10 Days until the Daytona 500

In NASCAR Cup Series competition the #10 car has started 1,316 races with 114 drivers and has 10 wins, 9 poles, 67 top 5s, 219 top 10s, and 412 DNFs.

  • Bill Champion started car #10 a total of 243 times from 1967-1975. Champion never made it to victory lane, posting career best finish of 7th. His #10 would later be used by his nephew, Ricky Rudd.
Bill Champion


  • Famous for #64, Elmo Langley started the #10 sportatically throughout his career for a total of 23 starts from 1958-1978. He started the number most in 1959 with 13 races.
Elmo Langley


  • Ken Bouchard from Fitchburg, MA started Bob Whitcomb’s #10 in 28 of his 33 career starts from 1988-1989. Despite beating out Ernie Irvan for Rookie of the year in 1988, Bouchard was replaced after only 4 races in 1989.
Bouchard, 1988


  • Derrike Cope  signed with Bob Whitcomb to replace Bouchard the #10 Purolator Pontiac and later Chevrolet, posting four top-10 finishes in 1989. During the last lap of the 1990 Daytona 500 , Dale Earnhardt ran over a piece of debris and cut a tire in turn three, causing him to nearly lose control. After narrowly avoiding most of the resulting debris, Cope assumed the lead and earned his first win in NASCAR competition. He became an overnight sensation as a result of the win, appearing on Late Night with David Letterman that week. At Dover  later in the 1990 season, Cope rallied for another unlikely win after running out of fuel and falling off the lead lap. At year’s end, he wound up 18th in points. Following the 1992 season, the Whitcomb team closed down. Cope started 106 races during his 4 years with Whitcomb, and earned his only 2 career victories.
Derrike Cope




  • Ricky Rudd  left Hendrick Motorsports and took the Tide sponsorship with him to form his own race team in 1994, Rudd Performance Motorsports, and drove the #10 Ford Thunderbird that season. His first win as an owner/driver came at New Hampshire  International Speedway, which led to a fifth-place points finish. 1995 saw his consecutive winning streak almost end before he won the Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix, the second-to-last race of the season. He had another near miss in 1996, but won at North Carolina Speedway.
Ricky Rudd, 1994

In 1997, Rudd had two wins, one of them coming at the Brickyard 400  and the other at Dover International Speedway, his highest win total since 1987, but he dropped to seventeenth in the standings, the first time he finished outside of the top-ten in nine years.

His lone of win in 1998 came at Martinsville  Speedway, dealing with high air temperatures and a faulty cooling system. As a result, Rudd suffered burns and blisters over most of his body, and gave his victory lane interview  lying on the ground breathing from an oxygen mask. This would be the last win of his consecutive victory streak, as he struggled with mechanical failures and wrecks throughout the season. The following year, Rudd failed to win a race, snapping a 19-season streak with at least one win. When Tide left his team, Rudd chose to liquidate his equipment and close his team. Rudd earned a total of 6 wins in his 243 races behind the wheel of #10 from 1994-1999.


  • Johnny Benson Jr.  At the start of the 2000 Winston Cup Series Season Johnny found himself without a sponsor when he signed on to join Tyler Jet Motorsports to run the #10 car. The team showed up at Daytona Speedweeks with a white unsponsored  Pontiac Grand Prix. Lycos.com signed on to be the team’s sponsor for the year on the morning of the Daytona 500 . During the race Johnny and crew chief James Ince gambled on a late pitstop when they took only 2 right side tires and fuel, to come out with the lead with 43 laps to go. He held off the field until Jimmy Spencer brought out the caution in the final 10 laps. On the restart with 4 laps to go Benson was leading with Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton right behind. Jarrett bumped Benson, sending him up the track going into turn one, then passed him for the win while Benson slid back in 12th. The car that Benson used is currently a coffee table in Benson’s home. Benson finished sixth in the third race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and was eleventh in points.

At the July Pepsi 400, the Tyler Jet Motorsports car showed up at Daytona again with a white car. During the weekend before the race the team removed the Lycos.com decals because they never paid. Tyler Jet went sponsorless for the next 4 races before Aaron’s  came aboard right before the team shut down. During the sponsorless run the team was sold to MB2 Motorsports. In August, Valvoline announced they would not only sponsor the team but become part owner. Benson finished in thirteenth place in the final points.

