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NASCAR Number History: What I Learned Researching Numbers 11-15

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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.

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

I set out to tell those stories, and along the way I have learned so much. The beautiful thing about Number History is that it is always changing. Since I uploaded the 11-15 segment of NASCAR number History, Denny Hamlin won at Kansas making his stat in the video form of this series outdated.

You can check out the video below.

Number 11: 229 total wins

The number 11 is the winningest number in NASCAR history, and that number is continuing to grow with future Hall of Famer Denny Hamlin behind it’s wheel.

The first to win in the 11 was Parnelli Jones back in 1957 at Bremerton.

The driver with the most wins in the 11 would be none other than NASCAR legend and Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, with 55 total wins in the number.

Yarborough held the record for most consecutive championships with 3 until Jimmie Johnson would win 5 in a row from 2006-2010. Yarborough would drive for another Hall of Famer, Junior Johnson.

Now let’s take a look at some other notable’s to pilot the 11. Starting with another legend, Darrell Waltrip. Waltrip would also drive for Junior Johnson, and would win 3 championships of his own for the legend.

Waltrip would win 43 times in the 11, and is yet another Hall of Famer to pilot the 11, being inducted in 2012.

Another notable would be Mario Andretti. Andretti is regarded as the greatest driver of all time. He would win 12 Formula 1 races, including the 1978 World Championship, the 1969 Indy 500, and of course, his 1 and only NASCAR Cup series win, the 1967 Daytona 500.

Andretti would only collect 1 Cup Series win, the biggest possible one you can win, and would do it in the Holman Moody number 11 Ford.

Ned Jarrett would also make his mark on the 11. Winning 49 of his 50 Cup series wins in the 11. He would also collect 2 Cup Series championships driving the 11, in 1961 and 1965.

Jarrett was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.

Now we get to the current driver of the 11, Denny Hamlin. Hamlin has won basically everything there is to win in the Cup Series. He is a 3X Daytona 500 winner, he added the Coke 600 to his list last year, and has also won the Southern 500.

The only thing that alludes Hamlin is a Championship. While he still has years left in his prime, the clock is ticking. If he never won a title, he would be the Dan Marino of NASCAR.

Number 12: 63 total wins

The number 12 is piloted currently by one of NASCAR’s most popular. We will get to him shortly, first let’s start from the beginning.

The first to win in the 12 would be Speedy Thompson in 1953 at Macon.

The most wins belongs to a driver I have mentioned all too much during my series, the Alabama Gang leader of Bobby Allison.

Allison would win 24 races in the 12, including the 1988 Daytona 500. Allison won in many different numbers, and this isn’t the only number he owns the title for most wins in.

Now that we are on to the other memorable segment, we can’t talk the 12 without talking Ryan Newman. Newman would win the 2002 Rookie of the Year award in the 12 driving for Roger Penske.

Newman would win 13 races in the 12, including the 2008 Daytona 500. Newman was more famously known as rocket man, for his Pole earning prowess. winning 43 total poles in his time in the 12, including 11 in 2003 alone.

Now we get to the current driver of the 12, Ryan Blaney. Blaney has 6 total wins in the 12, and is a fan favorite. Blaney is the son of a former driver, Dave Blaney.

Ryan has been on a long winless drought, last seeing victory lane in 2021. He did win the 2022 All Star race at Texas.

Number 13: 1 total win

The number 13 is unlucky in many different ways, and it seems to be that way in NASCAR number history too, with only 1 win coming over half a century ago. We haven’t even seen a full time driver in the 13 since 2020 with Ty Dillon.

The only win belongs to Johnny Rutherford, who would win at Daytona in 1963. Rutherford would find most of his motorsports success in the Indy Car series where he would win the Indy 500 3 times, and would win the 1980 championship.

Casey Mears and Ty Dillon would pilot the 13 full time, but would never find much success. We are talking 1 pole and 3 top 5’s in 11 years.

The current driver of the 13 is Chandler Smith in a part time role for Kaulig Racing. Jonathan Davenport would also make a start at the Bristol Dirt race in the number. With the lack of a full time driver, when will the 60 year winless drought come to an end?

Number 14: 45 total wins

The 14’s first winner would find quite a bit of success in the number. Fonty Flock would win the first race for the 14 in 1951 at Hillsboro. Flock would ironically win 14 times in the 14.

A Hall of Famer and NASCAR great holds the title for most wins in the 14, it’s none other than Smoke, Tony Stewart.

Stewart would win 16 times in the 14, driving for his own team Stewart Haas Racing. Stewart would win the 2011 Championship in the number as well as the 2009 All Star Race. Stewart was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020.

Clint Bowyer would win 2 times in the 14. Bowyer is now a TV personality for Fox, and would replace a retiring Tony Stewart in the 14. It would be the last ride Bowyer would have in his career.

The current driver of the 14 is also the most recent to win in the number, Chase Briscoe. Briscoe would take over for Bowyer after his retirement.

Briscoe has 1 win in the 14 so far, coming in 2022 at Phoenix. Briscoe would make a deep playoff run that season, making it to the Round of 8, and being in a position to win at Martinsville to transfer to the Final 4.

Number 15: 43 total wins

The 15 car has seen immense success, and was also a part of one of the greatest tragedies in NASCAR history.

The first to win in the 15 car was Tim Flock in 1956 at Elkhart Lake. This would be Flock’s only win in the number.

The most wins belongs to a guy we have already talked about, and it won’t be the last time we talk about him in this series.

Bobby Allison would win 14 times in the 15, including the 1978 Daytona 500. Allison has made his mark on plenty of numbers, so be ready to read his name plenty more times moving forward.

Of course we have to mention the Intimidator when talking about the 15. Dale Earnhardt before piloting the famous number 3 would take the 15 car to victory lane 3 times.

Then there is triumph and tragedy. Michael Waltrip would pilot the 15 machine to 4 total victories, the first of which being the most notable.

Waltrip would come to DEI to pilot the 15 NAPA Chevrolet, and would earn his first career win in his first race with the organization, the 2001 Daytona 500. We all know the significance of this race, and Waltrip would go from the best day of his life, to the worst after learned the fate of his team owner.

The last driver to take the 15 to victory lane is Clint Bowyer. Bowyer would win 3 total races driving the 15 machine for the aforementioned Michael Waltrip at MWR.

Bowyer would have the best points finish of his career in the 15, finishing second in the 2012 standings behind Brad Keselowski.

The current driver of the 15 is a mixed bag stable for Rick Ware racing. When will we see another dedicated full time driver for the 15?

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