Check out a number of the legends who’ve raced automotive quantity two within the NASCAR Cup Collection, together with names equivalent to Rusty Wallace, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty.
Is it becoming that two seven-time champions as soon as raced the #2 automotive, two Pettys piloted the automotive in a single season, Junior Johnson used the quantity in two roles and that Rusty Wallace drove the #2 automotive for two completely different house owners? It’s true too that that is my second article about automotive numbers within the NASCAR Cup Collection.
Historical past reveals that this is among the sport’s most legendary digits. The general stat line for the deuce is that this: 95 wins, 519 high 5 finishes, 886 high 10 finishes, 69 poles, 31,863 laps led and a mean end of 14.9 in 1,928 races.
Whereas the automotive quantity has constantly been utilized by single drivers in latest many years, it was utilized in shorter stints by a number of the sport’s greatest stars within the earlier days.
The Petty household drove the #2 automotive in six races in 1958. Richard Petty had a finest results of 16th place at Myrtle Seaside Speedway, racing the automotive in 5 occasions total. Lee Petty completed in third at Atlanta’s Lakewood Speedway in his lone look within the #2 automotive.
With a mixed 10 championships and 254 wins, the Pettys add to the legacy of the automotive quantity, regardless of the restricted begins.
Different drivers climbed into the cockpit of the #2 for Petty Enterprises, together with Joe Weatherly for one occasion in 1958. Weatherly additionally entered one race with that quantity for Holman-Moody in 1957.
Nevertheless it was in 1963 when the #2 automotive was a part of Weatherly’s success. He received the championship that 12 months, piecing collectively begins in numerous vehicles for various house owners, primarily the #eight automotive for Bud Moore.
Weatherly entered 10 races within the #2 automotive for Cliff Stewart that 12 months, recording 5 high 10 finishes, together with two high 5 finishes: a 3rd place end at Myrtle Seaside Speedway and a runner-up end at Tar Heel Speedway.
Weatherly received three races that 12 months en path to his second consecutive championship. He died the next 12 months after a crash at Riverside Worldwide Raceway.
A driver and proprietor connection within the #2 automotive belongs to Junior Johnson.
Johnson completed in 15th place at Hickory Speedway for proprietor Pete DePaolo in 1956, his lone occasion as driver of the #2 automotive. As an proprietor, he fittingly fielded the automotive in two occasions, each for Curtis Turner in 1965. Turner additionally raced the automotive in a single occasion for Holman-Moody in 1958.
Well-known for his black #three Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt first discovered success within the #2 automotive. “The Intimidator” first drove the automotive in 1979 for proprietor Rod Osterlund, taking it to 6 victories and the 1980 championship earlier than switching groups throughout the 1981 season.
Jim Stacy bought the #2 staff from Osterlund mid-season, fielding the automotive for Earnhardt in 4 occasions earlier than Earnhardt went to Richard Childress Racing and the #three automotive. Earnhardt spent the 1982 and 1983 seasons within the #15 automotive for Bud Moore Engineering earlier than returning to Childress and the #three automotive in 1984 and happening to win six extra championships.
The quantity 2 is the one quantity that each Petty and Earnhardt used in some unspecified time in the future of their careers. One other legend, three-time champion David Pearson, additionally hung out within the #2 automotive. He crammed in for an injured Earnhardt for 4 races in 1979, recording three high 5 finishes, together with a win within the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
In more moderen many years, proprietor Roger Penske has develop into synonymous with the #2 automotive. The primary driver to run the #2 automotive for Penske was Dave Marcis in choose occasions in 1972 and 1973. Marcis returned to Penske and the #2 automotive for a partial schedule in 1977.
Bobby Allison, who later received the 1983 championship, raced the #2 automotive for Penske full-time in 1976, recording 15 high 5 finishes and 19 high 10 finishes in 30 races. Allison had additionally raced the #2 automotive part-time between 1965 and 1969, gathering seven wins for proprietor Donald Brackins.
Following Marcis’s second stint behind the wheel of the #2 automotive, the subsequent driver to drive that automotive for Penske was Rusty Wallace in 1991.
As with Allison, Wallace first drove the quantity for one more proprietor, working the complete 1985 marketing campaign for Cliff Stewart and recording two high 5 finishes and eight high 10 finishes. Wallace received the 1989 championship within the #27 automotive for Raymond Beadle earlier than teaming up with Penske two years later.
Wallace completed his profession within the #2 automotive for Penske, profitable 37 races and recording 143 high 5 finishes. Following his retirement, 2004 champion Kurt Busch joined Penske and the #2 staff in 2006. He recorded eight wins and 37 high 5 finishes earlier than being moved to the #22 staff in 2011 to make means for Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski, the present driver of the #2 automotive, received the 2012 championship, the primary for Penske within the Cup Collection. Keselowski has amassed 29 wins and 115 high 5 finishes and counting within the #2 automotive. His solely different Cup Collection win got here at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009, driving the #09 automotive for James Finch at Phoenix Racing.
Different race winners within the #2 automotive embody Jim Paschal in 1962, Tim Richmond (two wins) in 1982 and Invoice Blair (three wins) within the early 1950s. Two-time champion Tim Flock drove the automotive in a single occasion throughout his 1955 championship season.
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With a wealthy historical past that features two Pettys, an Earnhardt, an Allison and a Wallace plus 74 wins for a legendary IndyCar and NASCAR proprietor named Penske, there’s little question that the #2 automotive is among the most iconic numbers within the historical past of the NASCAR Cup Collection.