5 Days until the Daytona 500

 In NASCAR Cup Series competition the #5 car has started 1,564 races with 123 drivers and has 45 wins, 60 poles, 296 top 5s, 575 top 10s, and 375 DNFs.

  • Hendrick Motorsports debuted in 1984 under the banner “All Star Racing” with five employees, rented equipments, two cars, with the highest-paid person’s wages at only $500/week. Initially, the team had planned to field a car for seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty with funding from country music business mogul C.K. Spurlock, but the deal failed to materialize. Afterwards, Hendrick attempted to hire Dale Earnhardt, but did not. As a result, the team fielded the No. 5 Chevy Monte Carlo, driven by Geoff Bodine  in 1984.
Geoff Bodine, 1984

After a slow start to the season, Hendrick informed Bodine and crew chief Harry Hyde that he planned to shut down the team due to funding trouble. Instead, Bodine and the team won at Martinsville Speedway, leading to sponsorship from Levi Garrett; on March 30, 2014, the 30-year anniversary of the win, Hendrick stated, “We owe Martinsville so much. If we hadn’t won that race, then literally the next Monday we were going to shut it down.” The team won two more times and finished ninth in points.

Levi Garrett  came on board to sponsor the #5 Chevy in 1985. Despite not winning a race that year, Bodine improved to fifth in points. Hendrick moved to a multi-car team full-time in 1986, with Bodine and Tim Richmond as drivers. Bodine won twice in the #5 including that Daytona 500  and posted an eighth place finish in points. His younger brother, Brett, raced as a teammate in the World 600 that year. Bodine went winless again in 1987, finishing thirteenth in points. Bodine won one race each of the next two years before leaving for Junior Johnson in 1990. Bodine started 174 races in #5 with 7 wins.

Bodine, 1986



  • In 1990 Ricky Rudd took Bodine’s place, winning at Watkins Glen  and finishing seventh in points.


At the season finale in Atlanta, Rudd’s car spun out on pit road  striking and killing a member of Bill Elliott’s team. This incident directly led to implementation of new pit road safety rules  for the 1991 season, though they would be altered after a few races & resemble the rules still in use today.







For 1991, the team received sponsorship from Tide  as part of the car’s merger with Darrell Waltrip’s old team. Winning one race that year, Rudd finished a career high second in points. On the final lap of that year’s race at Sears Point Raceway, second-place Rudd spun out leader Davey Allison on the last turn and went on to win. NASCAR penalized  the team for rough driving and awarded Allison the win. This incident is often referred to as one of the most drastic overreactions and penalties levied by the NASCAR sanctioning body against a driver. Never before had NASCAR taken a win from the driver that took the checkered flag first, though it has happened since.

Rudd’s Tide Car, 1993

Rudd won once each of the next two years, and then left to form his own team, taking Tide with him. Rudd started 117 races in #5 with 4 wins.


  • Terry Labonte has the most starts in the #5 car  with 368 from 1994-2004, including 17 wins and the 1996 Winston Cup (Sprint Cup) Championship.
Terry Labonte, 1998

When Ricky Rudd left Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 1993 season, Rick Hendrick hired 1984 Cup Champion Terry Labonte to fill the seat of the #5 car. Labonte won three races each in 1994  and 1995 including a legendary finish at Bristol in 1995  where Terry won  the race as Dale Earnhardt wrecked him.

Labonte, 1994
Labonte wins at Bristol, 1995

He defeated teammate Jeff Gordon for the 1996 Winston Cup  championship by 37 points. Terry won the Championship at Atlanta in a race that his brother Bobby won, and the Texas brothers got to celebrate together .

Labonte celebrates his 2nd Championship, 1996



Labonte won one race each of the next three seasons, and he almost won 2 in 1999 before a Bristol rematch  with Dale Earnhardt left Terry wrecked on the backstretch just half a lap from the checkered flag.




The 2000  season was a very difficult year for the team as two long streaks that defined Labonte’s career came to an end. In the Pepsi 400, Labonte crashed his car and broke his leg. After an accident at New Hampshire damaged his inner ear, Labonte was not capable of driving, and he ended up missing two races, bringing his Ironman streak of most consecutive races  to an abrupt end.

At one time Terry Labonte was NASCAR’s “Iron Man” with the most consecutive starts in history. His record has since been broken by Ricky Rudd & Jeff Gordon

Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday Jr. subbed for Labonte. His six-year winning streak was also broken as he failed to visit victory lane that year. At the end of the 2000 season Labonte’s team switched to Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes  brand for its primary sponsorship. After a couple of low-key years, Labonte finished tenth in the points in 2003. He also revisited victory lane after a four-year drought, winning the 2003 Southern 500 at Darlington, his final career win.

Terry Labonte, 2001

After slipping to twenty-sixth in points in 2004, Labonte announced his semi-retirement. He would drive a limited schedule in #44 for two years before leaving the team after the 2006 season.


  • In 2005 Kyle Busch  took over the #5 car at Hendrick. Busch easily won the 2005 rookie of the year battle and made history when he took the checkered flag in the Sony HD 500 at California Speedway for his first win, becoming the youngest driver to ever win a Cup Series race at the age of 20 years, 4 months, and 2 days.

Busch would win later that year at Phoenix. In 2006, Kyle won once and qualified for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, ultimately finishing tenth in points. In 2007, Busch grabbed a win at the Food City 500, the inaugural race for the Car of Tomorrow.

Kyle Busch, 2007
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch takes the first checkered flag in the “Car of Tomorrow,” 2007

On June 13, 2007 Hendrick announced that Kyle Busch would not return to drive the No. 5 car in 2008. Kyle earned 4 wins in his 108 starts in the Hendrick #5.


