A Holiday Six-Pack
by Tom Jensen December 14, 2020
When you look at the numbers, NASCAR Hall of Famers accomplished some impressive and sometimes surprising feats.
There’s a lot of math in NASCAR, but you don’t have to be a genius with a calculator to enjoy some of the unique numbers that have shown up in the sport over the years.
So, for this Curators’ Corner blog post, we look at a six-pack worth of numbers, some record-setting, others thought-provoking and still more just plain fun. So without delay, let’s get to it.
8 is Enough
Jimmie Johnson’s record of five consecutive NASCAR premier series championships is rightly considered a remarkable achievement, but it’s not the most in NASCAR history. Rome, New York, native and Hall of Famer Richie Evans (2012) won nine NASCAR Modified Tour (now NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) championships, including eight in a row from 1978-85. In his day, “The Rapid Roman” was a threat to win at virtually every track.
10 Years of Dominance
Before he came to NASCAR, Hall of Fame team owner Jack Roush (2019) was one of the top team owners in sports-car racing. Roush Fords won their class in the Rolex 24 a remarkable 10 consecutive times. The 1995 winning effort included film legend Paul Newman as one of the team’s drivers. Roush was also a multi-time NHRA drag racing champion, always campaigning Fords.
Hall of Famer David Pearson (2011) was known as “The Silver Fox” because he tended to pace himself early in races to save his equipment. Qualifying, however, was another matter entirely. When he had to bust off a fast lap, Pearson could flat get it done. From October 7, 1973 until October 8, 1978, Pearson won an incredible 11 consecutive poles at Charlotte Motor Speedway, all while driving the powerhouse No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Mercury.
It’s common knowledge that Hall of Famer Richard Petty (2010) holds the premier series record with 200 career series race victories, including another record, seven Daytona 500 victories. As good as Petty was at Daytona International Speedway, he was even better at a pair of Southern short tracks, Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway in the heart of North Carolina’s moonshine country. At those two tracks, Petty won 15 times each.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Raymond Parks (2017) was NASCAR’s first championship team owner, taking the inaugural Modified Division (now NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) title in 1948 and the first Strictly Stock Division (now premier series) title in 1949, both times with driver Red Byron (2018). A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Parks was the oldest of his father’s 16 children. Parks left home at age 14 to begin a career that included running moonshine, operating service stations and vending machines, and fielding racing teams.
100,000 Reasons to Smile
Known as “The Golden Boy” for his movie-star good looks and “Fast Freddy” for his driving prowess, Illinois native and Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (2015) earned $122,587 in 1963, making him the first driver to earn more than $100,000 in a single season. The previous record was $70,742 won by Hall of Famer Joe Weatherly (2015) in 1962.