Drivers of the No. 43 in NASCAR history
By Staff Report | Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Rusty Jarrett | Getty Images
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The No. 43 car has been in more than 2,000 NASCAR Cup Series races, and Richard Petty -- aka the "King -- has been behind the wheel for 1,125 of them. His race team, Richard Petty Motorsports, announced Erik Jones would add his name to this list in 2021. Here's a look back at some of the No. 43 drivers, from the 1950s to present day.
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Richard Petty, 1959-1992There were a handful of other drivers during this time, but Richard Petty dominated as driver of the No. 43 for nearly 35 years.
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Richard Petty's first win in the car came in 1960 at Charlotte. This photo is of Petty's 1964 Plymouth, in which he won the Daytona 500.
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The "King" raised plenty of trophies in his iconic NASCAR career.
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Richard Petty and his 1957 Oldsmobile convertible at the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959.
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Richard Petty (No. 43) rides outside of David Pearson in this 1967 race at Asheville-Weaverville.
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As familiar as seeing that sharp No. 43 was the blue-and-red paint scheme.
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Richard Petty, 1987
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Richard Petty recorded his 200th and final, NASCAR win at the 1984 Firecracker 400.
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Lee Petty, 1959-60Richard Petty's father, Lee Petty, drove the No. 43 three times during his career, winning once at North Wilkesboro in 1959.
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Maurice Petty, 1961-63He made the NASCAR Hall of Fame thanks to his ingenuity in the shop, but Maurice Petty (right) also drove four races in the No. 43.
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Kyle Petty, 1981Yes, it's a family affair. Richard Petty's son, Kyle Petty, made one start in the No. 43, at Riverside.
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John Andretti, 1994, 1998-2003John Andretti drove two stints for Richard Petty, finishing the 1994 season in place of Wally Dallenbach Jr. (who started the first 20 races of the 1994 season). Andretti's 197 starts in the No. 43 are third-most to Petty, and he won at Martinsville in 1999.
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Bobby Hamilton, 1995-1997Three years in the No. 43 produced two victories for Bobby Hamilton.
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Bobby Hamilton won at Phoenix in 1996 (pictured) and Rockingham in 1997.
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Bobby Hamilton and Richard Petty, 1997
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Bobby Labonte, 2006-2008Bobby Labonte followed Jeff Green in the No. 43 and made 108 starts over three years.
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AJ Allmendinger, 2010-11AJ Allmendinger replaced Reed Sorenson in the ride in 2010.
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The "King" and the AJ Allmendinger share a laugh.
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Aric Almirola, 2012-2017Aric Almirola made 208 starts in the No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
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Aric Almirola had one win during that span, at Daytona in 2014. He was the 43rd driver to pilot the No. 43.
Jerry Markland | Getty Images
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Regan Smith made two starts subbing for an injured Aric Almirola.
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway
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Bubba Wallace, 2018-2020
In 2018, Richard Petty Motorsports named Bubba Wallace as the full-time driver in the No. 43 in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Chris Trotman | Getty Images
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Bubba Wallace made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2017 at Pocono, subbing for an injured Aric Almirola and made four starts in total before getting the full-time ride the next year.
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
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Erik Jones, beginning in 2021Erik Jones will take the reins beginning in 2021 after a lengthy run with Toyota in the NASCAR national series. Just 24 years old, the two-time Cup Series winner has signed a multiyear deal with RPM.