72 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #72 car has started 478 races and has  14 wins, 14 poles, 145 top 5s, 237 top 10s, and 183 DNFs

 

  • Benny Parsons has the most starts in #72 with 287 from 1970-1978. Benny scored 12 wins in the number and won the 1973 Winston (Sprint) Cup Championship. Benny joined the NASCAR circuit full-time in 1970 with crew chief, John Hill. He had 23 top-10 finishes in 45 races, a pole at Langley Field Speedway, and finished eighth in the final point standings. He raced in the #72 DeWitt Racing car.
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Benny Parsons, 1970

 

 

Parsons had 18 top-10 finishes in 35 starts in 1971, including his first win at South Boston Speedway. He finished eleventh in the points.

In 1972 he had 19 top-10 finishes in 31 races. He finished fifth in the final points standings.

In 1973 he won the NASCAR Championship with only one win, even though David Pearson won eleven races (but Pearson only entered eighteen events). Parsons’ consistency likely won him the championship: he had 21 top-10 and 15 top-5 finishes in the 28 events. His improbable return to the track after an early crash cemented his championship at Rockingham, North Carolina. He saw his championship hopes start to fade as he was involved in a lap 13 crash and his car was heavily damaged. He took to the pits to muster whatever he could out of the car and hope for a top five finish in the final standings. The rest of the garage was hoping to see the underdog unseat the mighty Richard Petty and joined in to help Parsons’ crew put the car back together. Parsons miraculously got back on the track 136 laps later and completed enough laps to finish 25th and take the 1973 championship. Richard Petty, with the championship in his sights after winning the pole and seeing Parsons’ accident, had engine trouble and was relegated to a 35th place finish. The poor performance dropped Petty all the way to fifth in the final standings, as Cale Yarborough took the runner up spot on the season with his third place effort. He finished 67 points behind the champion. Parsons also became the only person to win both ARCA and NASCAR championships.

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Benny (between the girls) celebrates at Bristol after his lone win of the 1973 season.

Parsons finished between third and fifth in the final points standings from 1974 to 1978 and won the 1975 Daytona 500. In 1979 BP switched team and switched his car number to #27.

 

  • Joe Millikan drove #72 for DeWitt Racing in 40 races from 1979-1980, the majority of his 72 career starts.
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Millikan, 1979

 

  • Bobby Johns drove #72 in a few races every year from 1959-1962 for a total of 35 starts. In 1962 he scored a win in the #72 car at Bristol. This would be the last of his 2 career wins.
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Bobby Johns, 1962
  • Other notable names in #72
    • Donald Thomas, 21 starts
    • Kirk Shelmerdine, 18 starts
    • Rusty Wallace, 5 starts
    • John Andretti, 4 starts
    • Joe Weatherly, 3 starts, 1 win
    • Charlie Glotzbach, 3 starts
    • Mike Skinner, 2 starts
    • David Gilliland, 1 start
    • Phil Parson, 1 start
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