by JamesJ, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
Sundays of my youth consisted of NASCAR racing and cold bottles of Mountain Dew. Thirty years later not much has changed for me. However, nearly everything has changed in NASCAR.December 27, 2009 12:01 pm UTC 6 Comments
Over the next several weeks we’ll be featuring car numbers in NASCAR history. We started with #50 and are working our way down the line. With each car number we’ll take a brief look at a couple stats related to the featured car number in NASCAR history, but we’ll primarily spotlight either a driver, sponsor, car owner, manufacturer or other significant subject closely tied to the car number of the day.
We’re just getting warmed up with the countdown as we offer up car number forty-nine!
Stats for cars running the #49:
- Number of Races: 647
- Number of Wins: 7
- Number of Top 5s: 77
- Number of Top 10s: 161
- Number of Poles: 8
Check out current NASCAR race statistics here at On Pit Row!
Spotlight Subject: Driver Shawna Robinson
Shawna Robinson was the baby in a family with five children. But this Des Moines Iowa native was quick to start her racing career at the age of 18. With much determination she went on to write her name in the women’s history books of NASCAR racing.
While she didn’t set the world on fire with top finishes in her few Sprint Cup starts (8), she certainly earned her way to the top series for a chance to run with the stars of our sport. Her first Sprint Cup race (2001) was for car owner Michael Kranefuss in the #84 Aaron’s car. But in 2002 she ran seven of what was to have been twenty-four races in the #49 BAM Racing machine. Her first start in the #49 being in the Daytona 500 where she qualified 36th and finished 24th. It would be her best finishing position in Sprint Cup competition. The team made five more races, each with poor finishing results of 34th or worse. The team made one final race attempt when the series rolled back into Daytona for the 2002 Pepsi 400. The efforts resulted in a 40th place finish and Shawna was released from her ride.
But don’t let the lackluster Sprint Cup results fool you. Throughout her racing career Shawna accomplished quite a bit and set several records for women in NASCAR. For example, the 2001 race with Michael Kranefuss mentioned above marked the first time a female started a Winston Cup race since 1989, and the first time a woman finished a Winston Cup race since 1980. In addition to being the first woman to win a pole position in Busch Series competition, she also did it in a way that Larry McReynolds loves; with “A New Track Record” at 174.33 miles per hour! But wait, she had more firsts for women in NASCAR. Record setting firsts such as becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Touring Series event; the first woman to complete the full season in any national oval track series, and while doing so also becoming the first woman to finish in the top ten in points in said series (a 6th in the ARCA Series standings of 2000).
So my hat is off to you Shawna Robertson. You likely took a lot of abuse from sexist individuals in the sport. Yet you went on to achieve so much and be an inspiration to fans, competitors and other women who will follow in your footsteps.