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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Moffitt
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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.

Ted-Musgrave

 

 

 

  • 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

 

 

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