Opens at 10am


Opens at 10am


Opens at 10am

Curator's Corner / Historic Moments

Car No. 12 in NASCAR History

Ryan Blaney won the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang in 2023, but he’s not the driver with the most victories with that car number.

As NASCAR gets ready for another season of Cup Series racing, it’s only fitting to pay homage to the most recent champion driver, Ryan Blaney, and his Hall of Fame team owner Roger Penske (Class of 2019).

Blaney gave Penske his fourth Cup Series owner championship, delivering a stellar 2023 season behind the wheel of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang.

Given that No. 12 was the 2023 championship car number, we decided to do a little research about the No. 12. Turns out it has a long track record, dating back to July 10, 1949, on the old Daytona Beach-Road Course, where Alabama racer Woodie Wilson drove his No. 12 1949 Mercury to a 17th-place finish in the second Strictly Stock (now Cup Series) race in history.

Armed with that knowledge, we looked at how many Cup Series race victories the No. 12 had and who earned them. The correct answer is 65 victories for the No. 12. Here’s who took the checkered flag for each win.

In 34 career starts over eight seasons, Marvin Porter won twice, including once in the No. 12. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Marvin Porter, 1 win

Marvin Porter of Lakewood, California, won the 44th race on the 1957 schedule on the 0.500-mile dirt oval at Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose, California. The race was scheduled for 200 laps but was flagged after 116 laps due to a nine-car pileup that left only four cars running at the finish.

Paul Goldsmith won four aces in 1957, but only one of them was behind the wheel of the No. 12 Ford owned by Pete DePaolo. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Paul Goldsmith, 1 win

Michigan native Paul Goldsmith drove Pete DePaolo’s Ford to victory at Rural Exposition Fairgrounds (now Richmond Raceway) in a 200-lap race on the 0.500-mile dirt track. Crazy footnote: Although DePaolo, who received factory support from Ford Motor Co., was only active in the sport from 1955-57, an amazing 19 different drivers competed in at least one Cup Series race in a DePaolo Ford.

LeeRoy Yarbrough drove Jon Thorne’s No. 12 Dodge Charger to victory in his qualifying race for the 1967 Daytona 500. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

LeeRoy Yarbrough, 2 wins

In successive seasons at two of NASCAR’s most prestigious tracks, LeeRoy Yarbrough was victorious in No. 12 Dodges. The first victory came in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 1966. The following February, he won his Daytona 500 qualifying race, which at that time counted as a points race.

In the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, Joe Weatherly (right) drove the No. 12 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Joe Weatherly, 3 wins

The first Hall of Famer to win in the No. 12 was Joe Weatherly (Class of 2015), who had a brief hot streak behind the wheel of the No. 12 Holman-Moody Racing Ford in 1960. Weatherly won on the Hickory Speedway dirt track on April 15, then again two days later on another North Carolina dirt track, Wilson Speedway. On May 14, Weatherly earned his third and final victory of 1960 in the Holman-Moody entry, capturing the Rebel 300 at Darlington Raceway.

Neil Bonnett drove the No. 12 Budweiser-sponsored Chevrolet for Junior Johnson & Associates from 1984-1986. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Neil Bonnett, 3 wins

A member of the Alabama Gang of Racers, Neil Bonnett had Hall of Fame connections in the mid-1980s when he was a teammate to Darrell Waltrip (Class of 2012) in Chevrolets owned by Junior Johnson (Class of 2010). After going winless in his first season with the team in 1984, Bonnett won a pair of races early in the ’85 season, taking the checkered flag at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham in the third race of the year and then again at North Wilkesboro Speedway in race seven. In 1986, Bonnett won again at Rockingham, where he claimed victory in the fall race.

Of Jeremy Mayfield’s five career Cup Series race victories, the first three came in No. 12 Fords. Photo courtesy of David Taylor /Allsport

Jeremy Mayfield, 3 wins

Driving for a team co-owned by Hall of Famer Roger Penske (Class of 2019) and former Ford racing executive Michael Kranefuss, Jeremy Mayfield made a late-race pass of Darrell Waltrip to win the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. Waltrip’s Chevrolet from that race is on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of our “Glory Road: 75 Years” exhibit. Two years later at Pocono, Mayfield famously put the bumper to Dale Earnhardt (Class of 2010) on the last lap to win again in the No. 12 Penske-Kranefuss Ford.

Prior to becoming a championship team owner, Ralph Moody was a successful driver. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Ralph Moody, 5 wins

The mechanical mastermind behind the legendary Holman-Moody Racing factory Ford Motor Co. team, New England racer Ralph Moody had a successful driving career before joining forces with partner John Holman. On June 10, 1956, Moody delivered the first Cup Series win for car No. 12, winning a 167-lap race on the 1.500-mile Memphis-Arkansas Speedway in Lehi, Arkansas. Moody won in a Ford owned by Pete DePaolo, the factory-backed predecessor to Holman-Moody. Ralph Moody won four more races driving the No. 12, three in 1956 and one in ’57.

A strong runner-up finish in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway earned driver Ryan Blaney his first series championship. Photo courtesy of Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Ryan Blaney, 9 wins

A third-generation racer, Ryan Blaney finished in the top 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings every year from 2017-2022. Driving No. 12 Fords for team owner Roger Penske since 2018, Blaney had a breakout 2023 season, winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. He followed that in the season-ending 10-race playoff stretch, where he won at Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway. In the season finale at Phoenix Raceway, Blaney finished ahead of the other three championship contenders to claim his first title in NASCAR’s top series.

Team owner Roger Penske earned 14 Indianapolis 500 victories before winning his first Daytona 500 with driver Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Team Penske Dodge in 2008. Photo courtesy of John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

Ryan Newman, 13 wins

The No. 12 was good for Indiana native Ryan Newman, who scored 13 of his 18 career NASCAR Cup Series victories while driving No. 12 Fords and Dodges for Roger Penske. Newman beat out Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson (Class of 2024) for series rookie of the year honors in 2002, a season in which he also won the NASCAR All-Star race. The following year, Newman won a career-high eight races. From his first start with Penske in 2001 until he departed after the 2008 season, Newman won a remarkable 43 poles, earning him the nickname “Rocket Man.”

Bobby Allison’s final career victory came behind the wheel of the No. 12 Stavola Brothers Buick in the 1988 Daytona 500. Photo courtesy of NASCAR Archives & Research Center via Getty Images

Bobby Allison, 25 wins

Throughout his career, Bobby Allison (Class of 2011) won in most every car he drove, so it should come as no surprise that he won more races in the No. 12 than any other driver, by a wide margin. He also won in a lot of different brands. In 1971, Allison won 10 times in the No. 12, alternating among Dodge, Ford and Mercury race cars. The following season he won 10 races again, this time all in No. 12 Chevrolets. And, of course, he won the 1988 Daytona 500 in the No. 12 Stavola Brothers Buick ahead of son Davey (Class of 2019).

Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen

Tom is the Curatorial Affairs Manager at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For more than 25 years, he has been part of the NASCAR media industry.

Related Articles