A look through NASCAR’s 200 Cup Series winners


With his first career win Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, Chase Briscoe became the 200th different driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race.

That gives us a chance to highlight the milestone winners throughout the division’s history, dating back 73 years to 1949. Plus, see where some of the sport’s legends land in NASCAR history:

1. Jim Roper: Roper won the inaugural Cup Series race on June 19, 1949 at Charlotte Speedway, a 3/4-mile dirt track unrelated to the modern-day Charlotte Motor Speedway. Roper competed in just one other premier series event and finished 15th at Occoneechee Speedway, where Bob Block became the series’ third winner.

2. Red Byron: Byron, the first Cup Series champion, won the division’s second race, claiming the checkered flag on the Daytona Beach and Road Course on July 10, 1949. Byron earned both of his Cup wins that season.

6. Lee Petty: The patriarch of the Petty family legacy became the sixth different winner in NASCAR with his victory at Heidelberg Raceway, a half-mile dirt track in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Oct. 2, 1949. Petty won 54 career races in 427 starts

25. Danny Weinberg: Weinberg earned his lone Cup victory in October 1951 at Marchblanks Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in Hanford, California. Weinberg made 17 career starts through 1964 and nabbed seven top fives and nine top 10s.

39. Junior Johnson: “The Last Great American Hero” earned his first of 50 Cup wins at Hickory Speedway on May 7, 1955, his first of five victories that season.

50. Jack Smith: Smith was a 26-time winner at the sport’s top level and claimed his first at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 28, 1956. Smith competed from 1949-64, highlighted by a five-win season in 1962.

68. Ned Jarrett: Jarrett, patriarch of his family’s racing legacy, won his first Cup race at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina on Aug. 1, 1959. Jarrett won 50 times to accompany two series championships, claiming the title in 1961 and 1965.

70. Richard Petty: The King of NASCAR won his first of a record 200 career wins at the Southern States Fairgrounds in Charlotte, North Carolina on Feb. 28, 1960. Petty eventually earned seven Cup Series championships.

78. David Pearson: The man who ranks second to Richard Petty in wins with 105 career triumphs. Pearson’s first came in the 1961 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway driving for Ray Fox.

87. Wendell Scott: Scott became the first Black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race on Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida. However, Scott was not credited with the win until hours later as track promotors didn’t want a Black driver with a white trophy girl. His family was given the trophy ahead of the 2021 regular-season finale at Daytona.

90. A.J. Foyt: The journeyman motorsports legend became the 90th different driver to win in the Cup Series with his victory in the 1964 Firecracker 400 at Daytona. Foyt was a seven-time winner, including a triumph in the 1972 Daytona 500.

93. Cale Yarborough: Yarborough, who won the championship from 1976-78, earned his first win at Valdosta 75 Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in Valdosta, Georgia. Yarborough finished his career with 83 victories.

98. Bobby Allison: Allison, the 1983 champion, won his first of 84 races at Oxford Plains Speedway, a 1/3-mile asphalt oval in Oxford, Maine.

100. Mario Andretti: Perhaps the most transcendent name in motorsports became NASCAR’s 100th different winner in the Cup Series. His lone Cup win came in the 1967 Daytona 500 for Holman-Moody Racing.

112. Darrell Waltrip: Waltrip, a three-time champion, became a Cup winner on May 10, 1975 with a victory at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Like Allison, Waltrip won 84 times in the premier series.

116. Dale Earnhardt: Before he was known as “The Intimidator,” Earnhardt earned his first win on April 1, 1979 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt became a seven-time champion and 76-race winner.

124. Bill Elliott: The sport’s 16-time Most Popular Driver won at Riverside International Raceway on Nov. 20, 1983 for his first career Cup win. Elliott, father of Chase, won 44 times as well as the 1988 championship.

128. Rusty Wallace: Fifty-five-time winner Rusty Wallace nabbed his first career win at Bristol on April 6, 1986. The 1989 champion raced through the 2005 season.

