Countdown to the Daytona 500: Fun facts about the No. 3 for the hard-core NASCAR fan

The 2014 Daytona 500 on FOX (Sunday, 12 p.m. ET) is only three days away. Think you know everything about the No. 3 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? Think again. Here’s some serious No. 3 trivia for the hard-core NASCAR fan:

– A total of 75 drivers have driven the No. 3 in NASCAR’s top division.

– All told, cars carrying the No. 3 have competed in 1,135 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, amassing 112 poles, 97 race victories and 30,488 laps led.

– Seven drivers already in the NASCAR Hall of Fame competed in at least one race in the No. 3 in what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series: Tim Flock, Cotton Owens, Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Dale Earnhardt. Of those seven, Earnhardt, Johnson, Pearson and Roberts won races in the No. 3.

– The first driver to compete in the No. 3 in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? That would be Bill Snowden, who finished fifth in his No. 3 Nash at Occoneechee (N.C.) Speedway on Aug. 7, 1949. Back then, it was called the NASCAR Strictly Stock Series, and ’49 was its first year.

– The first driver to win a race in the No. 3 in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? That would be Dick Rathman who drove the No. 3 Hudson Hornet to victory at Oakland Stadium on March 28th, 1954. Rathman won $1,000 for claiming the race.

– Top five winners in the No. 3: Dale Earnhardt, 66 race victories; Junior Johnson, 9; Paul Goldsmith, 5; Dick Rathman and David Pearson, 3 each.

– The No. 3 has competed on a whopping 105 Cup tracks over 64 years.