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Greatest NASCAR Drivers Ever by Car Number

Updated January 11, 2021 3.8k views110 items
  • #0: Darel Dieringer1

    #0: Darel Dieringer

    (Pictured: Garrett Smithley) Several drivers have recorded top fives in the #0 car, but only Dieringer has a win. Additionally, Dieringer has led 178 laps in the 0, which is more than every other pilot of the car combiner. 4 starts, 1 win, 2 top fives, 2 top tens, 178 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Dan Gurney, Jim Cook, Ward Burton.

  • #00: David Reutimann2

    #00: David Reutimann

    Of the 55 former drivers of the #00, only Reutimann has a win, and he's got two. Reutimann nearly drove the car into the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the early 10's, and was remembered for being a frequent competitor for race wins late in his career. 140 starts, 2 wins, 12 top fives, 22 top tens, 216 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Tom Pistone, Frank James, A.J. Foyt.

  • #01: Joe Nemechek3

    #01: Joe Nemechek

    Another number which has only seen one winner in NASCAR's history. Nemechek drove the car in the 00's before Mark Martin assumed control, and led a couple hundred laps while winning once. Additionally, "Front Row Joe" picked up three pole awards in the #01. 112 starts, 1 win, 5 top fives, 21 top tens, 286 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Mark Martin, Regan Smith, Butch Lindley.

  • #02: Curtis Crider4

    #02: Curtis Crider

    (Pictured: Joey Logano) No driver has won in the 02, but Curtis Crider was most successful with 7 top fives in the car. Though Crider's zero laps led falls short of Mark Martin's 80, Crider had more brushes with victory than Martin in the car, and therefor takes the prize. 42 starts, 0 wins, 7 top fives, 24 top tens, 0 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Mark Martin, Doug Cooper, Ryan Newman.

  • #03: G.C. Spencer5

    #03: G.C. Spencer

    Another number with no wins, the #03 car has finished in the top five twelve times in NASCAR history. One third of those were with G.C. Spencer. Spencer also led far and away more laps than any other driver in the car. 16 starts, 0 wins, 4 top fives, 7 top tens, 21 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Richard Brickhouse, David Pearson, LeeRoy Yarbrough.

  • #04: Hershel McGriff6

    #04: Hershel McGriff

    Yet another number where nobody did much of anything, beloved old timer Hershel McGriff is the most accomplished driver of NASCAR's #04 car. Fun fact: McGriff made his first NASCAR start in 1950 and his most recent in 2018. 32 starts, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 7 top tens, 7 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: John Sears, H.B. Bailey, Jerry Grant.

  • #05: David Sisco7

    #05: David Sisco

    Sisco's six top fives may not be much, but they're far and away the most success anyone's had in the #05 car. Not much else to say really, with only 22 people having driven with the number. 121 starts, 0 wins, 6 top fives, 31 top tens, 89 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Dick Brooks, Bruce Hill, Donnie Allison.

  • #06: Neil Castles8

    #06: Neil Castles

    Though Cale Yarborough sports the only win accomplished with the 05 car, Castles more than triples Yarborough in every other major statistic. Call it a close call, but an easy one nonetheless. 232 starts, 0 wins, 30 top fives, 83 top tens, 70 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Cale Yarborough, Bob Welborn, Johnny Wynn.

  • #07: Clint Bowyer9

    #07: Clint Bowyer

    Bowyer famously finished the 2007 Daytona 500 on his roof in the 07 car, but he also accomplished easily more than any other driver in the car competing for Richard Childress Racing. 108 starts, 2 wins, 16 top gives, 45 top tens, 687 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: George Davis, Coo Coo Marlin, Casey Mears.

  • #08: E.J. Trivette10

    #08: E.J. Trivette

    Another uneventful number, E.J. Trivette put together a solid stint in the #08. Trivette finished in the top ten in over a quarter of the races he started in the car. 41 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 11 top tens, 0 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: John Soares Jr, John Anderson, Rick McCray.

  • #09: Larry Manning11

    #09: Larry Manning

    Though few ever piloted the #09 and none did for more than 25 starts, there is one win in the 09's history. That winner was a young Brad Keselowski, but Larry Manning's rock solid tenure in the #09 back in the 60's was enough to elevate him above the sole winner. 25 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 11 top tens, 0 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Brad Keselowski, Mike Wallace, Friday Hassler.

  • #1: Donnie Allison12

    #1: Donnie Allison

    Easily the most competitive number so far in the bunch, eight different drivers have won in the 1. Four of those drivers, Jamie McMurray, Donnie Allison, and Billy Wade, have won four times in it. McMurray had the most counting stats, but Allison and Wade got their four wins in far fewer starts. To pick from the two of them, it came down to minutia, and Allison's few more top fives and tens were enough to give him a slight edge. 61 starts, 4 wins, 26 top fives, 33 top tens, 1,744 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Billy Wade, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch.

  • #2: Brad Keselowski13

    #2: Brad Keselowski

    Now this was a close call. Brad Keselowski and Rusty Wallace had remarkably similar careers in the 2, but Keselowski takes the edge for a couple reasons: he's close behind Rusty's numbers in far fewer starts, he still has time to pad his accomplishments, and he's won a championship behind the wheel of the car. 360 starts, 33 wins, 127 top fives, 204 top tens, 8,302 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, Bobby Allison.

