“The King” made No. 43 most prolific of all time

  • Scott Whitmore
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:00am
  • Sports

From NASCAR’s media site, the lineage of number 43:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2009) – This Saturday, July 4, marks exactly 25 years since Richard “The King” Petty took his No. 43 Pontiac to Victory Lane, for the final time, at Daytona International Speedway.

It was Petty’s 200th victory, and the car number’s 195th. Both statistics rank at the very top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record books, neither likely to fall any time soon – if ever.

The No. 43 has won three more races since that Firecracker 400 in 1984. The late Bobby Hamilton brought the No. 43 back to prominence twice since Petty left it for good in 1992 – once in 1996 at Phoenix and again in 1997 at Rockingham. John Andretti, a member of another famous racing family, was the last to win in the No. 43, at Martinsville in 1999.

Though the No. 43 is synonymous with “The King” (he did win 192 races in the car, after all), the family tree’s branches extend further than most would assume.

Its first race was in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ first year – a 42nd-place finish by Jack Russell in the fourth race of the 1949 season (Langhorne Speedway).

Totaling a record 1,717 starts and 198 victories, the No. 43 has seen 41 different drivers in its seat. Five of those drivers won with the number: Richard Petty, Hamilton, Andretti, Jim Paschal and Lee Petty.

Paschal and Lee Petty made the most of their few opportunities in the car. In just 12 races, Paschal won twice. Lee’s winning percentage is even better – 50%. In two starts in the No. 43, Lee Petty won once, at North Wilkesboro in 1959 – the very first win for the No. 43.

Though lacking the wins, a number of notable drivers have filled the No. 43’s seat: Bob Welborn, Darel Dieringer, Jim Reed, LeeRoy Yarbrough, Bobby Labonte and its current driver, Reed Sorenson.

But, of course, when anyone sees the No. 43, Petty Enterprises comes to mind. The No. 43’s first race under the Petty Enterprises umbrella was February 7, 1954, an 11th-place finish by Welborn at Palm Beach Speedway in South Florida. A number of other owners would field the No. 43 after that, until Petty Enterprises assumed the number in 1959.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Everett's Max Soterakopoulos points to his name on the leaderboard after winning his division the Regional Qualifier for Drive, Chip and Putt, held last Saturday at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place. (Photo coutesy of Chris Soterakopoulos)
Community roundup: Everett youth golfer headed to The Masters

Plus, Mill Creek Country Club’s Val Patrick honored by LPGA, updates on local NFL players, and more.

Angel of the Winds Arena stands ready and waiting Friday afternoon for Kraken fans to arrive for the preseason game against the Edmondton Oilers. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
Patterson: After past fails, can arena football thrive in Everett?

The turbulent past of arena football in the city stems from the opening of the Everett Events Center, now Angel of the Winds Arena, in 2003.

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Hall of Fame inductee Gina Carbonatto accepts her award during the 2023 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: 2023 Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame banquet

A look at Wednesday’s ceremony honoring some of the most decorated sports figures in the area.

Stanwood's Michael Mascotti relays the next play to his teammates during football practice on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Game picks for Week 5 of the prep football season

Find out which teams the experts and readers pick to win in Week 5.

Sultan’s Derek Feltner tries to stay upright after picking up an offensive fumble and getting a few yards against Granite Falls on Friday, Sep. 30, 2022, at Sultan High School in Sultan, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Week 5 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers through four weeks of the season.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Jayshon Limar (17) moves with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Associated Press high school football poll for Week 5

Lake Stevens falls from No. 1 in Class 4A; Arlington jumps to No. 6 in 3A.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 18-24

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 18-24. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Most Read