54 Days until the Daytona 500

In the Sprint Cup Series the number 54 has started 459 races with 3 wins, 9 poles, 67 top 5s, 166 top 10s, and 205 DNFs.

  • 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.

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  • 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.
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Pond, 1976

 

  • 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.
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Todd Bodine, 2003
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Bodine and Kenny Wallace (23) crash hard at Michigan, 2003

 

  • From 1969-1970 Bill Dennis  made 24 starts in #56.
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Dennis, 1970
  • Robert Pressley  drove the #54 for 3 races in 1994. His father Bob Pressley  used the #54 while dominating his local short track.
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Pressley, 1994
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A young Robert Pressley leans against his Dad’s car
  • 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 has 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.
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Kyle Busch, 2012

 

 

 

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Denny Hamlin, 2015
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Boris Said, 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 .
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Bubba Wallace, 2013
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