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NASCAR Number History: What I learned Researching 6-10

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Matt Smith

Dogleg Media is a motorsports channel focusing on history and stats. New uploads happen every Tuesday and Friday. Tune in to learn something new every single episode.

In NASCAR’s 75 year history, there have been many numbers to come and go. On any given weekend you will see 36-40 unique numbers on the track, and each of those numbers has a story to tell.

I set out to learn more about those stories, and have already learned so much about the history of our sport. You can check out the second installment below.

I learned some surprising history on each of these numbers, let’s break down some of the interesting facts that I learned, and some history from viewers as well that I missed.

6 Car’s History

The 6 car has competed in 1807 races and counting with 83 total wins. 12 different drivers have won in the number 6.

Marshall Teague was the first to win in the number in 1951 at Daytona Beach.

The driver with the most wins is pretty obvious, Mark Martin. Martin would collect 35 wins in the 6 car, running the majority of his races for Roush Racing from 1988-2006.

Interestingly, the 6 has had quite a long drought in from victory lane, with the last to win in the 6 being David Ragan in 2011 at the Coke Zero 400 Daytona summer race.

The current driver is Brad Keselowski. While his first season as an owner driver at newly named Roush Fenway Keselowski racing was filled with growing pains, 2023 has shown promise. Do you think Brad K will break a 12 year drought of the 6 being in victory lane?

7 Car’s History

The 7 car has competed in 1614 races and counting with 23 total wins. Funny stat is that 7 different drivers have won in the 7 car.

The first to win in the 7 would be Bob Flock in 1949 at Hillsboro.

The driver with the most wins in the 7 is Jim Reed. Another funny stat revolving around the 7, Reed would win 7 races in the number. He would collect all 7 between 1958-1959.

Probably the most notable to pilot the 7 is the late Alan Kulwicki. He would win 5 races in the 7, and would win the 1992 Cup Series championship. Kulwicki would drive for his own team, AK Racing.

Kulwicki’s story would end tragically, in an aviation crash on April 1st 1993. Many wonder what could have been had this tragic accident not happened.

If you thought the winless drought for the 6 was long, the drought for the 7 is even longer. The last to win in the 7 would be Geoff Bodine in 1996 at Watkins Glen. It has been nearly 30 years since the 7 has seen victory lane.

The Current driver of the 7 is fan favorite (not so much a favorite of Kyle Busch) Corey Lajoie. Lajoie has come close to victory, most notably Atlanta in 2022 when he would have the opportunity to pass hometown hero Chase Elliott on the final lap before being doored and wrecked.

Can Lajoie break a 27 year drought of the 7 car not being in victory lane?

8 Car’s History

This will certainly tug on the heartstrings of many NASCAR fans for a driver highlighted here. The 8 car has competed in 1,481 races and counting, and has 43 wins as of writing this article. 5 different drivers have won in the number 8.

The first being Joe Weatherly who would win in 1961 at Daytona. Weatherly also currently has the most wins of any driver in the 8 with 20 total victories.

Here is what you have all been waiting for, it is Kyle Busch….. Just kidding, we will get to him in a minute, the real star of the 8 has to be Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jr would get his start in the number in 1999 driving for his fathers team DEI. Jr would win 2 races his rookie season in 2000, as well as the All Star Race. Jr would collect 17 total wins in the number before leaving DEI to join Hendrick Motorsports to finish out his career.

Many have fond memories of Jr in his time in the 8, whether it be the emotional victory in the 2001 Pepsi 400, or his first Daytona 500 victory in 2004, or the many more in his 8 year stint with the number.

Now it’s time to talk Rowdy. Kyle Busch is the current and most recent driver to win in the 8 car. He would replace Tyler Reddick who left RCR to join 23XI. Busch would leave a 15 year relationship with Gibbs to join RCR, and it was one of the biggest Silly Season pieces to fall in quite some time.

Busch would find victory almost immediately, winning the second race in the number for him at Fontana. He would later find victory again at Talladega in a wild finish where he was in the right place at the right time.

How many more wins can KFB get in his time in the 8? He is 38 years young, so it’s not crazy to think he could have another 7-8 years of competitive driving, I mean look at Kevin Harvick, he won races at 46 years old last season.

9 Car’s History

We go from one fan favorite to another. The 9 has competed in 1743 races and counting with 71 total victories split between 6 different drivers.

The first to win in the 9 would be Herb Thomas at North Wilkesboro in 1951. It would be his only win in the number.

The driver with the most wins shouldn’t come as a surprise for this one, it’s awesome Bill from Dawnsonville Bill Elliott with 38 total victories.

Million Dollar Bill would win the 1988 Championship in the number, would be a 2X Daytona 500 winner, and Most Popular driver 16 times.

Honorable Mention goes to Kasey Kahne. Kahne would win 11 times in the number 9, where he would replace long time veteran Bill Elliott. Kahne would also win the All Star race in the number, being the fan vote.

Now we get to the current driver of the 9, the son of Bill Elliott, it is Chase Elliott. Elliott has been NASCAR’s most popular driver since Dale Jr retired in 2017.

Elliott is already a Cup Series champion, winning the title in 2020. Elliott has 18 total wins as well as an All Star victory. He is 20 wins off his fathers win total, will Chase pass his father for most wins all time in the number?

10 Car’s History

We will finish out this one with the number 10. The 10 has competed in 1,510 races and counting, with surprisingly only 12 total victories split between 5 different drivers.

The first to win in the number would be Greg Sackes in 1985 at Daytona. It would be his only victory in the 10.

The driver with the most wins holds half of the total wins in the number. Ricky Rudd would earn 6 total wins in the 10 car.

He would drive the 10 for his own team from 1994 to 1999 at Rudd Performance motorsports. His last win in the number would come in 1998 at Martinsville.

While the next driver didn’t win in the number, what she did for the sport was nothing short of amazing. Danica Patrick would pilot the 10 machine at Stewart Haas Racing from 2012-2017 claiming many firsts in the sport.

Patrick would be the first woman to ever earn a pole position in NASCAR, holds the record for most starts, laps led, and top 10’s of any woman in the sport. She is also 1 of only 14 drivers ever to lead laps in the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500.

We will cap this off with the current and most recent winner of the 10 car, Aric Almirola. Almirola has piloted the 10 car since 2018, taking over for Danica Patrick as she made her exit from the sport.

Almirola has won 2 times in the 10, most recently in 2021 at New Hampshire. While 2022 was supposed to be Almirola’s final season, he would announce he was coming back for the 2023 season.

Will Almirola find victory lane again to add on to a very low win total for the 10 car’s history?

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