In Sprint Cup Series competition the #48 car has started 1,447 races with 75 drivers and has 83 wins, 39 poles, 379 top 5s, 702 top 10s, and 299 DNFs. The average finishing position for car #48 is 14.1
- From 1966-1993 James Hylton was synonymous with #48. Hylton truly has one of most astonishing careers in NASCAR History. He has 2 Cup series wins in 602 races, 583 of which were in the #48 car. Hylton was remarkably consistent; in his 27 year Cup career exactly 50% of the races he started ended in a top 10 finish. Because of this, he finished second in the point standings 3 times: 1966, 1967, and 1971.
Hylton’s last Cup series start came in 1993, but that wasn’t the end of his career. Hylton would continue drive his #48 in ARCA for another 20 years and even made occasional starts in the XFINITY Series. In 2006 he became the oldest driver to start a ‘top level’ NASCAR event at age 72, but he would break his own record again in 2011 at age 77. He even attempted to start the 2007 and 2009 Daytona 500 , but he was forced to enter #58 because some punk kid had taken his number.
In 2013 James Hylton retired as a driver, but still acts as an owner planning to field his #48 in the ARCA series for young drivers. He is 81 years old.
- Seven Time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson has made 543 starts (40 short of James Hylton’s mark) in his #48 Lowes Chevy with 80 wins. Jimmie made his first start in 2001 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. It did not go well .
Johnson started racing in Winston Cup (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) full time in 2002, and in his 13th career start, Johnson scored his first career win in the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at his home track of Auto Club Speedway. Johnson became the first rookie driver to lead the point standings, and the first rookie to win twice at the same track during a season, by sweeping both Dover races. He recorded four pole positions and three wins, tying Tony Stewart’s rookie season win record. However, Johnson would lose the Rookie of the Year honors to Ryan Newman who was more consistent, though had less wins.
Johnson has driven to 80 wins since 2002, and in 2016 he tied Dale Earnhardt Sr. & Richard Petty as a 7 time winner of the Cup Series Championship, adding to his collection from 2006-2010 & 2013.
Jimmie has run almost every race with his trusty crew chief Chad Knaus , but Jimmie has also worked with Darian Grubb and Steve Letarte during the few times that Knaus has been suspended for rules violations. The most notable of these occasions came when Jimmie won the 2006 Daytona 500 with Grubb.
Jimmie has officially started every single Cup race of his career in the #48, the only exception is the 2011 All Star Race when he drove #5 as part of a promotion for Lowe’s.
In 48 Days, Johnson will return to Daytona to begin his 16th full-time season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and he will attempt to win his record breaking 8th championship.
- G.C. Spencer was most well known for driving #49, but he also made 96 starts in #48 from 1960-1963.
- Starting in 1982 James Hylton began piloting his #48 car part time, and used many other drivers to run the remaining races. Canadian driver Trevor Boys has the most starts driving Hylton’s 48 car with 53 between 1983 & 1984
- Other notable names in #48.
- Lennie Pond, 11 starts
- Greg Sacks, 9 starts
- Slick Johnson, 7 starts
- Tiny Lund, 5 starts
- Jim Paschal, 4 starts
- Joe Weatherly, 2 starts
- Harry Gant, 1 race
- Fireball Roberts, 1 race
- Hershel McGriff, 1 race
- Morgan Shepherd, 1 race
- Bill Norton, 1 start, 1 win
- In the XFINITY Series, Brad Keselowski drove #48 in 1 race at Homestead, FL in 2013. Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano would also make starts in the car that year.
- In 2016 Brennan Poole drove the #48 for Chip Ganassi Racing. In the spring Talladega Race, Poole appeared to have won his first race, but an untimely caution would ultimately cost him the win. Poole will return to Ganassi in 2017, presumably returning to car #48.