73 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #73 car has started 188 races and has  2 wins, 2 poles, 9 top 5s, 31 top 10s, and 101 DNFs

  • Bill Schmitt was a 4 time Winston West (K&N West) champion who started 42 of his 44 career Cup starts in #73. Schmitt competed in 1-4 races every year from 1975-1993. Schmidt exclusively compete at races on the West Coast (Ontario, Riverside, Sonoma, and Phoenix) with the only exception being the 1980 Daytona 500.
Bill Schmitt - NASCAR Laguna Seca 1977
Schmitt’s Winston West Car, 1977
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Bill Schmitt accepting his 1977 Winston West Championship trophy.
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Bill Schmitt’s Cup Car, 1980s

 

  • Phil Barkdoll started 19 races in #73 from 1986-1992, racing exclusively at Daytona and Talladega. Barkdoll’s final start would have come in the 1997 Daytona 500, but Joe Nemechek and his SABCO team bought the starting position from Barkdoll after Nemechek failed to qualify in his #42 car. It was Nemecheck’s only start in #73.
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Phil Barkdoll, 1986
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Joe Nemechek, 1997

 

  • In the 1966 season Buddy Baker started the #73 car in 17 races.

 

  • Despite almost winning the inaugural Daytona 500, Johnny Beauchamp only started a total of 23 races in his NASCAR Grand National (Sprint Cup) career. Of those 23 starts, 14 were in car #73 including the 1959 Daytona 500 in which he was originally declared the winner before, 3 days later, photo evidence proved Lee Petty had won.
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The photo that determined the winner of the 1959 Daytona 500. Petty (42) just edges out Beauchamp (73). The car outside of Petty is a lap down.

In 1959 Beauchamp would win at Lakewood Speedway, and in 1960 he would win at the Nashville Fairgrounds. These were the only 2 wins of Beauchamp’s short career and the only wins ever in car #73.

1959-Daytona-500-Lee-Petty-Johnny-Beauchamp
Petty (42) and Beauchamp (73) racing at Daytona, 1959

Beauchamp’s last NASCAR start was the 1961 Daytona qualifying race where he collided with Lee Petty, sending both cars over the guard rail. Petty would sustain life-threatening injuries, while Beauchamp walked away with only a few bruised.

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Beauchamp and Petty fly over the guard-rail at Daytona, 1961. 
  • Other notable names in #73
    • Steve Moore, 14 starts
    • Ralph Earnhardt, 3 starts
    • Tony Raines, 2 starts
    • Joe Ruttman, 2 starts
    • Curtis Crider, 1 start
    • Cale Yarborough, 1 start
    • Bobby Wawak, 1 start
    • Travis Kvapil, 1 start
    • Eric McClure, 1 start
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