6 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #6 car has started 1,581 races with 110 drivers and has 83 wins, 83 poles, 438 top 5s, 687 top 10s, and 385 DNFs.

  • Mark Martin  has the most starts in #6 with 619 in 1983 & from 1988-2006. Martin’s first start in #6 would come in 1983 when he drove 2 races for DK Ulrich. 5 years later, the #6 car began as Roush Racing’s original foray into NASCAR, debuting at the 1988 Daytona 500  as the #6 Stroh’s Light Ford. With then-short-track-driver Mark Martin at the wheel and future NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton as crew chief, the team finished 41st after experiencing an engine failure after 19 laps. However, performance quickly improved, with Martin winning a pole position later in the season and achieving ten top ten finishes. With a year of experience under their belt, Roush and Martin went on a tear in 1989, winning six poles, earning eighteen top-10 finishes and winning for the first time atNorth Carolina Speedway . The team finished third place in championship points.
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Mark Martin (left) and DK Ulrich, 1983
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Martin’s Roush Ford, 1988

 

Garnering new sponsorship from Folgers  in 1990, Martin won three each of races and pole positions, as well as finishing in the top 10 in all but six races. Martin held the points lead for a majority of the season, but lost momentum in the final races. In the end, the team lost the championship to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points. Interestingly, Martin would have won the championship had he not been docked 46 points in the second race of the season following a rules violation. Regardless, the team hoped to carry the momentum into 1991. Disappointingly, Martin finished sixth in points, and didn’t win until the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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Mark Martin, 1990

In 1992, Valvoline  joined to sponsor the car, but the team’s position in points still did not improve. Finally, they recaptured the magic of before in 1993, as Martin notched five victories and finished third in points. 1994 found Martin and the 6 team finishing once again runner-up to Earnhardt in points. In 1995, Martin defeated former teammate Wally Dallenbach, Jr. to win at Watkins Glen . However, the team’s performance slumped sharply in 1996, as Martin did not visit victory lane. He would win again 1997, with an additional four victories and finishing third in championship points. In 1998, Martin and team 6 had their most dominant season yet, winning seven times, but finished second in points yet again, this time to Jeff Gordon. The 1998 season was marked with a black spot when Martin’s father Julian died in an aviation accident. Although 1999  saw Martin winning only twice, he finished in the top-10 in 26 out of 34 races.

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Mark Martin, 1992
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Mark Martin, 1997
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Mark Martin, 1999

In addition, throughout the 2000 season Martin served as co-owner/mentor of rookie driver Matt Kenseth. After winning only one race in 2000 , primary sponsor Valvoline left for MB2 Motorsports, and Pfizer/Viagra became the team’s new financial backer. However, Martin again failed to win, and ended up 12th in points, his lowest finish since 1988. The team won only once in 2002, but was narrowly defeated by Tony Stewart for the championship. 2003 was another season of lackluster performance for the team, as once again they didn’t visit victory lane, and finished 17th in the final standings.

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Mark Martin, 2001

2004 brought improved performance, with a victory at Dover  International Speedway and a 4th place finish in points. Prior to beginning the 2005 season, Martin stated that 2005 would be his last year in full-time Cup competition. The team conducted a Salute to You  farewell tour to his fanshighlighting  many of Martin’s career accomplishments . Martin finished fourth in points and went tovictory lane once , along with achieving 19 top ten finishes and winning the All Star Race . Due to contract issues, Roush was left without a driver for car 6 in 2006. After learning of the situation, Martin announced his return to car 6 for one more year. The team extended the Salute to You tour after modifying its paint schemes to reflect the team’s new sponsor, Automobile Association of America . Martin went winless, but had 7 top 5’s and 15 top 10’s en route to a 9th place points finish in his final year for Roush.

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Mark Martin, 2006

 

 

  • Todd Kluever was originally scheduled to drive the 6 car in 2007, running several races in the #06 Cup car in anticipation, but due to lackluster performance in the Busch Series, Roush Racing decided to put Truck Series driver David Ragan in the car full-time.

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He had three top-tens and finished 23rd in points. The following season, he had fourteen top-ten finishes and finished 13th in the points standings. AAA left the #6 team after the 2008 season for Penske Racing, with UPS  becoming the sponsor for Ragan’s car for 2009. Ragan only had two top-ten finishes and finished 27th. 2011 started off on a mixed not when the team almost won the Daytona 500 , only to be penalized for an early lane change. The team then won at Daytona in July, their first since 2005. Despite the victory, UPS left the 6 team and moved to an associate sponsor for the #99 team.

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David Ragan, 2011

Jack Roush announced that RFR would not field the 6 team in 2012, forcing the team to reassign or lay off nearly 100 employees. Ragan earned 1 win in his 180 starts in #6. In 2012 the #6 was fielded in 4 races for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., now driver of the Roush #17.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2012

 

  • In 2015 Trevor Bayne began driving the #6 for Roush Racing. His move from the Wood Brother’s #21 car to the #6 was prompted by the ending of a long-standing technical alliance between Roush and the Wood Bros. who now are allied with Penske Racing. Bayne started all 36 races in 2015 earning only 2 top 10 finishes.

In 2016 Bayne earned 2 top-5 finishes at Bristol (April) and Daytona (July), his only career top-5 finishes other than his Daytona 500 win. Bayne started all 36 races and finished 22nd in points

Bayne has 72 starts in #6 to date and will return to the #6 in 2017.

