When AJ Allmendinger won Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, he did something that hadn’t been done in more than 28 years: He won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race driving a car carrying the number 47.
The last guy before Allmendinger to win a Sprint Cup race in a car with No. 47? That would be Morgan Shepherd, who on March 16, 1986 won the Motorcraft 500 driving the Jack Beebe-owned No. 47 Race Hill Farm Buick.
Interestingly, the only driver in NASCAR history who has won more than one race with the No. 47 is the late Jack Smith, who raced between 1949 and 1964. Smith famously won four races in 1957 driving the legendary "Black Widow" 1957 Chevrolet that was part of a General Motors skunkworks project run out of Nalley Chevrolet in Atlanta.
In 1958, Smith made headlines when he flew over a guardrail at Darlington Raceway. Also that year, he was voted as NASCAR’s most popular driver.
Two years later, Smith won the Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the first driver to win on the big track as well as the old Beach & Road Course.
Smith’s most successful year was 1962, when he won five races, all in a Pontiac.
In 1964, Smith retired and opened an automatic transmission repair shop in Spartanburg, S.C., which is still in operation today, with his sons running it.