1 Day until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #1 car has started 1,419 races and has 19 wins, 34 poles, 162 top 5s, 389 top 10s, and 374 DNFs.

  • After driving for DEI in the Busch (XFINITY) Series and making 5 Cup starts in the DEI #14 in 1997, Steve Park  was named Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s first full time driver piloting the #1 Pennzoil Chevy. In the third race of the year, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Park failed to qualify. The following week, he broke his leg in an accident while testing at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Two weeks later, the team hired 3 time Champion Darrell Waltrip  to substitute for Park.

 

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Steve Park, 1998

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Park returned later in the season at the Brickyard 400 after recovering. In his 13 races that year Waltrip posted 2 top 10 finishes, better than Park’s best finish of 11th for 1998. In 1999, Park finished five times in the top ten and ranked fourteenth in points earned. In 2000, Park won his first two Pole awards, won his first race at his home track of Watkins Glen , and ranked eleventh in points.

In 2001, in the first race after the death of his car owner Dale Earnhardt, Park beat Bobby Labonte in a close finish to score a victory at Rockingham  with a very emotional celebration.

Park’s career encountered difficulties at a Busch Series race at Darlington  Speedway when he was injured in a bizarre crash under caution that left. The severity of the crash caused a massive brain injury as well as several broken ribs.

Kenny Wallace  drove the car while Park recuperated with a best finish of second place at Rockingham. Wallace made a total of 17 starts between 2001 and the first 4 races of 2002.

Park returned to his #1 at Darlington in 2002, but his season was plagued my bad luck and crashes, the most spectacular of which came on the first lap at Pocono  with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. During 2003, DEI let Park go midway into the season, and he was effectively “traded” to Richard Childress Racing for Jeff Green, who took over the #1 car from Park with Park taking over the #30 AOL car for Childress. Park scored 2 wins in his 152 starts in #1.

 

  • Following a fallout between Jeff Green  and the #30 RCR team at Richmond in 2003, Green was hired to pilot the Pennzoil #1 while Park took over the #30.

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Green only started 12 races in the #1 as Ron Fellows  drove the car on the 2 road course races. Fellows, a friend of Dale Earnhardt’s, was contracted to drive #1 full time in 2002, but Earnhardt’s death nullified the contract.

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John Andretti  took over driving duties for 10 of the final 11 races of 2003, with Jason Keller making one start at Talladega as Andretti was already contracted to drive the #90 for RCR in that race. Andretti & Fellows  returned to drive the #1 in 2004, but lack of consistent sponsorship caused the team to field cars part time. Andretti started 15 races in #1; Fellows started 3.

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Andretti

 

  • In 2004 & 2005, Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr.  started 8 races in the DEI #1 before racing full time starting in 2006. On June 4, 2007, Truex scored his first career NEXTEL Cup victory in the #1 car at the Dover  in a COT race. Truex also qualified to race in the Chase for the Nextel Cup that year. He was DEI’s only representative in the 2007 Chase for the Cup and his qualification is, to date, the last for a driver in a DEI car. At the end of 2009, Truex left the team for Michael Waltrip Racing.

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  • After 2009 Jamie McMurry  began driving the #1 car, now majority owned by McMurray’s former boss Chip Ganassi. Pro Shops was joined by McDonald’s as a primary sponsor. McMurray started the year of with a bang, winning the 2010 Daytona 500  for Ganassi in his first race in the #1 car.

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McMurray returned to the winner’s circle by winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis , the first time that he had won multiple races in a season since joining the Cup Series full-time in 2003. He added a third win at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte during the Chase.

After more struggling in 2011-2012, McMurray finally broke back into victory lane at the fall 2013 Talladega  race, his first victory in three seasons. McMurray also won the Sprint All-Star Race in 2014, but did not reach victory lane in a points paying event, missing the Chase.  McMurray did not win a race in 2015, and failed to make  it to the second round of The Chase after finishing 4th at Dover behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 

McMurray returned to the #1 in 2016, now completely owned by Ganassi and Felix Sabates. As the summer wound down, McMurray would heat up. He finished seventh at Kentucky in a fuel mileage race. A good 6th place at New Hampshire would allow him to slip further ahead of his competition for a spot in The Chase. However a spin at Indy, and Chris Buescher winning at Pocono didn’t help. He would then score three eight place finishes in row, at Watkins Glen, Bristol, and Michigan, allowing McMurray to slip past Ryan Newman in the chase standings. This would be good, as when Kyle Larson won at Michigan, McMurray would find himself 15 points in, ahead of Newman. McMurray would be eliminated in the first round of The Chase and eventually finish 13th in points. He has 252 starts in the number to date and will return in 2017.