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Trevor Bayne, 2015

 

 

  • Cotton Ownes started 103 races in #6 from 1953-1961 including 6 wins. Owen’s career high point finish was 1959 where he finished runner up to champion Lee Petty. In 1962 he retired as a driver to become a car owner for the talented David Pearson. He came out of retirement in 1964 to prove that he could beat Pearson. He beat Pearson in his final career win at Richmond, and two races later he finished second in his final career race to Ned Jarrett. Cotton was fortunate to have some of the biggest names in the sport drive his cars over the years. Drivers for Cotton Owens included many legends: David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Pete Hamilton, Marty Robbins, Ralph Earnhardt, Bobby Isaac, Junior Johnson, Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Mario Andretti, Charlie Glotzbach, and Al Unser. In all, a total of 25 drivers climbed behind the wheel of Owens’ cars in 291 races, earning 32 victories.
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Cotten Owens

 

  • David Pearson  drove #6 for Cotton Owens in 165 races from 1962-1967 with 27 wins, including a staggering 15 wins in the 1966 season, Pearson’s first ever full time season and first of 3 Grand National (Spring Cup) Championships. In 1967 Pearson quit Owen’s team to drive for Holman-Moody after there was a misunderstanding about who would drive the teams tow truck.
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David Pearson

 

  • DK Ulrich  was an owner/driver who fielded his #6 car in just about every Cup race from 1982-1987, but only drove about half of them. Ulrich would also sign other names to fill the seat for a few races at a time. In 1986 Richard Petty  started 1 race for Ulrich in the World 600 after Petty wrecked his #43 car in a practice session. Ulrich started 63 races in #6 as a driver.
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DK Ulrich
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Richard Petty talks with DK Ulrich about the STP #6, 1986

 

  • USAC driver Ralph Liguori  ventured into NASCAR from 1954-1956 starting 40 races in #6.
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Liguori’s USAC Car

 

  • Buddy Baker  started the Cotton Owens #6 in 34 races from 1967-1970 for 1 win. In 1970 Baker won the Southern 500 at Darlington, becoming the first father & son pairing to win a NASCAR race in the same venue. Buck won the race in 1953.
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Buddy Baker

 

  • Charlie Glotzbach  started 27 races in #6 from 1968-1972. He won the fall race at Charlotte in 1968 for his only win in the number.
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Glotzbach

 

  • Eddie Bierschwale  started 26 races for DK Ulrich in 1985, but never finished in the top 10 or lead a lap with 11 DNFs.
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Bierschwale, 1985

 

  • Marshal Teague  competed in all 23 of his career starts in the #6 1949-1952 earning 7 wins. Teague approached the Hudson Motor Car Company by traveling to Michigan and visiting the automaker’s factory without an appointment. By the end of his visit, Hudson virtually assured Teague of corporate support and cars, with the relationship formalized shortly after his visit. This is generally regarded as the first stock car racing team backed by a Detroit auto manufacturer. During the 1951 and 1952 racing seasons, Teague was a member of the Hudson Motors team and driving what were called the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” stock cars. When combined with the cars light weight and low center of gravity, the Hornet allowed Teague and the other Hudson drivers to dominate stock car racing from 1951 through 1954, consistently beating out other drivers in cars powered by larger, more modern engines. Smokey Yunick and Teague won 27 of 34 events in major stock car events. In 1953, Teague dropped out of NASCAR following a dispute with NASCAR founder William France Sr. and went to the AAA and USAC racing circuits. Teague was also the inspiration for Doc Hudson  in the film Cars.
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Marshall Teague
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“Doc Hudson” from the Disney/Pixar Film “Cars” was based on Teague

Teague died while attempting a closed course speed record in a reconfigured Indy car at the newly opened Daytona International Speedway. He was conducting test sessions in preparation for the April debut of the United States Auto Club championship with Indy-style roadsters. On February 9, 1959, Teague set an unofficial closed course speed record of 171.821 mph. Teague was attempting to go even faster on February 11, 1959, eleven days before the first Daytona 500. His car spun and flipped through the third turn and Teague was thrown, seat and all, from his car. He died nearly instantly. He was 37.

 

  • Pete Hamilton  started 20 races in the Cotton Owned #6 in 1971 including 1 win in his Daytona Qualifying race.
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Hamilton, 1971
  • Other notable names in #6
    • Bobby Allison, 9 starts, 1 win
    • Ralph Earnhardt, 7 starts
    • Joe Eubanks, 6 starts, 1 win
    • Joe Ruttman, 6 starts
    • Junior Johnson, 4 starts
    • Ernie Irvan, 3 starts
    • Danny Letner, 3 startsm 1 win
    • Herb Thomas, 2 starts, 1 win
    • Bobby Isaac, 2 starts
    • Dr. Bob Javis, 1 start
    • Harry Gant, 1 start
    • Fireball Roberts, 1 start

 

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #06 car has started 322 races with 37 drivers and has 1 win, 0 poles, 46 top 5s, 115 top 10s, and 146 DNFs.

  • Neil Castles  started 231 races from 1967-1975. Castles was an “also-ran” of the old days who once found himself having an uncharacteristically good day. He had lapped Curtis Turner, but the flagman apparently did not believe it, for he kept giving Castles the move-over flag to let Turner around him. As Castles told the story: “The starter kept doing this, and I was getting real mad, so I just picked up my gun and when I come by the stand the next time I took aim and shot that flag out of his hand.” Castles did not win any races in his career.
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Neil Castles

 

  • From 1964-1967 Cale Yarborough started the #06 car 20 times including 1 win in 1965 at Valdosta. It was his first career win.
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Yarborough’s car en route to Victory Lane, 1965

 

  • In 1966 Johnny Wynn started the #06 in 20 races.
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Johnny Wynn, 1966

Notable names in #06

  • Todd Kluever, 4 starts
  • Travis Kvapil, 3 starts
  • David Ragan, 2 starts
  • Sam Hornish Jr., 2 starts
  • Darel Dieringer, 1 start
  • Marvis Panch, 1 start
  • Buddy Baker, 1 start
  • Harry Gant, 1 start
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