As we make our way through the top-10 race car numbers in terms of wins between NASCAR’s three national series, we finally arrive at the top five. We’ve already celebrated and looked back at the No. 22, No. 17, No. 24, No. 18 and No. 21. This week we take a look at the car number with the fifth-most wins in points races.
That happens to be No. 6.
All the drivers of the No. 6 in all three series have combined for 137 wins: 83 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 36 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and 18 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The total is five wins ahead of the sixth-place car – No. 21.
Twelve different drivers have visited Victory Lane in points races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Among them, Mark Martin leads the bunch. Of Martin’s 40 wins in the premier series, 35 of them came while he was at the helm of the No. 6.
His wins in the No. 6 spanned 17 years (from 1989-2005). His first win came in his third full season in the series and was his only one that year. The victory came at Rockingham Speedway, where he beat Rusty Wallace to the checkered flag by 2.98 seconds.
Martin’s most productive season was the 1998 season in which he posted seven wins and finished runner-up to Jeff Gordon in the standings. That season he won at Las Vegas, Texas, Auto Club, Michigan, Bristol, Dover and Charlotte. He finished second in the points standings three other times (1990, 1994 and 2002).
David Pearson is next on the list, behind Martin, with 27 wins while driving the No. 6. He collected all 27 wins during a four-year span (1964-67). In 1964, Pearson posted eight wins, beginning with a win at Richmond. He followed that up with a two-win campaign in 1965. However, in 1966, he broke loose to win 15 times en route to his first of three championships. Among the 15 wins that season, Pearson won twice at each of the following tracks: Hickory Speedway, Columbia Speedway, Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Bowman Gray Stadium and Richmond.
In his last season in the No. 6 (1967) Pearson won two times.
Marshall Teague and Cotton Owens are the only other drivers to win more than one race in the No. 6 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, winning seven and six times, respectively. Eight different drivers have a single win in the car, beginning with Herb Thomas. Joining Thomas are Danny Letner, Joe Eubanks, Bobby Allison, Charlie Glotzbach, Buddy Baker, Pete Hamilton and, most recently, David Ragan, who won the 2013 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.
Of the six drivers to win in the No. 6 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Tommy Houston was the first and the most prolific. Houston primarily drove the No. 27 Chevrolet during the 1982 season, but he was able to drive the No. 6 four times that season, winning in his very first race in the car, which happened to be the second of the season. He also won one other time that year, but it was in the No. 27.
The other 22 times he visited Victory Lane during his 15-year season were all in the No. 6. In all he captured 23 wins in the No. 6 between 1982 and 1992, winning an incredible seven times at Hickory and three times at Martinsville. During that 11-year span he won at least one race in nine seasons, including four in both 1986 and 1990.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. competed in the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing for only three years (2010-12) before graduating to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He was very productive during those three seasons, however. He captured all eight of his career victories in 2011 and 2012, in addition to winning the series championships both years.
Ragan’s only two career NASCAR XFINITY Series wins came in 2009, while driving the No. 6 car for Roush Fenway. His wins came at Talladega and Bristol. Joe Bessey, Kasey Kahne and Trevor Bayne are the only other drivers to have ever visited Victory Lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in the No. 6, each winning only once in the car.
No driver has more wins in the No. 6 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series than Mark Martin. All six of his truck wins came in 2006 while driving for Roush Fenway. The only other win he has in a truck came 10 years earlier with Roush Fenway; however, he was in the No. 99. His six victories in the No. 6 came at Daytona, Auto Club, Dover, Bristol, Talladega and Homestead.
Travis Kvapil, Rick Carelli and Kevin Harvick all have multiple truck wins in the No. 6, with four, three and two, respectively. Ron Hornaday Jr., Colin Braun and Justin Lofton have all won once in the truck.
Check back next week to see which number is fourth on the list of car numbers with the most wins.