Celebrating Chevrolet’s Success
by Tom Jensen July 20, 2022
New Great Hall exhibit recognizes Chevrolet as the winningest brand in NASCAR Cup Series history.
There’s a new exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Great Hall.
“Chevrolet: Winningest Brand in NASCAR Cup Series History,” salutes the record-breaking accomplishments that Chevrolet has enjoyed in NASCAR’s top national series. As of the start of the 2022 season, Chevrolets have won 814 Cup races, 40 Manufacturers’ Championships and 33 driver titles. All three of those numbers are records in the Cup Series.
The new exhibit features eight historically significant and successful Chevrolet Cup cars from 1955 to 2021.
Drivers represented in the exhibit include Hall of Famers Richard Petty (2010), Dale Earnhardt (2010), Cale Yarborough (2012), Herb Thomas (2013), Jeff Gordon (2019) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2021), as well as Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott.
Collectively, these eight heroes and legends combined to win 622 Cup races and 31 championships as of the start of the 2022 season.
The eight cars in the exhibit:
1955 Chevrolet 150, Herb Thomas
The first major NASCAR premier series race victory for Chevrolet came in the 1955 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, where Herb Thomas piloted a Chevrolet 150 utility sedan to victory. With the triumph, Thomas became the first driver to win the Southern 500 three times. At the time, the race had the largest purse in NASCAR.
1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Richard Petty
In 1979, Hall of Famer Richard Petty (2010) set a NASCAR record by winning his seventh premier series championship. At short and intermediate tracks, Petty campaigned a 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that provided excellent handling and durability. During his final championship season, Petty won five races and had 23 top-five finishes in 31 starts.
1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Cale Yarborough
One of the all-time superspeedway greats, Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough (2012) qualified on the pole and won his second consecutive Daytona 500 and fourth overall in 1984. Yarborough drove to victory in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo owned by Harry Ranier and built by his crew chief and fellow Hall of Famer Waddell Wilson (2020). Competing in just 16 races in 1984, Yarborough won three races, including the Winston 500 at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway).
1986 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe, Dale Earnhardt
The 1987 season saw Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010) win his third of a record-tying seven premier series championships and his second of six titles with car owner and fellow Hall of Famer Richard Childress (2017). Earnhardt won a career-high 11 races in 1987, while also setting a personal best by scoring 21 top-five finishes in his Wrangler-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo Aerocoupe.
2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Jeff Gordon
Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon (2019) won 93 premier series races, third all-time in NASCAR history. Four of those victories came in this car, which was one of several Chevrolet Monte Carlos that Gordon drove from 2003-2005. During those three seasons, Gordon won a total of 12 premier series races, with 39 top-five finishes, and he twice finished in the top five in points.
2010 Chevrolet Impala, Jimmie Johnson
Capping an incredible and unrivaled streak of success, Jimmie Johnson drove his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Impala to a record fifth consecutive premier series championship in 2010. Trailing the points heading into the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson used a second-place finish to secure the title and his place in NASCAR history.
2013 Chevrolet SS, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2021) joined forces with fellow Hall of Famer and team owner Rick Hendrick (2017) in 2008, beginning a 10-year run together that lasted until Earnhardt’s retirement after the 2017 premier series season. Earnhardt Jr. won 15 consecutive NASCAR Most Popular Driver Awards, taking the honors in each season he drove for Hendrick.
2021, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Chase Elliott
Chevrolet’s historic 800th premier series race victory came in 2021 during NASCAR’s first visit to the Circuit of the Americas om Austin, Texas. Driving a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at the Texas road course, 2020 series champion Chase Elliott fought through monsoon-like conditions to deliver the record victory, a highlight of a season that saw Chevrolet win 19 races and its 40th Manufacturers’ Championship.