34 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #34 car has started 932 races with 73 drivers and has 4 wins, 2 pole, 32 top 5s, 182 top 10s, and 277 DNFs.

  • Wendell Scott  has the most career starts in #34 with 469 starts including 1 win in 1964 at Jacksonville Speedway Park in Jacksville, FL. He is the first black driver to win a race in what is now the Sprint Cup Series and is the only black driver to win so far. Scott’s career was repeatedly affected by racial prejudice and problems with top-level NASCAR officials. However, his determined struggle as an underdog won him thousands of white fans and many friends and admirers among his fellow racers. After a bad accident at Talladega in 1973, Scott was forced to retire. He died at age 69 in 1990 after a battle with spinal cancer. Scott  was part of the 2015 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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  • David Ragan  drove the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports until 2015. To date he has 109 starts in #34, running full time since 2012. Ragan’s biggest moment came in the spring of 2013 at Talladega  when he and Front Row Racing teammate David Gilliland made a last lap surge to get the 1-2 finish for the team with Ragan winning the race. Ragan made only 1 start in 2015 before leaving to drive the #18 car for injured Kyle Bush, leaving the #34 car became the center of a game of musical cars.In 2017, Ragan will return to Front Row Motorsports behind the wheel of car #38, while Landon Casssill will move from car #38 to pilot the #34 Ford.
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Ragan, 2013
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Ragan after winning at Talladega, 2013
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Ragan, 2015 Daytona 500

 

  • When Ragan left to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing after the 2015 Daytona 500, Joe Nemecheck started the car at Atlanta. Brett Moffitt subbed for Brian Vickers in the #55 at Atlanta with an impressive 8th place finish, but when Vickers returned the the car Michael Waltrip Racing  arranged a deal to lend Moffit to the #34 car at Vegas and Phoenix. Chris Buescher drove the car for the next four races along with Talladega and Reed Sorenson drove at Richmond. In May 2015, Moffitt, competing for ROTY honors, was named the driver for the remainder of the season, though Justin Marks took over at Sonoma and Buescher drove the car at Watkins Glen. Despite not running the full season, Moffitt earned Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors.
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Nemecheck, Altanta 2015
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Brett Moffitt, 2015
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Chris Buescher, Watkins Glen 2015
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Justin Marks, Sonoma 2015
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Reed Sorenson,  Richmond 2015

In 2016 Buescher was named the full-time driver of the #34 car, on loan from Roush-Fenway Racing. After a rough start to the season, including a wild ride at Talladega, Buescher and his team were able to pull off an upset victory in a weather-shortened event at Pocono. This put the #34 team in a unique position: They had earned a spot in The Chase for the Sprint Cup, if they could manage to break into the top-30 in the regular season standings. Following his victory, Buescher’s performance improved. The Front Row Racing team made The Chase, only to be eliminated in the first round. For 2017, Buescher will drive the #37 for JTG Daugherty Racing, still on loan from Roush-Fenway. He started 42 races in #34.

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Buescher, Talladega 2016

 

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Buescher in The Chase, 2016
  • Prior to Ragan joining the team in 2012, David Gilliland  drove the #34 for the full 36 race 2011 season. 2012 would see the team expand and Gilliland moved to the #38 car, which he drove through 2015.
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Gilliland, 2011

 

  • 2010 saw Front Row fielding the #34 car in every race, but with multiple drivers. Travis Kvapil  had the most starts with 19, but other drivers included Kevin Conway, Tony Raines, and Robert Richardson Jr.
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Travis Kvapil, 2010

 

  • John Andretti  was the first full time driver for Front Row in #34. After 3 starts in 2008 Andretti left for a brief venture in the Indy Car Series. In 2009 Andretti ran 34 out of 36 races, missing the May races at Darlington and Charlotte to compete in the Indianapolis 500, Tony Raines would start these 2 events in #34. Andretti drove #34 for one start in 2010.
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John Andretti, 2010

 

  • From 2005-2008 Front Row fielded #34 part time with several drivers including Chad Chaffin, Tony Raines, Brian Simo, Randy Lajoie, Mike Skinner, P.J. Jones, and more.
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Chad Chaffin, 2006
  • Dick Beaty  is best known for being NASCAR’s Director of Competition from 1980 until his retirement in 1992, or as Hary Hyde called him “NASCAR’s Top Cop.” Beaty had a short career as a driver as well, starting 35 of his 38 career races in #34 from 1955-1957.
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Dick Beatty

 

 

  • G.C. Spencer  started the #34 car 31 times from 1959-1960.
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Spencer

 

 

  • Jim Roper  drove the #34 to victory in the first ever NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Cup Series) race in 1949. Roper lived in Kansas, and after hearing about a the race in a local news paper, convinced local car dealer Millard Clothier to drive two of Clothier’s Lincoln cars more than 1000 miles to Charlotte, North Carolina to compete on June 19, 1949. Roper finished in second to winner Glenn Dunaway, completing 197 of 200 laps. Chief NASCAR inspector Al Crisler disqualified Dunnaway’s car because car owner Hubert Westmoreland had shored up the chassis by spreading the rear springs, a favorite bootlegger trick to improve traction and handling. Roper was credited with the win in NASCAR’s first Strictly Stock race. Westmoreland sued NASCAR, and the judge threw out the case. NASCAR tore down Roper’s motor after the race, so he had to get a replacement motor to drive back to Kansas. Clothier kept the winner’s trophy. Roper only made one more start in his NASCAR career. He drove #34 again later in 1949 at Occoneechee Speedway in North Carolina- he finished 15th.
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Roper

Other notable names in #34

  • Dick Trickle, 4 starts
  • Todd Bodine, 3 starts
  • Speedy Thompson 2 starts
  • Mike McLaughlin, 2 starts
  • Charlie Glotzbach, 2 starts
  • Fireball Roberts, 1 start
  • Junior Johnson, 1 start
  • Bill Amick, 1 start
  • Gwyn Staley, 1 start
  • Joe Weatherly, 1 start
  • Kevin Lepage, 1 start
  • Fonty Flock, 1 start
  • Carl Long, 1 start

At Martinsville in 2014 David Ragan  and Bubba Wallace  drove special paint schemes to honor Wendell Scott and his induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. David Ragan just ran a cool paint scheme on his #34 car, but Bubba changed his truck number from #54 to #34 specifically for the race. Appropriately, Bubba won  that race  driving Wendell’s #34. Bubba is the only black driver besides Wendell to earn a win in one of NASCAR’s top series.

2014 Nascar Martinsville
David Ragan’s Wendell Scott Tribute Car, 2014
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Bubba Wallace’s Wendell Scott Tribute Truck, 2014
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Wallace takes the checkered flag at Martinsville, 2014
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