Explore the car numbers along the history of Hendrick Motorsports

Since 1984, Hendrick Motorsports has repeatedly be the victory lane a record-setting 291 times in the NASCAR Cup Series. Along the way, there are seven different numbers that have been used for all these wins, split among 20 different drivers. In spite of that, several unique numbers have also been used in the team’s history of competing at the highest level of stock car racing. 

From the early days of the building the organization until winning championships in the modern Cup Series, these are the victorious and unique numbers of Hendrick Motorsports.  

Victorious numbers

No. 17: 9 Wins 

Begin to race in 1987, future NASCAR Hall of Fame member’s Darrell Waltrip steering the No. 17 entry for Hendrick Motorsports. This move saw the three-time Cup Series champion join the team as a third full-time entry with Geoff Bodine and Benny Parsons as teammates. 

Waltrip piloted his No. 17 vehicle to nine victories, including two 600-mile events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the 1989 DAYTONA 500 during his four seasons with Hendrick Motorsports,. The race-winning car from his crown jewel triumph in Daytona is on display at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum now.

No. 88: 11 Wins

Two drivers have earned the chequered flags a Hendrick Motorsports-backed No. 88 entry. The number was first running by Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he joined the team in 2008. Earnhardt Jr. earned nine checkered flags, including the 2014 DAYTONA 500 during that time.

After Earnhardt Jr. was rule out in 2016 due to swaying, Alex Bowman was called upon as a secondary driver for 10 races in the No. 88. Although the results did not gain a victory, Bowman was tapped to drive the car full-time for the 2018 season. In his three campaigns with this number on his car door, Bowman won two races.

No. 25: 17 Wins

The No. 25 entry has been rolling to victory lane by six different drivers for Hendrick Motorsports since its first appearance in 1986. It was Tim Richmond whom the first to claim this honor, winning nine races for the team, including the 1986 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Following Richmond, Ken Schrader had earned 4 victories with this number from 1989 to 1996. 

Schrader still remains the most recent driver that earn multiple victories in the No. 25 entry. While Jerry Nadeau, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers, and Casey Mears, each of them accounted for a single victory with the number during their careers with Hendrick Motorsports. 

No. 9: 18 Wins

Previously at the beginning of the 2018 season, Chase Elliott switched from the No. 24 entry to the No. 9 – which is the same number that his father made famous during his career. While the team itself did not change personnel any single person, the results show a noticeable increase in performance.  

Since steering the No. 9, Elliott had earned 18 victories in the Cup Series. Not only does this made him earn the third spot on the Hendrick Motorsports all-time wins list, but the 2020 Cup Series champion constants the only driver in the team’s history to take the No. 9 to victory lane. 

No. 5: 51 Wins

The history of the No. 5 entry goes back to the beginnings of Hendrick Motorsports. Geoff Bodine had earned the first five victories in team history with this number, finally finished with 7 victories in the No. 5. Ricky Rudd following Bodine with 4 victories in four seasons before Terry Labonte grab over the car for the 1994 season. In 11 full-time campaigns, Labonte have earned 12 victories with the No. 5 on his car door.

From 2005 to 2017, the No. 5 entry bring home 15 victories with three different drivers. Kyle Busch (four), Mark Martin (five), and Kasey Kahne (six) each counted multiple wins with this historic number during their race behind the wheel.

Kyle Larson was tapped to drive the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2021 Cup Series season following the number’s three-year absence from competition. In his first racing season with Rick Hendrick’s organization, Larson compiled a championship-winning season that witness him score 10 victories while also bring home a million-dollar prize with a win in the 2021 NASCAR All-Star Race. In 2022, he earned three victories and go beyong Labonte’s to become the most winning driver in the No. 5 entry for Hendrick Motorsports.

No. 48: 88 Wins

Jimmie Johnson made the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports entry famous as he earned 83 victories with the number from 2001 to 2020. Among all these 83 victories born 12 crown jewel wins with two DAYTONA 500 titles, four wins during the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two Southern 500 triumphs, as well as four victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Bowman moved over from the No. 88 entry to steer the No. 48 car full-time in 2021, following Johnson’s retirement from the Cup Series in 2020. In his first campaign with his new number, the Tucson, Arizona, native notched four victories and made him the second driver in team history to win using this number. Bowman brought the total number of 88 wins after taking the chequered flag in Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the third race of the 2022 season. 

No. 24: 97 Wins

Jeff Gordon gains 93 wins are the most fascinating from any Hendrick Motorsports driver, with all of his victories coming in this iconic No. 24 entry. Gordon never looked back after taking his first triumph in 1994 during the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Along the way, he brought home 17 crown jewel events, the most winning by any driver in Cup Series history. 

The additional 4 victories have come from the current pilot of the No. 24 entry, William Byron. The 25-year-old driver gained his first victory of his career in 2020 at Daytona International Speedway. Since then, Byron has gain additional winning to four wins and remains the only driver, until now, other than Gordon to earn a Cup Series chequered flag in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 entry. 

Unique numbers to make multiple stars

No. 18
Rick Hendrick drove this number to a 15th-place finish at Riverside International Raceway in 1988. The number will returned in 1990 for 13 starts with Greg Sacks as the driver, including his post position for the 1990 summer race at Daytona.

No. 35

Benny Parsons remains the only driver to race under the No. 35 entry for Hendrick Motorsports until nowadays. Benny Parsons make 29 starts for the organization during the 1987 season with veteran crew chief Harry Hyde at top the pit box. While Parsons was unable to captured a chequered flag, he and Hyde earned three runner-up finishes together. 

No. 44
In 2005, Labonte ran a partial season in the No. 44 as he made nine starts in the number for the team.

Nos. 46 and 51

While the No. 46 and 51 vehicles were favored in the 1990 film ‘Days of Thunder’, they were actually competing on track at one point. Both the No. 46 City Chevrolet and the No. 51 entry were scored during the second to last race of 1989 at Phoenix Raceway and the 1990 Southern 500, in an effort to get action shots of the cars on track for the major motion picture. Sacks drove the No. 46 entry in both starts while the No. 51 was first steered by Bobby Hamilton at Phoenix and then at Darlington by Hut Stricklin.

No. 50

Hendrick Motorsports changed the number of their classic No. 25 over to the No. 50 for the 1998 season to celebrate the 50th season of Cup Series racing. The entry was split for Ricky Craven, Wally Dallenbach Jr., and Randy LaJoie for the full schedule. LaJoie will earned the best finish of the season for the team, a fifth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. The No. 25 returned for the following season.

No. 60 and 84
Both the No. 60 and 84 were make limited starts in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. In 2003, David Green piloted this car for two races, while Brian Vickers drove it in one races. In the 2004 season, Kyle Busch drove the No. 84 for six races throughout the season.