  • #3: Dale Earnhardt14

    #3: Dale Earnhardt

    On the other hand, this was a no brainer. A handful of other drivers have won in the #3, but none of them were the Intimidator. Only two other drivers (grandson and grandfather Austin Dillon and Richard Childress) have run as many laps in the 3 as Earnhardt has led in it. No competition here. 529 starts, 67 wins, 227 top fives, 348 top tens, 21,532 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Junior Johnson, Paul Goldsmith, Dick Rathman.

  • #4: Kevin Harvick15

    #4: Kevin Harvick

    Another close, but not really close call. Rex White is an extremely accomplished driver, winning enough in the #4 alone to cement himself as a Hall of Fame talent. But Harvick has exploded past White's totals in recent years, and in a handful less starts too. 252 starts, 35 wins, 126 top fives, 180 top tens, 11,104 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Rex White, Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin.

  • #5: Terry Labonte16

    #5: Terry Labonte

    Hendrick Motorsports has fielded several rock solid drivers behind the wheel of the 5 car, and soon Kyle Larson will make his stab becoming the best. But as of now, it's Terry Labonte by a handy margin. Double the wins of all but one competitor and dozens more laps led, Labonte made the 5 car the racing icon that it is today. 368 starts, 12 wins, 64 top fives, 125 top tens, 3,040 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Geoff Bodine, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin.

  • #6: Mark Martin17

    #6: Mark Martin

    The second straight number that Mark Martin has a case for, this'll be the first on the list he wins. Martin was a force in Roush Racing's #6 car, winning almost three dozen races and competing for multiple championships. The number re-entered headlines in 2020 when Ryan Newman escaped a brutal crash at the close of the Daytona 500. 619 starts, 35 wins, 230 top fives, 361 top tens, 11,282 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: David Pearson, Cotton Owens, Marshall Teague.

  • #7: Jim Reed18

    #7: Jim Reed

    While Robby Gordon has made far and away the most starts in the #7 car, it's Jim Reed who ultimately accomplished the most in it. With 7 wins and over a thousand laps led, Reed put together a quite impressive tenure in lucky #7. Only three other drivers sport multiple wins in the car. 83 starts, 7 wins, 34 top fives, 41 top tens, 1,414 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Geoff Bodine, Bob Flock, Alan Kulwicki.

  • #8: Joe Weatherly19

    #8: Joe Weatherly

    Most fans would tell you that the #8 belongs to Dale Earnhardt Jr, but it was racing pioneer Joe Weatherly who had the greatest career in the car. Three more wins in less than half the starts is hard to argue with. The number's most iconic moment, however, was surely Dale Jr's Daytona 500 win in 2004. 110 starts, 20 wins, 67 top fives, 86 top tens, 2,205 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Dale Earnhardt Jr, Bobby Hillin Jr, Tyler Reddick.

  • #9: Bill Elliott20

    #9: Bill Elliott

    Another no brainer. Several drivers have had great careers in the #9, including Bill's own son winning a championship in it, but Awesome Bill still owns the 9 clear and outright. He could've retired on his #9 success alone and still easily been a slam dunk for the Hall of Fame. 446 starts, 38 wins, 135 top fives, 227 top tens, 9,207 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott, Marcos Ambrose.

  • #10: Ricky Rudd21

    #10: Ricky Rudd

    A surprisingly weak field of competition for such a popular, round number. Rudd is one of two drivers with multiple wins in the 10, and his competition, Derrike Cope, is relatively far behind. Aric Almirola has run impressively in the 10 in recent years, but with only one win to show for it, the number still belongs solidly to Rudd. 196 starts, 6 wins, 31 top fives, 69 top tens, 1,060 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Derrike Cope, Johnny Benson Jr, Aric Almirola.

  • #11: Cale Yarborough22

    #11: Cale Yarborough

    The 11 car has one of the greatest legacies of success in NASCAR number history. Four different drivers have amassed 40+ wins, with Yarborough stringing together 55. And though Denny Hamlin has won three Daytona 500s for the 11 car and Ned Jarrett redefined consistencty, it's ultimately a relatively easy call. 237 starts, 55 wins, 158 top fives, 172 top tens, 20,837 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Ned Jarrett, Darrell Waltrip, Denny Hamlin.

  • #12: Bobby Allison23

    #12: Bobby Allison

    NASCAR legend Bobby Allison achieved legend status in large part behind the wheel of the 12 car. His Miller High Life became a thing of legend in late 70's/early 80's era, and what Allison accomplished dwarfed the stats of any other #12 driver. Give Ryan Blaney time though, and he may take over the crown in the late stages of his career. 170 starts, 25 wins, 89 top fives, 111 top tens, 8,614 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Mayfield.

  • #13: Ty Dillon24

    #13: Ty Dillon

    History has not been kind to the unlucky 13 car. Johnny Rutherford is the car's lone winner in history, but he did it out of only two starts with #13 on the side of his car. It's hard to award the prize to a driver with only two starts, so the crown ultimately falls upon Ty Dillon. 144 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 6 top tens, 70 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Casey Mears, Johnny Rutherford, Pop McGinnis.

  • #14: Tony Stewart25

    #14: Tony Stewart

    Tony Stewart and Fonty Flock both had accomplished careers in the 14 car, but the edge goes slightly to Stewart for his 2011 title, an honor Fonty never secured. Stewart closed out an iconic career paying tribute to another of the number's great occupants, racing legend A.J. Foyt. 262 starts, 16 wins, 58 top fives, 101 top tens, 2,583 laps led.

    Honorable Mentions: Fonty Flock, Clint Bowyer, Hershel McGriff.