History of the No. 11 car: Win, win and win again

Cale Yarborough (11) leads Donnie Allison during the July 4, 1975 race at Daytona.

While Richard Petty has the most wins of any driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the No. 43 is not the car number with the most wins in the sport’s history.

That distinction goes to the No. 11.

From the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race on June 19, 1949, through the 2015 season, the No. 11 has been a big part of the NASCAR story.

Skimp Hersey was the first driver to pilot the No. 11, driving a Ford in the first Strictly Stock race at Charlotte Speedway to an 18th-place finish.

Parnelli Jones was the first driver to take the No. 11 to Victory Lane in NASCAR’s Premier Series, winning at Kitsap County Airport driving for owner Oscar Maples on Aug. 4, 1957.

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Junior Johnson, a member of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, was the next driver to take the No. 11 to Victory Lane, doing so 11 times between 1958 and 1959.

Fellow Hall of Fame member Ned Jarrett also drove the No. 11 in 1959, winning twice. Jarrett would carry the No. 11 for a total of 323 races, winning 49 times and earning two Premier Series championships.

Johnson and Jarrett are not the only Hall of Fame members to drive the iconic number, either. Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Rex White, Tim Flock and Joe Weatherly all took turns behind the wheel of a No. 11 car in the Premier Series.

Currently, Denny Hamlin drives the No. 11 for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Hamlin has competed with the number more than any other driver (362 starts to date) and has 26 wins, 105 top fives and 174 top 10s.

Yarborough leads all drivers with 55 wins in the No. 11, followed by Jarrett (49), Waltrip (43) and Hamlin. A total of 13 drivers have at least one victory with the No. 11.

Here’s a look at the No. 11’s impressive stats:

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Starts: 1,874

Wins: 206

Wins by driver: Cale Yarborough, 55; Ned Jarrett, 49; Darrell Waltrip, 43; Denny Hamlin, 26; Junior Johnson, 11; Bill Elliott, 6; Terry Labonte, 4; Geoffrey Bodine, 4; Bobby Allison, 3; Buddy Baker, 2; Parnelli Jones, 1; Mario Andretti, 1; A.J. Foyt, 1.

Top fives: 698

Top 10s: 1,321

Poles: 153

Average start: 12.5

Average finish: 14.16

Drivers: 49

All stats provided by driversaverages.com