A new book of lists should get NASCAR trivia buffs’ hearts racing
By M.B. Roberts
When SPEED channel broadcaster John Roberts sat down to compile the best, worst and most memorable moments of NASCAR for his new book, The Great Book of NASCAR Lists, he knew people would disagree with some of his choices. “We wanted to start some arguments,” he says.
Here’s a small sample from the book.
Most NASCAR drivers dreamed of driving a race car for a living from the time they were old enough to grab onto a steering wheel. But what if the driving thing hadn’t worked out? Here are the careers that several drivers said they might have pursued:
5 Ryan Newman: engineer.
4 Chad Little: lawyer.
3 Kyle Petty: country music singer.
2 Michael Waltrip: Stand-up comedian.
1 Tony Stewart: Didn’t have an answer.
Top-5 most consecutive starts
5 Jeff Gordon, 633*
4 Dale Earnhardt, 648
3 Terry Labonte, 655**
2 Rusty Wallace, 697
1 Ricky Rudd, 788
*active driver – starts as of August 2011
**still active but streak broken
From the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 to the Pork the Other White Meat 400, race events and race teams welcome any and all sponsors. But over the years there have been some unusual driver-product pairings. Here are some we never expected:
5 Extenze: Still not quite used to it. But if Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson is comfortable talking about it, surely we’ll get there soon.
4 Hooker: It’s not what you think. In 1966, Buddy Baker’s car was sponsored by John Jay Hooker, who was running for governor in Tennessee. Baker’s No. 00 was overlapped with the “oo” letters in Hooker’s name, which ran down the side of the car.
3 Midnight Moon Carolina Moonshine: Sold in liquor stores, Junior Johnson’s product is completely legal. But it’s still ironic to see a moonshine logo splashed across the hood of a stock car.
2 Racing for Jesus: Does Morgan Shepherd’s NASCAR Nationwide Series car have an unfair advantage?
1 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: We did not make this up.
NASCAR by the numbers
Certain numbers have major significance to NASCAR fans. Here are some of the most important motorsports digits.
5 12: The number of drivers who qualify for the chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
4 48: The maximum number of points a race winner can earn.
3 200: Total career wins by Richard Petty.
2 500: As in Daytona, also refers to other 500-mile races at other tracks, including Atlanta, Bristol, Darlington and Phoenix.
1 1948: The year NASCAR was born.