38 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #38 car has started 725 races with 76 drivers and has 7 wins, 14 poles, 30 top 5s, 86 top 10s, and 208 DNFs.

  • In 2003 Elliott Sadler  signed on to drive the #38 M&Ms Ford for Robert Yates racing. In his 130 starts with the team Salder earned 2 of his 3 career wins  and 7 poles. Both victories came in the 2004 season at Texas  & California . Much like Ryan Newman in #39, Elliot Sadler had a hard time keeping his wheels on the ground at Talladega where he went airborne  in 2003  & 2004 . In 2006 Sadler struggled, and after a frustrating first half of the season Sadler left RYR to drive #19 for Ray Evernham.
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Elliott Sadler, 2005
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Sadler at Texas, 2004

 

  • When Sadler Left Robert Yates Racing midway through 2006, David Gilliland  took over his #38 ride at Yates. This was convenient for David because #38 was kind of a “family number.” David’s father Butch Gilliland drove #38 many times in his Winston West (K&N West) career (in addition to other numbers like 1 & 88), as well as 3 Winston Cup  (Sprint Cup) starts. David Gilliland drove #38 in Cup from 2006-2008 earning 2 poles including the 2007 Daytona 500 . Robert Yates Racing closed in 2009 due to lack of sponsorship and Gilliland was released from his Contract.
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David Gilliland, 2006
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Butch Gilliland, 1999
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David Gilliand and his RYR teammate Ricky Rudd take the front row for the 2007 Daytona 500

 

After floating from car to car in 2009, Gilliland was hired by Front Row Motorsports beginning in the 2010 season. From 2010-2011 Gilliland raced multiple different cars for FRM including #34, #35, #36, & #37. However, in these 2 year Gilliland also made 13 starts in his old number 38 . Other drivers of the #38 during these 2 years include Travis Kvapil , J.J. Yeley , Terry Labonte , Kevin Conway , Robet Richardson Jr., Sam Hornish Jr., & Dave Blaney. Travis Kvapil has the most starts in #38 of this group and ranks 5th all time with 35 races in the number.

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Travis Kvapil, 2011
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J.J. Yeley, 2011
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Terry Labonte, 2011

 

Starting in 2012 Gilliland  began driving #38 for FRM full time. Gilliland’s biggest moments in the car so far have been winning the pole  for the 2014 July Daytona Race and pushing teammate David Reagan to victory  in the 2013 Spring Talladega race for a Front Row Motorsports 1-2 finish . Gilliland has started 243 races in #38. After not scoring any top-10 finishes in 2015, Gilliland was released from the team in favor of Landon Cassill. In 2016 Gilliland attempted all 4 restrictor plate races with Front Row driving the unchartered #35, qualifying for 2.

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Gilliland, 2012
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Gilliland wins the pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, 2014

 

  • In 2016 Landon Cassill took the reigns of the #38 car for Front Row.  Cassill had his best performance of the season in the Food City 500, where he led 20 laps on a contrary fuel strategy to a 22nd-place finish. Cassill will return to FRM in 2017, though he will drive #34 as David Ragan will return to the team in #38. Cassill has a total of 36 starts in #38.
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Landon Cassill leads the field at Bristol, 2016

 

 

  • Wayne Smith  drove #38 for the majority of his NASCAR career with 97 starts from 1965-1971.
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Wayne Smith

 

  • From 1970-1976 Jimmy Insolo  started 17 races in #38.
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Jimmy Insolo

 

  •  Gwyn Staley  found most of his career success and met his demise driving #38 in 14 starts from 1957-1958. All 3 of his career Grand National (Sprint Cup) wins came in 1957 driving the number, and in March 1958 Staley was killed in a NASCAR Convertible Series race in Richmond, VA when his #38 flipped and pinned him underneath. He was 30 years old.
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Gwyn Staley, 1957

 

  • Between 1959-1960 Ned Jarrett made 14 starts in #38 including one win. Jarrett also frequently used #38 in the sportsman division .
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Ned Jarrett
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Jarrett’s NASCAR Sportsman division car

 

  • NASCAR Convertible Series star Bob Welborn made exactly 1 Grand National (Sprint Cup) start in #38 at Champion Speedway in 1958. He won that race, and it would be the first in his streak of 4 straight wins on the circuit.
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Welborn (right) being congratulated after his 1958 win at Martinsville by Curtis Turner (center) and Joe Weatherly (left)

Other notable names in #38

  • Dick Johnson, 7 starts
  • Alan Kulwicki, 3 starts
  • Morgan Shepard, 2 starts
  • Lee Petty, 1 start
  • Joe Ruttman, 1 start

In the XFINITY Series, the #38 car was been consistently fielded from 1993-2012, though the team has been sold multiple times from Akins Motorsports, Braun Racing, and Turner Scott Motorsports. Drivers have included Bobby Hamilton, Hut Stricklin, Kasey Kahne , A.J. Foyt IV, and Jason Leffler.

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Kasey Kahne, 2010
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A.J. Foyt IV, 2006
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Jason Leffler, 2011

 

In 2007, Leffler scored 1 win in the #38 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It was Toyota’s first win in the XFINITY Series. Following the 2012 season Turner Scott disbanded team #38 due to lack of sponsorship, but when LEFturn was killed in a 2013 Sprint Car accident his former team honored him by painting their #31 car  to resemble the #38 they previously fielded for him, put his nickname above the door, and put a small #38 on the C-pillar of the car.

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Leffler’s 2007 win at IRP
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The Turner Scott #31 car, painted to honor Leffler after his death in 2013
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Leffler and his young son Charlie Dean who is now 9 years old.
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