Benson, 2000

Benson began his 2001 season with an engine failure that relegated him to 28th place. He had top-ten finishes in each of the next four races, including a 4th place run in the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400, which allowed him to be a career high second in the points following the spring Darlington Race. He finished third at Texas and Indianapolis. He did not win a points race, although he did win the non-points Winston Open  at Charlotte from the pole. Benson finished eleventh in the final points standings in 2001.

Benson started 2002 with a 10th place finish in the Daytona 500 despite a crash early in the race. In May, Benson agreed to race in the Richmond Busch Series race in the #31 Chevrolet. Benson was involved in a wreck in the early stages of the races and ended up with broken ribs and he missed three Cup races. At the Pepsi 400 in Daytona he started sixth, and on the eighth lap he got together with Michael Waltrip. Benson ended up rebreaking his ribs which put him out of action for two more races. Benson tied a career-best second place finish at the Martinsville Speedway, which he got twice in 2000. On November 3, he started 26th in the 43 car field at the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400  at Rockingham. With 50 laps to go he was running in fifth, and with 28 laps left he passed Mark Martin for the lead. In the last 10 laps other drivers were running out of gas, but Benson held off Martin to win the race.


Benson was sixth in points after the first 4 races of 2003. Benson had Top 5 finishes at Dover and Homestead, and finished 24th in the points. Valvoline decided to release Benson in favor of rookie driver Scott Riggs after the season was over. Benson made 136 starts in #10 from 2000-2003 earning his only career win.


  • In 2004, Scott Riggs signed to drive the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet Monte Carlo for MB2 Motorsports. Qualifying for all but one race that season, he had a fifth-place finish at Dover International Speedway and finished 29th in points, fifth in the Rookie of the Year standings. In 2005, he won his first pole at Martinsville, and went on to have a second-place finish at Michigan International Speedway.
    Scott Riggs, 2005

    At the end of the year, Riggs and Valvoline left for Evernham Motorsports  taking the #10 with him. The #10 team finished the 2006 season high enough in owners’ points to guarantee themselves a starting spot in the first 5 races in 2007. Riggs won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 and the NEXTEL Open exhibition race at Charlotte, leading all but one lap, and advanced to the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge where he finished tenth. In the Coca-Cola 600, Riggs led 90 laps, but a pit road violation took him out of contention and he finished 13th. Riggs struggled in 2007, falling out of the top-35 in owner’s points, and began failing to qualify for several races. Riggs did not renew his contract with Evernham. Riggs made 133 starts in #10 with no wins.


  • Patrick Carpentier  became the full-time driver for 2008, part of a unique rookie class stacked with open wheel veterans all trying to emulate the success found by Juan Pablo Montoya the previous year. This included IndyCar Series Champions Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish, Jr., and CART and Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve, as well as DEI development drivers Regan Smith and Aric Almirola. Carpentier won the pole at Loudon, but struggled, as did his fellow open-wheel counterparts. He had no top 10s, missed 5 races including the Daytona 500, and was out of the top 35 in points when he was released after Kansas. Carpentier made 27 starts in #10 from 2007-2008.
Carpentier, 2008
  • David Reutimann  drove most of the 2012 season in the Tommy Baldwin Racing #10 car. The car received technical support from Stewart-Hass Racing on the condition that Danica Patrick drive the car in 10 races. Reutimann made 21 starts in the one year deal with TBR.
Reutimann, 2012
  • In August 2011 it was announced that Danica Patrick  would jump to NASCAR competition running a limited Sprint Cup with Stewart-Haas in addition to a full-time Nationwide Series ride. In 2012 Patrick drove 10 races, with a best finish of 17th at Phoenix in November.
    Patrick, 2012

    Patrick was hired to drive the 10 for the full 2013 schedule, making Stewart-Haas Racing the first team in NASCAR history to sign a female driver to a full Sprint Cup Series season. Danica would be competing with 2-time Nationwide Series Champion, and boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.  for the Rookie of the Year award, priming to be the most competitive rookie competition in recent memory. Patrick started the 2013 season winning the pole for the Daytona 500, the first woman to do so, and the first rookie to win the pole since Jimmie Johnson in 2002. Patrick also ran the fastest pole speed for the 500 in 23 years, timing in at 45.817 seconds. Patrick ran in the top 10 for most of the day, became the first woman to lead a lap in the 500, and finished 8th. In addition to her Superspeedway prowess, Patrick posted strong finishes at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 12th in the spring race and 17th in the fall race. At the end of the year, Patrick ranked 27th in points, with only one top 10 and a dismal  30.1 average finish, ultimately losing out to Stenhouse for ROTY.