  • Casey Mears  would drive the #5 in 2008, moving over from the Hendrick #25 team that was becoming the #88 of Earnhardt Jr. After going winless in all of his 36 starts of 2008, Mears was released by Hendrick.
Casey Mears, 2008


  • Mark Martin  was hired away from DEI to replace Mears in 2009. He scored a win with Hendrick Motorsports at Phoenix  on April 18, 2009. He became the third oldest winner and fourth driver over the age of 50 to win a Sprint Cup Series race. The win was also the 36th victory and 400th top 10 of Martin’s career.
Mark Martin, 2009

On September 18, 2009 Hendrick announced that Martin had extended his contract through the 2011 season and would race full-time with GoDaddy.com  as a primary sponsor. Lance McGrew took over as crew chief for the #5 in 2011 as Gustafson moved to Jeff Gordon’s team. Farmers Insurance Group and Quaker State joined as sponsors of the team for a few races.

Mark Martin, 2010

Martin struggled through most of the season with McGrew, not showing signs of his earlier Hendrick success. Teammate Jimmie Johnson  drove the #5 car in the All-Star Race to promote a discount deal with Lowe’s, and Martin drove the #25 .

Jimmie Johnson in the #5 for the All Star Race, 2011

In 2012 Martin retired from full time driving and began racing part time for Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin made 108 starts in #5 with 5 wins.


  • Kasey Kahne, along with his crew chief Kenny Francis were picked up from Red Bull Racing Team to run the #5 in 2012. Farmers and Quaker State returned, with Farmers increasing its sponsorship to 22 races.
Kasey Kahne, 2012

GoDaddy.com left for Tommy Baldwin Racing, but Time Warner  Cable and Great Clips  signed on as replacements. After a poor start to the season, Kahne rebounded immensely and picked up wins at the Coca-Cola 600  and the first Loudon race.

Kahne would make the 2012 Chase and finish a career-best 4th in standings. Kahne again qualified for the Chase in 2013. However, it did not appear that Kahne would qualify for the 2014 Chase, until a win at Atlanta  in September locked him into the Chase field.

2015 proved to be a disappointing season for Kahne by failing, for the first time since joining Hendrick Motorsports, to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He also failed to win a Sprint Cup Series points paying race for the first time since the 2010 season. Kahne finished the year 18th place in the overall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.

In 2016 Kahne started all 36 races and failed to lead a single lap, despite completing the most laps in the series. He finished 17th in the overall standings.

In July 2017, Kahne returned to Victory Lane at the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400, surviving a crash-laden race that took out many contending cars, including holding off Brad Keselowski on an overtime restart that ended under caution. It was Kahne’s 18th win in the Cup Series and first in 102 races.

On August 7, Hendrick Motorsports announced Kahne would not be returning to the team for the 2018 season, and two days later, William Byron was announced as Kahne’s replacement in the renumbered #24. Kahne started 216 races in the #5, second only to Texas Terry. 2018 will mark the first season since 1983 that Hendrick Motorsports has not fielded the #5 car. Assuming that Hendrick retains the rights to the number, 2018 will be the first season since 1948 that does not feature car #5 at any races.


  • Neil Bonnett  drove the #5 for Jim Stacy in 44 starts from 1977-1979 including 2 wins, both in 1977.
Bonnett, 1977


  • From 1963-1964 Billy Wade  started the #5 car 30 times for 5 top 5 finishes, but no wins.
File created with CoreGraphics
Wade, 1963


  • Tiny Lund started #5 a total of 20 times from 1959-1964, with 18 of those starts coming in 1960. Lund never won a races in the number.
A model of Lund’s 1959 car


  • Buddy Arrington  made 19 starts in #5 during the 1970 season and one more in 1971 for a career total of 20 in the number Arrington did not win in #5.
Buddy Arrington, 1970


  • Morgan Shepherd  drove the #5 for 18 starts in 1981 including his first career win at Martinsville.
Morgan Shepherd, 1981


  • Cotton Owens  drove the #6 before he retired in 1961 to become a car owner and put David Pearson in his #6 car. From time to time Owens would field a second car, the number 5, and drive it himself just to prove that he could beat Pearson. In his 11 starts in the number Owens earned 3 wins including his final win in 1964.
Cotton Owens

Other notable drivers in #5:

  • Earl Brooks, 14 starts
  • Jim Paschal, 9 starts
  • Pete Hamilton, 9 starts
  • David Pearson, 5 starts
  • Greg Sacks, 5 starts
  • Bobby Johns, 3 starts, 1 win
  • Jim Sauter, 3 starts
  • Sterling Marlin, 2 starts
  • Jimmy Means, 1 start
  • Richard Childress, 1 start
  • Ralph Earnhardt, 1 start




In Sprint Cup Series competition the #05 car has started 203 races with 23 drivers and has 0 wins, 0 poles, 7 top 5s, 45 top 10s, and 103 DNFs. The last time car #05 started a race was 1993.

  • David Sisco  started the #05 car 121 times from 1971-1976 without a victory.
David Sisco
  • In 1979 Dick Brooks  started 26 races in the #05 car without a win, though he earned 1 top 5 finish.
Dick Brooks, 1979

Other notable drivers in #05:

  • Bruce Hill, 14 starts
  • Donny Allison, 7 starts
  • Slick Johnson, 4 starts
  • Possum Jones, 4 starts
  • Joe Weatherly, 1 start
  • Elmo Langley, 1 start
  • Jim Sauter, 1 start

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