987 Ernie Irvan made his Cup series debut driving #56 at Richmond, sponsored by Dale Earnhardt’s Chevrolet Dealership. Irvan would start the number once more later that year at Charlotte.
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Ernie Irvan, 1987
  • Other notable names in #56:
    • Leeroy Yarbrough, 6 races
    • Marvin Panch, 3 races
    • Tiny Lund, 1 race
    • Elmo Langley, 1 race

57 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #57 car has started 298 races and has  0 wins, 2 poles, 12 top 5s, 43 top 10s, and 141 DNFs

 

  • Johnny Halford has the most starts in the number with 33 between 1969 & 1970.

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  • David Ray Boggs  made 27 starts between 1971 & 1972.

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  • In 1989 Hut Stricklin  made 27 starts and finished 2nd in the Rookie standings driving the Heinz Ketchup #57 Pontiac. The number references The Heinz Company slogan of “57 varieties” which actually means nothing, it’s just an arbitrary number used for marketing purposes. Heinz also has it’s 57 Sauce  which is delicious, in case you were wondering.
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Stricklin, 1989
  • Jimmy Spencer  would replace Stricklin for the 1990 season making 26 starts. In 1988, prior to Stricklin, Morgan Shepard would make 7 starts for the team driving a Buick.
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Spencer, 1990

 

  • From 1992-1994 Bob Schacht would make a total of 6 starts in #57.

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  • In 2000 Bobby Hamilton Jr.  made his very first Cup start driving a #57 car owned by his dad.

 

  • From 2001-2003, Team CLR  fielded the #57 for Brett Bodine, Kevin Lepage, Stuart Kirby, and of course Derrike Cope for a grand total of 5 races.

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  • In the XFINITY Series, From 1999-2003 Jason Keller  drove the #57 car to 9 wins and was constantly a threat for the championship, finishing runner up to Greg Biffle in 2002.

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  • Though he has never actually started the number in Cup, Norm Benning must be recognized. Norm owns his own race team and trys to field the #57 in a few races each year. Norm has not actually started a Cup race since he drove the #63 in 1993. However, Norm is now a regular in the Truck series, often driving #57, and he turned a few heads in 2013 when he dramatically raced his way into the show during last chance qualifying at the inaugural race at Eldora.
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Norm Benning’s Cup Car from the 2011 Daytona 500. He DNQ’d.

 

 

 

  • Other notable names in #57:
    • Speedy Thompson, 3 races
    • Neil Castles, 1 race
    • Charlie Glotzbach, 1 race
    • Wendell Scott, 1 race
    • Joe Weatherly, 1 race

58 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #58 car has started 133 races and has  1 win, 0 poles, 7 top 5s, 15 top 10s, and 64 DNFs.

 

  • Johnny Patterson drove the #58 Hudson in 20 races between 1952-1954, the most out of anyone in the number.

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  • Doug Moore made 13 starts in #58 between 1964 & 1965.

 

  • In 1962 Johnny Allen made only 3 starts in #58. In those 3 starts he won a race, and led 178 laps.

 

  • In 1999 Ricky Craven  signed on with SBIII Motorsports, a brand new team in NASCAR. Though he won a Winston West race for the team and led 2 laps, after 12 starts and failing to qualify for the Coca Cola 600, Craven was replaced by Loy Allen  for 3 races, Sean Woodside for 1 race, and ultimately Hut Stricklin  for 9 races.
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Craven, 1999
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Loy Allen, 1999
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Hut Stricklin, 199

One week after the team announced a 4 year sponsorship deal with Motorsports Safety Technologies, Stricklin was released and the team shut down due to lack of funding. The company had written a check that bounced when cashed by the team.

 

  • In 2007 James Hylton tried and failed to make the Daytona 500. James Hylton is mostly associated with #48, but that number was being used in 2007.
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James Hylton, 2007
  • Other notable names in #58:
    • Tiny Lund, 2 starts
    • Buck Baker, 1 start
    • Jeff Purvis, 1 start
    • Johnny Beauchamp, 1 start