Patrick with her 2013 Daytona 500 Pole Award
Despite a few moments of shining success, Patrick had a frustrating rookie season.


Patrick returned for the 2014 season. In addition to GoDaddy.com, Aspen Dental  signed on to be the primary sponsor for 2 races. At Atlanta, Patrick attained a career-best finish of sixth, one place better than at Kansas. Patrick became the second woman to earn a top ten at Atlanta Motor Speedway beating Janet Guthrie who had a tenth place finish at Atlanta in 1978, and tied Janet Guthrie’s best finish for a woman in modern era for a woman on NASCAR’s top circuit. At the end of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season she finished at 28th in the points standing, one position down from the previous year although she finished with 89 more points than her rookie season.

Patrick’s Aspen Dental car, 2014

In 2015 Danica reached several milestones. Her top 10 finishes at Martinsville and Bristol tied and ultimately surpassed Janet Guthrie’s record for most top 10’s by a woman, and she became the first woman to surpass 100 starts in the Sprint Cup Series. Also, she finished 24th in the final point standings, her highest finish yet. The season was also filled with hurdles- Go Daddy announced that they would not be returning to sponsor car #10 and the Nature’s Bakery would become the primary sponsor of the car with races funded by Aspen Dental and TaxAct. Also, she was fined $50,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation after an incident with David Gilliland at Martinsville.

57th Annual Daytona 500 - Practice
Patrick, 2015


With GoDaddy no longer a sponsor, Patrick and the No. 10 team acquired a 20-race sponsorship deal with Nature’s Bakery in 2016. She also signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing.  

Patrick, 2016

In the Auto Club 400 at Fontana, Patrick was spun into the wall on lap 120 by Kasey Kahne. Unhappy with the move, Patrick exited her car, went near the track’s apron and gestured at Kahne as he passed. She was fined $20,000 for the action. At Talladega, Patrick was involved in a crash with Matt Kenseth; while Kenseth was sent airborne, Patrick collided with the inside wall at high speed, causing her car to catch fire. Patrick was taken to the infield care center for a chest x-ray and described the wreck as “the worst of her career”.

Patrick ended the 2016 season 24th in points and no top-tens; she also had a best finish of 11th at Charlotte’s fall race and led a career-high 30 laps in 2016.


2017 proved to be another difficult season for Patrick. Her frustration was displayed publicly several times including confronting a fan at Pocono that was taunting her, and yelling at Joey Logano after  he unintentionally wrecked her at Kansas, her best run of the year. On November 17, 2017 Patrick announced that she would step away from full-time racing after the season finale at Homestead-Miami, though she also announced plans to compete in the 2018 Daytona 500 and 2018 Indianapolis 500.

Patrick started 190 races in car #10, but will drive car #7 in her final Daytona 500. Aric Almirola will drive car #10 beginning in 2018.

Almirola’s 2018 ride




Other notable names in #10

  • Greg Sacks, 9 starts, 1 win (his only win)
  • Cale Yarborough, 6 starts
  • Buddy Baker, 6 starts
  • Tiny Lund, 5 starts
  • AJ Allmendinger, 5 starts
  • Bill Elliott, 4 starts
  • Jerry Nadeau, 3 starts
  • Mike Wallace, 2 starts
  • Bobby Labonte, 2 starts
  • JJ Yeley, 2 starts
  • Dick Trickle, 1 start
  • Joe Nemechek, 1 start
  • Sterling Marlin, 1 start
  • Dave Blaney, 1 start
  • Ken Ragan, 1 start
  • Terry Labonte, 1 start

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s