NASCAR: Notable names in the history of car number 11

Take a look at some of the legends who have raced car number 11 in the NASCAR Cup Series, including names like Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and A.J. Foyt.

From three southerners driving for a legendary owner to a pair of open-wheel greats to short stints by early champions, car number 11 has a long and rich history in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The number 11 is the winningest car number in the Cup Series, with names like Yarborough, Jarrett, Waltrip and Andretti having driven it over the years.

The overall stat line for the double-one is this: 218 wins, 755 top five finishes, 1,030 top ten finishes, 162 pole positions, 61,494 laps led and an average finish of 13.9 in 2,028 races. The driver with the most wins behind the wheel of the #11 car is Cale Yarborough.

Yarborough won all three of his championships and earned 55 of his 83 wins using the number 11 from 1973 through 1980. His success in the 1970s stands out in the car number’s history, but he wasn’t the first driver to bring the number to fame.

Ned Jarrett raced to both of his  championships and 49 of his 50 wins driving the number 11, using the number for a handful of races in 1959 and then in most races from 1960 through 1966.

An eventual Fox Sports analyst brought the car to success in the 1980s after Jarrett and Yarborough. While he used various numbers during his career, including 17 and 88, Darrell Waltrip won all three of his championships in the #11 car. Of his 84 victories, 43 came with that number.

Jarrett, Yarborough and Waltrip all found success with the same digits on their doors. For Jarrett, he ran the number with various owners, including himself. For long-time rivals Yarborough and Waltrip, the common link is Junior Johnson.

As a driver, Johnson drove the number 11 car to 11 wins between 1958 and 1959 for team owner Paul Spaulding. As an owner himself, Johnson used the number 11 for his primary car for several years, starting mid-season in 1974 when he took over Yarborough’s team from Richard Howard.

Yarborough piloted the car until 1980. Waltrip did so from 1981 to 1986, Terry Labonte did so from 1987 to 1989, Geoff Bodine did so from 1990 to 1991, Bill Elliott did so from 1992 to 1994 and Brett Bodine did so from 1995 to 2003, competing for Johnson’s team in 1995.

While Johnson fielded other cars for other drivers, it was the #11 car that brought him 102 of his 132 wins and all six of his championships as an owner.

The car number was good to the southern bootlegger from NASCAR country, and it also provided a winning taste to a pair of open-wheel stars.

Mario Andretti won 33 races and three championships in AAA/USAC Champ Car, 19 races and a championship in CART/Champ Car and 12 races and a championship in Formula 1.

In the Cup Series, Andretti’s lone win came in the #11 car. He won the 1967 Daytona 500 for Holman-Moody. Overall, he made eight of his 14 starts in the #11 car between 1967 and 1968.

While he managed only four top 20 finishes and two top 10 finishes during that span, his lone win allowed him to leave his mark on the storied history of car number 11.

Another open-wheeler who used those digits was A.J. Foyt. The seven-time AAA/USAC Champ Car champion, who won 67 races in the series, recorded one of his seven Cup Series wins driving the #11 car.

He recorded three top five finishes in six starts with the number between 1968 and 1970, including a 1970 road course win at Riverside International Raceway.

Other notable drivers to drive the #11 car include Buddy Baker, Fireball Roberts, two-time champion Tim Flock, 1983 champion Bobby Allison, 1960 champion Rex White and two-time champion Joe Weatherly. Of those drivers, Baker recorded two wins and Allison recorded three using the number 11.

Flock, Allison, White and Weatherly combined for only 12 starts with that number, while another notable name in Mark Martin has only one start as the substitute for the car’s current driver in 2013. That current driver is Denny Hamlin, who ranks fourth on the wins list among drivers using that number with 38 victories in the car.

Hamlin was a part of last year’s Championship 4 and was the championship runner-up in 2010. He has three Daytona 500 wins and a career average finish of 13.6, all in the #11 car for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Next: Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time

With a long list of legends and notable racers, car number 11 is one of the most storied digits in NASCAR Cup Series history.

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