The Frontstretch: Best of That's History! NASCAR's Checkered (Flag) Past, One Story at a Time: Useless and Proud of It by Amy Henderson -- Friday December 16, 2005

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Ever wonder why you know some of the stuff you know? Like your phone number from 1978 or all the words to the Gettysburg Address? It seems like I have a vault of racing information that is at least as useless as that. (Not that the Gettysburg Address is useless; but I’m not really convinced that being able to recite it verbatim will really get you anything.) Some of it is interesting, like Ford’s first victory at what is now the Nextel Cup level came in 1950 and was won by Jimmy Florian. Some of it is just downright silly, like the Labonte brothers’ favorite memory is not of racing, but of putting their father’s old pickup truck out of its misery with a shotgun. Whatever it is, there sure is a lot of it up there, crowding out the constructive thoughts in my brain. So in the interest of sharing, or at least of filling up someone else’s head with useless information, I share ten following useless (but fun) gems. For instance:

  • Besides Ford, fourteen other manufacturers have found victory lane at NASCAR’s highest level, including Jaguar.
  • NASCAR at one time planned on making the now long-defunct convertible division its premier series.
  • While current Cup driver Jimmie Johnson had season sweeps at three tracks in 2004, the all-time record is five. David Pearson swept the season’s races in 1966 at Columbia, Greenville, Hickory, Richmond, and Winston-Salem.
  • Mike Skinner, Robert Pressley, and Kasey Kahne all won their first-ever Craftsman Truck Series starts. Kahne liked it so much he won his second start, too.
  • The Flock family holds the record for most siblings in a race when Tim, Fonty, and Bob all raced along with their sister Ethel Mobley at the Daytona beach-road course in 1949.
  • The first Busch Series race held west of the Mississippi River was the Las Vegas 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 15th, 1997.
  • Rusty Wallace’s current Busch Series team is not his first foray into team ownership. Wallace fielded a Busch team for youngest brother Kenny and almost won the series title in 1991. They finished second to Bobby Labonte, who was driving a car owned by HIS older brother, Terry.
  • Jack Roush is the all-time winningest owner in both the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series.
  • Not only do Cup champs Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch share a birthday (August 4), but they are tied for third ""youngest champions of all time, because both clinched the title at exactly 26 years, 3 months, and 27 days. (In case you were wondering, Bill Rexford was the youngest at 23, and Gordon is also second youngest, at 24.
  • Speaking of birthdays, Cale Yarborough twice won a Cup race on his birthday (March 27), making him the only driver in history to do so

There you have it, ten completely useless (but darn fun) facts that you can use to impress (or really frighten) your friends, spice up those boring office meetings, or bore those non-fans out of their socks. You can always tell people, sure it’s totally useless, but it’s history!

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Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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Contact Amy Henderson

Recent articles from Amy Henderson:

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
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