61 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #61 car has started 232 races and has  0 wins, 0 poles, 5 top 5s, 29 top 10s, and 119 DNFs.

 

  • Joe Mihalic has the most starts in #61 with 28 from 1975-1978, the majority of his 38 career starts. Mihalic was a local legend in small-town Pennsylvania, but when Heildelberg Raceway closed in 1973 he decided to go Winston (Sprint) Cup racing.  He started as many races as he could on a shoe-string budget, often buying used tires from other teams.
joe_mihalic_baker_daytona
Mihalic (61) racing Buddy Baker (15), c.1974
  • Hoss Ellington made all 20 of his career starts in #61 from 1968-1970. Hoss would then retire from driving, but become one of the most successful team owners of his era by fielding cars for names like Donnie Allison, David Pearson, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, A. J. Foyt, Kyle Petty, and Dale Jarrett, among others.
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Hoss Ellington, 1969

 

  • In NASCAR the #61 is most associated with 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richie Evans, even though he never started a Cup Series race.

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In 1973, Evans became the NASCAR National Modified Champion. In 1978, the “Rapid Roman” won a second title and did not relinquish his crown during the next seven years. Evans took over four hundred feature race wins at racetracks from Quebec to Florida before he was killed in a crash at Martinsville Speedway while practicing for the Winn-Dixie 500 tripleheader in late 1985. Before his fatal crash, Evans had clinched NASCAR’s inaugural Winston Modified Tour (now known as Whelen Modified Tour) championship.

 

 

 

  • Other notable names in #61
    • Sherman Utsman, 15 starts
    • Clarence Lovell, 15 starts
    • Elmo Langley, 13 starts
    • Kevin Lepage, 9 starts
    • Rick Carelli, 6 starts
    • Chad Chaffin, 6 starts
    • Joe Weatherly, 3 starts
    • Johnny Rutherford, 3 starts
    • Possum Jones, 2 starts
    • Bill Rexford, 1 start
    • Ned Jarret, 1 start
    • Stanton Barrett Jr, 1 start
    • Austin Cameron, 1 start
    • Roy Mayne, 1 start
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