A look through NASCAR’s 200 Cup Series winners

2 Comments

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.

Helio Castroneves rules out Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves Daytona 500
Robert Scheer/Indy Star/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Helio Castroneves might be at the 2023 Daytona 500, but the four-time Indy 500 winner won’t be in a race car.

During a news conference Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, Castroneves confirmed in response to a question from NBC Sports that he essentially has ruled out attempting to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Feb. 19 season opener.

As recently as last Thursday at Rolex 24 Media Day, Castroneves, 47, said he still was working on trying to piece together a deal.

The Brazilian had been negotiating with the Cup team co-owned by boxer Floyd Mayweather and would have been in an “open” entry that lacked guaranteed entry to the Great American Race. That potentially would leave him in the precarious position of needing to make the race on qualifying speed or a qualifying race finish (as action sports star Travis Pastrana likely might need in his Cup debut).

DETAILS FOR THE 61ST ROLEX 24How to watch, entry lists, schedules for the IMSA season opener

HELIO’S ‘DAYS OF THUNDER’ MOMENT: Recalling a memorable 2022 victory drive through the smoke

“Unfortunately for me, lack of experience, no testing,” Castroneves said. “A lot of things. I believe it would be a little bit tough throwing myself in such a short notice, and to go in a place that you’ve got to race yourself into it. So as of right now, yes, it’s not going to happen.

“But we did have an opportunity. We just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience on that. So there is more things to come ahead of us, but as of right now, I want to focus on the IndyCar program as well and (the Rolex 24 at Daytona).”

Castroneves, who has a residence in Key Biscayne, said he still might attend the Daytona 500

“I might just come and see and watch it and continue to take a look and see what’s going to be in the future,” he said.

Castroneves enters Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona having won the event the past two years. He made his signature fence-climb after winning last year with Meyer Shank Racing, which he will be driving for full time in the NTT IndyCar Series this year. He became the fourth four-time Indy 500 winner in history in his 2021 debut with Meyer Shank Racing.

The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion also has indicated an interest in Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 car that aims to place international drivers in a Cup ride (such as Kimi Raikkonen at Watkins Glen International last year). Team co-owner Justin Marks recently tweeted Trackhouse wouldn’t field the Project 91 car at the Daytona 500.

After winning the 2022 Superstar Racing Experience opener, SRX CEO Don Hawk had promised he would help secure a Daytona 500 ride for Castroneves.

Castroneves has been angling for a NASCAR ride for years, dating to when he drove for Team Penske from 2000-20. After winning the Rolex 24 last year, he said he had been lobbying Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart for help with getting in a Cup car.

Fire at Reaume Brothers Racing shop injures three

0 Comments

A Thursday fire at the Reaume Brothers Racing shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, injured three individuals, according to Mooresville (North Carolina) Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters were dispatched to the shop, which is scheduled to field entries for driver Mason Massey in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The fire department extinguished the blaze quickly. The department stated on its Facebook page that one individual was transported to Lake Norman Regional hospital for smoke inhalation, and another was transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. with burn injuries. A third was treated and released.

The Mooresville Fire Marshall’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire department said the shop sustained “significant fire damage.”

In a tweet, the team said it is determining the extent of damage to the building. “More importantly,” it said, “a few of our team members did sustain injuries during the fire and are being transported for medical treatment.”

Trackhouse, RFK Racing, Front Row Motorsports sign sponsorship deals

0 Comments

Trackhouse Racing, RFK Racing and Front Row Motorsports announced sponsorship deals Thursday morning.

Trackhouse said WWEX, a Dallas-based global logistics group, will increase its sponsorship presence with the team this year, serving as the primary sponsor in 21 races for drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.

WWEX will appear on Chastain’s Chevrolets in 19 races and will sponsor Suarez twice. The organization was a Trackhouse sponsor in 11 events in 2022, which was a breakout season for both Chastain and Suarez.

RFK announced that Solomon Plumbing, which joined the team last season, will expand its presence this season and in future years. The Michigan-based company will serve as the primary sponsor for several races on driver Brad Keselowski‘s No. 6 Ford.

MORE: Chase Briscoe signs contract extension with Stewart-Haas

Solomon specializes in plumbing and fire services for new development and construction. It initially sponsored Keselowski last season in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Front Row Motorsports has signed Quincy Compressor, a Bay Minette, Ala.-based compressor manufacturer, as a sponsor for four races.

Quincy will sponsor Todd Gilliland‘s No. 38 team in three events and Michael McDowell‘s No. 34 team in one race.

 

 

Stewart-Haas Racing signs Chase Briscoe to contract extension

0 Comments

Chase Briscoe has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing, the team announced Thursday.

The length of the deal was not announced.

MORE: A better way to determine the Cup champion?

Briscoe is entering his third Cup season with the team. He won his first series race last year, taking the checkered flag at Phoenix last March. That victory put him in the playoffs. He finished the season ninth in the standings. 

“It’s huge to have stability, with my team and my partner,” Briscoe said in a statement from the team. “It just gives you more confidence. Stewart-Haas Racing is where I want to be for a long time. It’s the place I’ve known longer than anywhere else in my NASCAR career.

“I remember getting signed by Ford in 2017 and I told people, ‘You know, if I could pick one place to be, it would be Stewart- Haas Racing. And if I could drive one car, it would be the 14 car. That would be the ultimate dream.’ And now, here I am.

“SHR has such a great group of people, from the Xfinity Series to the Cup Series, and they’ve all just guided me in the right direction. From drivers to crew chiefs to crew members, they’ve always had my back, and that’s been a huge help – just having people believe in you.”

The 28-year-old Briscoe has been with SHR since 2018. He split a limited Xfinity schedule that season between what is now RFK Racing and SHR. He ran full time with SHR in the Xfinity Series in 2019 and ’20 before moving to Cup in 2021.

“Chase has made the most of every opportunity and the proof is in the results. Keeping him at SHR was a priority and we’re proud to have him in our racecars for many more years to come,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, in a statement from the team. 

Briscoe’s signing comes two weeks after teammate Kevin Harvick announced that this will be his final season in Cup. 

The Cup season begins Feb. 5 with the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before going to Daytona for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500.