46 Days until the Daytona 500

In NASCAR Cup Series competition the #46 car has started 466 races with 52 drivers and has 11 wins, 14 poles, 58 top 5s, 97 top 10s, and 208 DNFs.

  • Yesterday we talked about the successful career of Jack Smith in #47, but he also made 12 career starts driving #46  from 1961-1962, including 2 wins.
Jack Smith (46) racing Fireball Roberts (22)


  • Speedy Thompson  drove the #46 Buckshot Morris Oldsmobile in 75 races from 1953-1958, almost half of his career starts. He scored 8 of his 20 career wins driving the car. After running part time since 1959, Speedy would give up Grand National (now Cup) racing for good in 1962 in favor of late models at his local North Carolina short tracks. On Easter Sunday 1972, Speedy suffered a fatal heart attack while driving his late model causing him to crash the car. He died one day before his 46th birthday.
Thompson (46) races Buck Baker (87) at Daytona Beach
  • Bob Welborn was best know for driving #49  in the NASCAR Convertible Series, but he did start 2 Cup races in #46 including a win in 1959.
Bob Welborn & his #49 Convertible


  • J.T. Putney  started 16 races in 1964.
JT Putney, 1964
  • Roy Mayne  was a career Air Force Man who enjoyed racing during his breaks from duty, mostly at superspeedways. Of his 139 career starts, Roy drove the number 46 in 71 of them from 1965-1972. Roy was also a bit of a movie star, appearing as himself in the 1968 Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra movie “Speedway.”
Roy Mayne (46) racing Richard Petty (43)


  • From 1974-1983 Travis Tillerstarted several races every year, but never the full schedule. 49 out of his 52 career starts were in #46.
Travis Tiller
  • In 1993 Rick Hendrick put together an R&D car for Buddy Baker  at Talladega. Baker’s Dupont Chevy was basically an exact replica of Jeff Gordon’s rainbow ride, but bore the number 46. Baker DNQ’d after a series of difficulties during inspection that led to a slow qualifying lap.
Buddy Baker, 1993
  • In 1997 Wally Dallenbach Jr  drove the #46 for Felix Sabates. The team qualified for 22 races. In 1998 Dallenbach would start 4 races for the team before leaving to Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #50 for injured Ricky Craven. Jeff Green , Morgan Shepard, and Tommy Kendall would drive the number to complete the year.
Dallenbach, 1998


  • From 2010-2011 Whitney Motorsports fielded #46 in the Cup Series with multiple drivers including J.J. Yeley , Scott Speed , Eric Darnell, Michael McDowell , and Terry Cook. Bill Elliott  even started a race, but J.J. Yeley took over after the first pit stop.
JJ Yeley


  • Beginning in 2015 Michael Annett began driving the #46 car for HScott motorsports. Annett qualified for 34 of 36 races, but drove in 35 races after buying the starting spot of the #33 car at Atlanta. Annett’s only top 20 finish came in the Daytona 500, a 13th place finish. After a dismal 2016 season that featured only 1 top 20 finish and an average finish of 37th, Annett left HScott Motorsports as the team closed down it’s Cup Series teams. Annett now drives for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Annett, 2015


  • Carl Long drove several car numbers in his Cup career, but most frequently attempted to qualify his #46 car from 2003-2009. He only qualified the number twice, most notable the 2004 race a Rockingham in which he wrecked spectacularly.

In 2009, Long attempted to qualify his #46 in the Daytona 500, but DNQ’d. On All-Star weekend, he attempted to compete in the All Star Race. He was found to have an engine that was 0.17 cubic inches too large. Long was fined $200,000, a sum far too much for his small operation to pay. This fine effectively ended Long’s Cup career for 9 years. Long still raced in the XFINITY Series and worked as a crew member for some XFINITY Series teams until 2017, when an agreement was reached between Long and NASCAR, allowed him to field his #66 car in the Cup Series.


  • The King of the ARCA series is undoubtedly Frank Kimmel . Kimmel has won 10 Championships including 8 straight from 2000-2007.  This streak of domination in the series happened while he was driving the #46 Pork/Advanced Auto Parts car, though he also started a car #46 in 2016 at Daytona. He also has 1 Cup start in his red black and yellow #46 during the 2002 season.
Kimmel’s ARCA Car after a win at Kentucky, 2005
Kimmel, Daytona 2016 (his 2nd to last start, as of now)
  • Cole Trickle , played by actor Tom Cruise  drove the #46 City Chevrolet car in the 1990 film “Days of Thunder.” The film is loosely based on the real world personalities of Tim Richmond, Harry Hyde, and Rick Hendrick, though the story is mostly fabricated. Many drivers like Harry Gant, Rusty Wallace, and Neil Bonnet are seen in the film portraying themselves.



Other notable names in #46

  • Johnny Benson , 1 start
  • Greg Sacks, 2 starts
  • Stacy Compton, 2 starts
  • Todd Bodine, 1 start
  • Tiny Lund, 1 start
  • Al Unser Jr, 1 start
  • Andy Pilgrim, 1 start

In the Truck Series, Dennis Setzer  found success for many years driving the #46  Chevy Silverado with 123 starts and 11 wins.


Dennis Setzer does a burnout after winning  at Martinsville Speedway, April 2003

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