Car #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 in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2013, Brad’s brother Brian Keselowski made 2 of his 3 career Sprint Cup starts to date behind the wheel of the #52.
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.
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.
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.
In 1994 Bob Keselowski, father of Brad and Brian, would make his only career Cup start driving #52 at Pocono.
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.
Number 53 has been raced 204 times in the NASCAR 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.
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.
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, and he is the last person to drive car #53 in the Cup Series.
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.
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.
Herbie the Love Bug is #53. In 2005 Herbie starred in a NASCAR related movie alongside Lindsay Lohan in “Herbie: Fully Loaded.”
Car number 54 has started 459 races with 3 wins, 9 poles, 67 top 5s, 166 top 10s, and 203 DNFs in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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.
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.
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.
From 1969-1970 Bill Dennis made 24 starts in #56.
Robert Pressley drove the #54 for 3 races in 1994. His father Bob Pressley used the #54 while dominating his local short track.
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 had 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. The KBM #54 has not started an XFINITY race since 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. The KBM #54 has not started a truck race since 2015.
Car number 55 has been driven 1096 times with 13 wins, 20 poles, 94 top 5s, 234 top 10s, and 338 DNFs in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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. In 2017, the car returned with Derrike Cope for 11 races, Gray Gaulding for 8 races, Reed Sorenson for 5 races, and D.J. Kennington and Tommy Regan for 1 race each.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From 1991-1993 Ted Musgrave made 87 starts in #55.
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.
Tiny Lund started #55 119 times from 1957-1973 with 4 wins.
Junior Johnson drove #55 to 5 wins in 42 starts between 1955-1957.
The number 56 car has been driven in races with 2 wins, 3 poles, 32 top 5s, 85 tops 10s, and 86 DNFs in the NASCAR Cup Series.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
Car number has started 298 races and has 0 wins, 2 poles, 12 top 5s, 43 top 10s, and 141 DNFs in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Johnny Halford has the most starts in the number with 33 between 1969 & 1970.
David Ray Boggs made 27 starts between 1971 & 1972.
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.
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.
From 1992-1994 Bob Schacht would make a total of 6 starts in #57.
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.
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.
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.
Car number 58 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.
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.
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.