49 Days until the Daytona 500

The #49 car has made 665 starts with 69 drivers in the Sprint Cup Series with 6 or 7 wins (more on that later), 8 poles, 76 top 5s, 160 top 10s, and 314 DNFs.

  • G.C. Spencer  made 238 starts from 1964-1977. Spencer drove for his own independent team for most of his career, and was one of the most successful independents of the day. His best season came in 1965, when he finished fourth in points with 14 top-5 finishes and 25 top-10s and his only career pole. Although he drove GM and Chrysler cars for most of his career, he drove Fords in 1965, where he found most of his success. Spencer Never won a race, but had 7 career 2nd place finishes.

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  • Bob Welborn  is best known for his dominance in the NASCAR convertible series where he won 3 championships 1956-1958. He also found success driving #49 in the Grand National (now Sprint Cup) series with 5 wins in 93 starts from 1955-1962. In 1998 Welborn was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers for the 50th anniversary of the sport.

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  • Stanley Smith  made 27 starts in #49 from 1991-1993.

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  • Jim Paschal has 5 starts in #49 including 1 win.

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Bobby Allison drove #49 Ford Mustang twice in 1971. He finished second at WV International and won at Winston-Salem, NC. This win is not technically recognized by NASCAR, though.

 

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Bobby Allison, 1971

 

 

The Grand American Series was a lower NASCAR division that is very similar to the modern day XFINITY series, though is not its direct ancestor. The series would run “Pony Cars” like Ford Mustangs and Chevy Cameros. In 1971, NASCAR would occasionally run the Grand National (Cup Series) races and the Grand American Series races at the same time on the same track, similar to how the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship runs multiple classes within a race.

 

Bobby Allison took the checkered flag first at Winston-Salem driving a “Pony Car” in one of the combined events. Because he was not driving a Grand National Car, he was not awarded the win, but he was credited with the Grand American Series win. Tiny Lund also won a combined event in a Grand American Car and is not recognized for it.

 

  • BAM Racing ran the #49 through most of the 2000s. In 2000 BAM ran select ARCA events and in 2001 attempted a few Cup races Andy Hillenburg , but failed to qualify. In 2002 the team moved to Cup full time with driver Shawna Robinson, but Robinson struggled the first half of the season and was replaced after the July Daytona race. Ron Hornaday, Stacy Compton, Derrike Cope, Kevin Lepage, and Stuart Kirby would finish the season sharing the seat.
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Andy Hillenburg, 2001
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Shawna Robinson, 2002

 

  • For 2003 BAM tapped veteran driver Ken Schrader  to drive the car. Despite a few setbacks  Schrader  was very consistent for the team, qualifying for almost every race from 2003-2005 and finishing as high as 6th place.
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Schrader, 2003
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Schrader, 2004

 

  • When Schrader left to drive the #21 car for the Wood Bros. the team went through several different drivers due to contractual and sponsorship problems. Brent Sherman , Jimmy Spencer, Kevin Lepage, Mike Bliss , Chad Chaffin, and John Andretti  would all make starts in 2006 & 2007. Schrader  returned for The Clash at Daytona in 2008, but would fail to qualify for the 500. The team shut down in 2008 with the only exception of Chad McCumbee  driving a BAM & Petty Enterprises co-venture in the 2008 All Star race.
NASCAR - Nextel Cup - UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 - March 12, 2006
Brent Sherman, 2007
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Mike Bliss, 2007
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Chad McCumbee, 2008

 

 

  • In 2016, Matt DiBenedetto drove the #49 at Homestead-Miami. Matt ran the #83 for BK Racing for the majority of the season, but a sponsorship deal with the video game NASCAR HEAT EVOLUTION resulted in a number change, highlighting the game’s price reduction to $49.99. The race would be the last of DiBenedetto’s tenure at BK Racing, as he will move to the #32 for GO FAS Racing in 2017.
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DiBenedetto, 2016

 

 

  • Other Notable Names in #49:
    • Doug Moore, 16 starts.
    • Trevor Boys, 15 starts
    • J.J. Yeley, 14 starts
    • Mike Wallace, 2 start
    • Buddy Baker, 2 starts
    • Jason Leffler, 3 starts
    • Glenn Jarrett, 2 starts
    • Jimmy Pardue, 1 start
    • Curtis Turner, 1 start
    • Tim Flock, 1 start
    • Wendell Scott, 1 start
    • Ned Jarrett, 1 start
    • Lennie Pond, 1 start
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