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10 of the Most Iconic NASCAR Teams

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Josh Mull

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By Jerry Bonkowski

Even NASCAR’s greatest drivers wouldn’t have found success if not for the men and women “back at the shop.”

Here’s a look at 10 of the most iconic teams in NASCAR history:

Hendrick Motorsports: When Joseph Riddick “Rick” Hendrick formed All-Star Racing (now Hendrick Motorsports) in 1984, he came close to folding several times in the first couple of years due to lack of money. But once his teams started winning both races (291) and Cup Series championships (14), HMS has gone on to become the sport’s most successful organization.

Petty Enterprises: A close second to Hendrick Motorsports, Petty Enterprises was formed by team patriarch Lee Petty in 1949 and continued by son Richard. The Petty camp has earned 268 NASCAR Cup Series victories, with Richard contributing the most (196 wins and seven championships). While the Petty clan became the most successful organization in the 1960s and 1970s, by the 1980s things had gotten lean – and have continued that way since.

Joe Gibbs Racing: When NFL coach Joe Gibbs announced he was forming a NASCAR team in 1992, many laughed at him. But using the same diligence and strategy he utilized on the gridiron; Joe Gibbs Racing has gone on to 200 career Cup Series wins and five series championships. Unfortunately, the two sons Joe Gibbs planned to succeed him in running the organization, J.D. and Coy, have passed away, leaving the future of JGR unclear.

Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing: This team has gone from Roush Racing to Roush Fenway Racing to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing in 2022 when NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski joined the organization as a driver and part-time owner (with the plan he’ll succeed team patriarch Jack Roush when his racing days are over). The organization has 138 Cup Series wins and two series championships, but has struggled of late, with no points finishes higher than 15th since 2015.

Team Penske: Operated by perhaps the most iconic team owner in all of motorsports (including his tremendous success in Indy car racing), Roger Penske has built a NASCAR organization that can hold its own against any rival, with 135 Cup Series wins and three championships (all in the last decade, including Joey Logano winning the 2022 crown). Austin Cindric, who won the 2022 Daytona 500, and Ryan Blaney are on the cusp of becoming NASCAR greats.

Junior Johnson and Associates: Junior Johnson was among the first five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, not just for his 50 victories as a driver, but also for the 132 wins he amassed as a Cup Series team owner, including six championships (three each by Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip). Johnson was an innovator, mentor and one of the most intelligent men to ever sit behind the wheel or atop the pit box.

Richard Childress Racing: Like many of his predecessors, Richard Childress went from being a so-so driver to an outstanding team owner, amassing 113 Cup Series victories and six championships. All of the team’s titles came with Dale Earnhardt driving and RCR has struggled to find its footing since his death in 2001 Daytona 500. However, with Kyle Busch joining the team this year, look for a major uptick in performance, wins and championships.

Wood Brothers Racing: A true family operation that began in little, bucolic Stuart, Virginia, Glen Wood and brother Leonard formed the backbone of the organization. When Glen retired in the late 1980s, his sons, Eddie and Len, took over leadership of the organization, roles they continue in to this day. The organization has won 99 NASCAR Cup Series, but has never earned a championship.

Holman-Moody Racing: From 1957 until 1973, Holman Moody was one of the most feared organizations in NASCAR. Backed by Ford Motor Co., it also was one of the most coveted destinations for drivers, winning 96 races with the likes of Fred Lorenzen, Mario Andretti (won his only Daytona 500 in 1967 for Holman Moody), Bobby Allison, Joe Weatherly and David Pearson, who brought the company its only two NASCAR Cup Series championships in 1968 and 1969.

Stewart-Haas Racing: This is one of the most pleasant surprises on this list. Prior to Tony Stewart joining as co-owner in 2009, Gene Haas went 284 races as an owner (Haas CNC Racing) with zero wins. But once Stewart left Joe Gibbs Racing and received a 50 percent equity share of the rechristened Stewart-Haas Racing, the organization has gone on to win 69 races and Cup Series championships with Stewart (2011) and Kevin Harvick (2014).

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