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  • Rick Mast has 181 starts in #1 from 1991-1996 with no wins. He started out the 1991 season by leading 14 laps in the Daytona 500 and finished fourth. At Talladega  later that year Mast, 1 lap down in 10th, pushed fuel deficient Harry Gant to the win, almost warranting a penalty.

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With less than 25 laps to go in the DieHard 500 , Mast was tapped by Buddy Baker entering the tri-oval and flipped over. He slid to a stop a few hundred feet beyond the start-finish line and soon climbed out of the car, much to the delight of the crowd. He was not injured, but half-jokingly said afterwards, “I’m okay but I need another pair of underwear”. In 1992 Mast won the pole for the Hooters 500, a historic race. He also won the pole at the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. Mast almost won at Rockingham  in 1994, but Dale Earnhardt was able to hold him off for the win and his 7th championship. This 2nd place finish was the highest of Mast’s career.

 

  • Paul Lewis  started 71 races in #1 from 1960-1967, including his only career win at Maryville in 1967.

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  • Donnie Allison  drove car #1 to 4 wins in 61 starts from 1976-1982. However, Allison #1 is possibly most remembered for his involvement in a final-lap crash and subsequent fight with Cale Yarborough at the 1979 Daytona 500.

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  • Sgt. George Green  started the #1 car 51 times from 1961-1963 without earning a win. Green was fired when he was caught stealing $600 in “owner’s winnings” from Potter, so he reenlisted in the Army and was shipped to Germany for further training.

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  • Lake Speed  started the #1 car 35 times from 1983-1984 without a win.

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  • In 1964 Billy Wade started Bud Moore’s #1 machine 32 times. That summer he won 4 consecutive races at Old Bridge Stadium, Bridgehampton. Islip Speedway, & Watkins Glen. These 4 wins would be the only wins of Wade’s career.

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  • In 1990 Terry Labonte  drove the #1 Oldsmobile in 29 races without reaching victory lane.

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  • Between 1960 & 1981-1982 Buddy Baker  started 29 races in #1 without a win.

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  • Other notable drivers in #1:
    • Elton Hildreth, 20 starts
    • Morgan Shepherd, 19 starts
    • Brett Bodine, 14 starts
    • David Pearson, 10 starts, 1 win
    • Sterling Marlin, 10 starts
    • Bud Moore, 9 starts
    • Dale Jarrett, 8 starts
    • Kyle Petty, 6 starts
    • Jerry Nadeau, 5 starts
    • Davey Allison, 3 starts
    • AJ Foyt, 2 starts
    • Lloyd Dane, 1 start, 1 win
    • Eddie Gray, 1 start, 1 win

 

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #01 car has started 501 races and has 1 win, 7 poles, 13 top 5s, 45 top 10s, and 191 DNFs.

  • Joe Nemechek  has the most starts in #01 with 112 from 2003-2006 and claims ownership of the only win the number has with his defeat of Ricky Rudd at Kansas  in 2004. It was Nemechek’s 4th Cup win, each coming with a different team.

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  • Earle Canavan  started #01 in 64 races from 1981-1986 without a win.

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  • Paul Dean Holt  started 53 races in the #01 from 1967-1968.

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  • Regan Smith  started 41 races in the #01 from 2007-2008. In 2008, Smith won the AMP Energy 500 at Talladega , but was stripped of the win for violating the “Out-of-Bounds” rule on the final lap. This is only the 2nd time in the modern era of Cup Series history that a race winner has been stripped of a victory, the first being Ricky Rudd at Sonoma in 1991.

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  • In 2001, the late Jason Leffler  drove the #01 Cingular Wireless car for Chip Ganassi Racing. LEFturn made 30 starts that year.

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  • Mark Martin  started #01 a total of 25 times in his career. 24 of those starts came in the 2007 season, where he almost won the Daytona 500 . In 1983, Martin made 1 start driving the #01 Activision  car.

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  • Other notable drivers in #01:
    • Ted Musgrave, 12 starts
    • Mike Skinner, 11 starts
    • Jerry Nadeau, 10 starts
    • Mike Wallace, 8 starts
    • Curtis Crider, 6 starts
    • Aric Almirola, 5 starts
    • Boris Said, 2 starts
    • Ron Fellows, 2 starts
    • Scott Pruett, 1 start
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