NASCAR Wins: By Car Number
by Tom Jensen May 06, 2020
What’s in a number? Plenty, especially in NASCAR.
The most successful drivers are inextricably linked to the car numbers they’ve enjoyed the most success with. Just look at the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2010. You won’t find any stronger linkage than Richard Petty and his No. 43 and the No. 3 piloted by Dale Earnhardt. The driver and the car numbers go together.
While it’s common knowledge that Petty leads all NASCAR premier drivers with 200 career race victories, what’s less well-known is that Petty's iconic No. 43 is not the car number with the most wins in the sport’s top division.
Here are the 10 car numbers with the most victories in the premier series since it first raced and the Hall of Famers who made those victories happen.
(Stats are from DriverAverages.com and reflect all NASCAR premier series races from June 19, 1949, through May 1, 2020. Years in parenthesis indicated when the person was inducted into the Hall of Fame).
Tied-10. No. 88, 76 wins
A car number with deep Hall of Fame ties, the No. 88 saw Dale Jarrett (2014) win 28 races driving for car owner Robert Yates (2018), while Darrell Waltrip (2012) scored 26 victories, Bobby Allison (2011) earned eight wins and Buck Baker (2013) three behind the wheel of No. 88 race cars.
Tied-10. No. 28, 76 wins
Six Hall of Fame drivers contributed to the victory total for the No. 28, led by Fred Lorenzen (2015), who won 25 times in Fords fielded by Holman-Moody Racing, the team that employed Waddell Wilson (2020) as a crewman and engine builder for Lorenzen’s car. Davey Allison (2019) scored all 19 of his career wins in the No. 28, driving first for Harry Ranier and then Robert Yates (2018). Cale Yarborough (2012) won nine races in the No. 28, including consecutive Daytona 500s in 1983 and ’84. Buddy Baker (2020) won five times in the No. 28, one of which was the fastest Daytona 500 ever run in 1980, when Wilson was his crew chief and engine builder. Bobby Allison (2011) was a five-time winner in the No. 28, and Dale Jarrett (2014) took one win in the car.
9. No. 22, 81 wins
Thirty of Fireball Roberts’ (2014) 33 premier series race victories came in the No. 22, while team owner Roger Penske (2019) has been to Victory Lane 25 times with the No. 22. Bobby Allison (2011) won another 17 races in the No. 22 and Red Byron (2018) snared a pair of victories.
8. No. 6, 83 wins
Another number with big Hall of Fame connections, the No. 6 was a winner for Mark Martin (2017) and his car owner Jack Roush (2018), who teamed up for 35 victories. David Pearson (2011) won 27 times driving for Cotton Owens (2013), while Owens himself drove to six victories in No. 6. Buddy Baker (2020), Herb Thomas (2013) and Bobby Allison (2011) each scored a single victory in the No. 6.
7. No. 48, 86 wins
This one is easy: Seven-time premier series champion Jimmie Johnson has 83 race victories in the No. 48, a car owned by Rick Hendrick (2017).
6. No. 21, 92 wins
One of the most iconic car numbers in NASCAR history, the No. 21 has long been used by Wood Brothers Racing, the team founded and run by brothers Glen (2012) and Leonard (2013) Wood. David Pearson (2011) won 43 races in the No. 21, while Cale Yarborough (2012) won 13 times. Other Hall of Famers to win a single race in the No. 21 include Dale Jarrett (2014), Curtis Turner (2016), Glen Wood, Buddy Baker (2020) and Tim Flock (2014).
5. No. 24, 93 wins
Amazingly, the only driver to win a premier series race in the No. 24 is Jeff Gordon (2019), who won 93 times with this number. Gordon drove for team owner Rick Hendrick (2017) and crew chief Ray Evernham (2018).
4. No. 2, 95 wins
The No. 2 has been a staple of Roger Penske’s (2019) fleet for years, racking up an impressive number of race victories. Rusty Wallace (2013) won 37 races driving for Team Penske, while Brad Keselowski won 29 times and Kurt Busch eight. Bobby Allison (2011) won seven races in the No. 2, while Dale Earnhardt (2010) won six more and David Pearson (2011) and Herb Thomas (2013) each won once in the No 2.
3. No. 3, 99 wins
Not surprisingly, Dale Earnhardt (2010) is the all-time leader in wins in the No. 3, having scored 67 of his career 76 victories driving the No. 3 for team owner Richard Childress (2017). Other Hall of Famers who scored race wins include nine-time winner Junior Johnson (2010) and three-time winner David Pearson (2011). The father-son Hall of Fame duo of Buck (2013) and Buddy (2020) Baker each won two races in the No. 3, while Fireball Roberts (2014) won once.
2. No. 43, 199 wins
Out of Richard Petty’s (2010) 200 career premier series race victories, 192 of them came in race cars carrying the iconic No. 43 in Petty blue paint. Petty’s Hall of Fame father, Lee Petty (2011), won once in the No. 43.
1. No. 11, 218 wins
Not only is the No. 11 the most successful number in NASCAR history, the drivers who’ve won in it are a Who’s Who among NASCAR Hall of Famers. Cale Yarborough (2012) won 55 races in the No. 11, while Ned Jarrett (2011) won 49, Darrell Waltrip (2012) 43 and Junior Johnson (2010) 11. Additional Hall of Fame drivers to find Victory Lane in the No. 11 include Bill Elliott (2015), a six-time winner; Terry Labonte (2016), who had four victories; three-race race winner Bobby Allison (2011); and two-time winner Buddy Baker (2020).