Countdown to the Daytona 500: 13 Days and the History of Number 13


13 days remain until the start of the NASCAR season at the Daytona 500. Many believe the number 13 is bad luck even in the realms of the NASCAR world. Maybe that’s why it has only raced in 50 seasons out of a possible 68. Let’s look at what number 13 has done throughout the years in NASCAR.

Johnny Rutherford

In only two races behind the wheel of the number 13, Rutherford made his presence known. In his first race at Daytona, Rutherford piloted the number 13 to Victory Lane. That win would be the lone win in the numbers history to date.

Casey Mears

Mears has been cemented in the number 13 seat for seven seasons. While Casey was behind the wheel of number 13 for  227 races, his best finish came in 2014. In a race that featured many wrecks, Mears navigated through the carnage and finished 4th in the summer race at Daytona.

Other Notable Drivers

Outside of Mears, there hasn’t been a driver to race in the number 13 in over 33 races. Many great drivers have graced the seat, they just didn’t stay long. Some of those drivers include Jerry Nadeau, Joe Nemechek, Wendell Scott, Bobby Unser, and Mario Andretti.

The Future of Number 13

Casey Mears was not retained by Germain Racing at the end of the 2016 season. In a move that was a collaborative effort, Germain Racing announced Ty Dillon would be the driver of the number 13 Geico/Twisted Tea Chevrolet. This collaborative effort was made by Germain Racing and Richard Childress Racing.

Richard Childress, who’s grandson is Ty Dillon, is the owner of Richard Childress Racing. Richard Childress Racing has supplied Germain Racing with engines and chassis since they formed a technical alliance in 2014.

Dillon has been competitive in the Xfinity Series over the past three years. Don’t let the lack of experience fool you. Ty has raced in a total of 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events over the past few years. His best finish came at Michigan in 2015 where he finished 14th.

Daytona 500 Win?

With this being his first full time Cup ride, Dillon is looking to put the number 13 in Victory Lane for the first time since 1963. RCR engines have a good teach Record at Daytona. Can Dillon pull off the upset and win the Daytona 500? We will find out in 13 days.

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