Welcome to Part Three of our 10-part Sportscasting series, “The 101 Greatest NASCAR Trophy chain drivers by vehicle number.
as we did with101 Greatest NFL Unified Number“A little while ago, we’ve been doing the same thing here as we listed the top drivers to drive the 00, 0 and 1-99 in the best NASCAR series.
Let’s keep it moving with Number 20-29.
#20: Tony Stewart
One of only six drivers to win a NASCAR Cup Series race at #20, Tony Stewart is the easy call to start this part of the list.
Stewart spent a decade in 20th racing for Joe Gibbs from 1999 to 2008 before becoming a team owner and turning 14th with Stewart-Haas Racing. He won at least one race each year while with JGR and accumulated 33 to 20, more easily than any driver, and won championships in 2002 and 2005.
Matt Kenseth is by far second with 15 wins.
#21: David Pearson
His third appearance on the list is Hall of Famer David Pearson. Already at No. 6 and No. 17, the South Carolina native is the easy choice for this too, having earned a 43 checkered flag at No. 21, and the very distant second is Cal Yarborough, with 13 wins in the No.
Pearson took over the 21st Mercury position at the Wood Brothers in 1972 and achieved those 43 victories in just seven years. Ten of those came in 1976, including the Daytona 500, but he’s still only ninth in the points standings because he’s only run a limited schedule, making his 43 wins in that period impressive.
#22: Fireball Roberts
While Joey Logano He could take number 22 down the streak if he keeps winning for Penske, we’re going with Fireball Roberts for now.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer has had 30 of 33 career cup series victories ranked 22nd, including the 1962 Daytona 500. Those 30 wins came in just 152 starts, giving him a win rate of 19.7%. Roberts finished in the top five 52% of the time and in the top ten 64.5% of the time while rocking the double demon.
#23: Frank Mundy
Number 23 certainly doesn’t have the pedigree in the NASCAR Cup series as it does in the NBA, does it? But Michael Jordan himself is trying to change that 23XI Racing. His first driver, Bubba Wallace, is one of only three drivers to win a Cup Series race, and frankly it won’t take him much for him to slip into this slot in the near future if he wins a few more times.
But for now we should go with Frank Mundy, who had two wins, eight top five, 11 top 10 in 24 starts at number 23 at Studebaker in 1951, his only season using the number.
#24: Jeff Gordon
Obviously, one of the easiest calls in the entire list is Jeff Gordon at number 24.
“The Rainbow Warrior” ran all but eight of his 805 races in the Professional Cup Series in Hendrik’s #24 Chevrolet Motorsports Championship, racking up 93 wins, third on the all-time list behind only Richard Petty and David Pearson. His 13 wins in 1998 set a modern-day record that still stands today.
Gordon was a four-time Cup Series champion and was responsible for helping NASCAR reach new heights in popularity in the 1990s and 2000s. The only other driver to have the trophy series flag at #24 is his replacement at Hendrik, William Byron.
#25: Tim Richmond
One of the first IndyCar drivers to make the full-time jump to the NASCAR Cup Series, Tim Richmond is our 25th pick.
Not only does he have the most wins with a number nine, but he also has the highest winnings percentage of any driver with at least 10 starts. Richmond took those nine flags for Hendrick Motorsports In just 37 starts, he tallied all of his wins at 25th place in the 54 weeks from June 1986 to June 1987.
#26: Junior Johnson
Since no other driver has more than two NASCAR Cup Series wins At number 26, Junior Johnson is the easy connection here.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer has won 50 times using five different numbers throughout his career and has his last ten square flags ranked 26th, all of those wins coming in 1965, his penultimate season on the track.
Johnson only started 40 times in 26th place, giving him a 30% win percentage.
#27: Rusty Wallace
For those who might be upset that Rusty Wallace didn’t take second place, we may have made up for it by giving him the 27th honor.
That was a close call as Junior Johnson nearly finished second in a row, posting 13 wins for 27th, including in 1960 Daytona 500. But when Wallace won the 1989 Cup Series title using it, he got a nod here.
Wallace won 18 out of 145 times over five seasons to finish 27th, including six en route to the ’89 crown. He also had five course wins on the road in number.
#28: Fred Lorenzen
This was one of the hardest calls in this part of the list. Many associate the number 28 with the great late Davy Allisonwho took 19 flags in 183 began using the number from 1987 to 1993, the year he was tragically killed in a helicopter accident.
However, in the end, we had to go with Fred Lorenzen, who won exactly 20% of the time in 28th place, taking 25 checkered flags in 125 starts in number from 1960 to 1972, including the 1965 Daytona 500.
It certainly is never easy to choose between two NASCAR Hall of Famers.
#29: Kevin Harvick
Using the formula I used to make some of these more challenging decisions, the caller at No. 29 should be Dick Hutcherson, who won 13 times at No. 97 for only a 13.4% win percentage.
Kevin Harvick had 23 cup series wins in the 29th place before moving up to fourth in 2014. But that was in 466 starts, giving him a win percentage of 4.9%. But, for one, 10 more wins. More importantly, that’s what some of those early gains mean for NASCAR as a whole.
next The tragic death of Dale Earnhardt Sr At Daytona in 2001, Richard Childress Racing quickly renamed Team #3 to Team #29 and accelerated Harvick’s promotion to the Busch Series Cup Series. Just three weeks after Earnhardt’s death, Harvick took his first win, beating Jeff Gordon in Atlanta by just 0.006 seconds in an emotional spectacle.
Motorsports fans needed it, and Harvick gave them the seed 29.
stats courtesy of Racing reference