134. Alan Kulwicki: Kulwicki, the 1992 champion, only won five times in his tragically shortened career but earned his first at Phoenix on Nov. 8, 1988, introducing the world to his “Polish victory lap,” driving backwards around the track to salute the fans with his driver-side facing the crowd.

135. Mark Martin: Martin claimed his first of 40 wins on Oct. 22, 1989 at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina. Though he never won the Cup championship, Martin finished runner-up in points five times.

139. Dale Jarrett: Jarrett, the son of Ned, won his first race in a photo finish with Davey Allison at Michigan International Speedway in 1991. Jarrett earned 32 wins in addition to the 1999 Cup championship.

141. Jeff Gordon: A four-time title winner, Gordon won the Coca-Cola 600 in 1994 for his first of 93 victories, third-most behind Petty and Pearson.

149. Tony Stewart: Three-time champion Stewart won three races in his rookie season in 1999. The first of those victories came at Richmond Raceway on Sept. 11.

150. Joe NemechekNemechek became winner No. 150 on Sept. 19, 1999 with a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Nemechek, father of Truck and Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek, won four times in his Cup career.

151. Dale Earnhardt Jr.He went to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2, 2000, the first of two victories in his rookie season. Earnhardt, who was voted Most Popular Driver 15 times, won 26 events, including two Daytona 500s.

152. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth earned his first win in the 2000 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kenseth won the 2003 championship in addition to 39 races.

156. Kevin HarvickIn only his third start driving in place of the late Dale Earnhardt, Harvick, the 2014 champion, earned his first of 58 Cup victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2001.

160. Kurt BuschThe 2004 series champion won the 2002 Food City 500 at Bristol for his first of 33 career wins.

161. Jimmie Johnson: Before joining Petty and Earnhardt as seven-time champions, Johnson earned his first career victory in April 2002 at Auto Club Speedway, the first of three wins in his rookie year.

168. Kyle BuschBusch, now the lone active driver with two Cup championships, earned his first win at Auto Club on Sept. 4, 2005. Busch is the winningest active driver with 59 victories.

169. Denny HamlinHamlin snagged his first win at Pocono Raceway in June 2006 and went on to sweep the track’s races in his rookie year. Hamlin now has 46 career wins.

172. Martin Truex Jr.Truex earned his first win at Dover International Speedway in June 2007 and now has 31 total wins. Truex won the 2017 championship.

175. Brad KeselowskiThe 2012 champion won at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2009 for his first of 35 career victories.

177. Joey LoganoLogano’s first win came in a rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, his home track, in his rookie year of 2009. Logano won the 2018 title and now has 27 career victories.

186. Kyle LarsonThe defending series champion claimed his first victory at Michigan in 2016 while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. With 11 wins in the past two seasons, Larson now has 17 career triumphs.

189. Ryan BlaneyBlaney fought off Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to bring the Wood Brothers back to Victory Lane at Pocono in June 2017. Blaney, now driving for Team Penske, has seven career wins.

191. Chase ElliottThe 2020 champion earned his first win at Watkins Glen International in August 2018 and currently sits at 13 wins.

192. Alex BowmanBowman, who most recently won at Las Vegas, visited Victory Lane for the first time at Chicagoland Speedway in June 2019. Vegas marked Bowman’s seventh win.

198. Bubba WallaceWallace became the first Black driver since Scott in 1963 to win a Cup Series race by nabbing a rain-shortened victory at Talladega in October 2021.

199. Austin CindricCindric became the first rookie to win the Daytona 500 since Trevor Bayne in 2011.

200. Chase Briscoe: Briscoe made history as the sport’s 200th winner Sunday at Phoenix, driving for boyhood idol and team owner Tony Stewart at Phoenix.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.

NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin


NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Hamlin forced Elliott toward the wall. Elliott’s car slapped the wall. Elliott then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”