Keeping Pace

NASCAR Family Tree: The Lineage Of The No. 42

No. 42 Target Chevrolet (Juan Pablo Montoya) (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR) (John Harrelson / The Spokesman-Review)
No. 42 Target Chevrolet (Juan Pablo Montoya) (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR) (John Harrelson / The Spokesman-Review)

The driver of the current edition of the No. 42 is Juan Pablo Montoya, from Bogota, Colombia, a country that has produced exactly one NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2009) – The No. 42 might illustrate NASCAR’s evolution better than any other number ever could.

It was there at the beginning in 1949, when that first Strictly Stock schedule contained eight races at eight tracks, the farthest west of which was in Pittsburgh. The driver then was Lee Petty from North Carolina, a state that has produced 342 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers.

And the No. 42 is still here now, competing and excelling in a schedule filled with 36 races at 22 tracks, the farthest west of which is in California.

The driver of the current edition of the No. 42 is Juan Pablo Montoya, from Bogota, Colombia, a country that has produced exactly one NASCAR Sprint Cup driver.

The No. 42, in other words, has seen it all.

It’s seen 1,213 NASCAR Sprint Cup races. It’s seen the inside of Victory Lane at 68 of them. And it’s seen three championships, all by Lee Petty – the first driver ever to win three titles.

Petty would nab 53 of his 54 wins in the No. 42 (the other came in the No. 43 his son Richard made famous), setting a precedent for a rather successful 60-plus year run for the No. 42.

Since Petty vacated the ride for good in 1961, a list of prominent drivers has stepped in: Richard Petty, Jim Paschal, Marvin Panch, Tiny Lund, Kyle Petty and, now, Montoya – who has taken the No. 42 to its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Richard Petty captured two of his 200 wins while driving the No. 42 at Starkey Speedway in 1962 and Augusta (GA) Speedway in 1965. Other winners in the No. 42 include Kyle Petty (six), Paschal (four), Panch, Joe Nemechek and Montoya (one apiece).

Montoya captured the No. 42’s last win, as a rookie at Infineon Raceway in 2007.

He hopes to add another one in the No. 42 this Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, a track that has also been there from the very beginning. Seems like the perfect spot.




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.




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