With Darrell “Bubba” Wallace set to driver the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend at Pocono Raceway, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the staggering statistics his car owner piled up while making the number one of the most iconic in NASCAR history.
Richard Petty drove the No. 43 to 192 of his record 200 victories in NASCAR’s top series.
Wallace will be making his debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the car when he subs for the injured Aric Almirola in Sunday’s Pocono 400. Almirola continues to recover from a compression back fracture he suffered in a horrifying wreck at Kansas on May 13.
The numbers Petty compiled en route to his seven championships, which remains tied for most all time with the late Dale Earnhardt and current champ Jimmie Johnson, are mind-blowing.
Petty made 1,125 starts in the No. 43 across parts of five different decades. In addition to all the wins, he also posted 526 top-five and 676 top-10 finishes while winning 115 poles.
The member of the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class completed 295,936 laps in the car and led an amazing 48,125 of them.
Almirola is one of a select group of just five other drivers who have ever won a race in the No. 43, having done so in the rain-shortened Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July of 2014.
The others who have won in the car number are Bobby Hamilton and Jim Paschal (two wins apiece), John Andretti (one win), and Petty’s father and fellow Hall of Famer Lee Petty, who won one of only two starts he ever made in it.
RPM announced on Monday that Wallace would fill in for the injured Almirola at Pocono and until Almirola is able to get back behind the wheel. Regan Smith drove the car in Almirola’s place in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, finishing 22nd, and again last Sunday at Dover, where he finished 34th.
gallery: Remembering Richard Petty’s seven NASCAR championships