Is There a Number 13 NASCAR?

There are actually 110 numbers available to be used in NASCAR Cup Series. (0-99 and 00-09 in case you were wondering) there are only 40 drivers on the track or in the race at a time. Some of these numbers are more lucky than others number 11 has had more victories than any other for example, but what about the less loved numbers or those that are considered unlucky. We take a look at that unluckiest of numbers and ask is there a number 13 NASCAR car?

Unlike other motorsports the number 13 in NASCAR has been a common site. There has been a Number 13 NASCAR in 627 cup series races. With Casey Mears holding the record of 227 races. Up until 2020 Ty Dillon drove the 13 car for Germain Racing who, through lack of sponsorship, announced their departure from NASCAR.

We will take a look at the drivers who have driven the number 13 car through nascar’s history, and if the number gave them any success on the track. We also take a look at some the most and least successful numbers in NASCAR and if other motorsports are brave enough to use unlucky number 13.

Who Has Driven the Number 13 NASCAR?

There have been over 70 drivers who have driven the NASCAR number 13 over the last 70 years the sport has been running. Although none have been incredibly successful in doing so. We have a table below highlighting the top ten drivers of the number 13 NASCAR.

NASCAR DriverNumber of RacesWinsTop 5 Top 10
Casey Mears227015
Ty Dillon144026
Max Papis33001
Peck Peckham20000
Joe Nemecheck18001
Robby gordon17012
Don Puskarich16000
Jerry Nadeau14000
Pop McGinnis13026
Eddie Yarboro13000

We also have an article on another 10 superstitions in NASCAR and racing here

Quick Facts About the Number 13 Nascar

Below we have a selection of quick question and answers about the number 13 Nascar, which you can bring out to entertain family and friends (or not). Some answers may surprise you.

Questions About The Number 13 NASCARAnswer
Which driver has driven the Number 13 NASCAR for the most racesCasey Mears has driven the number 13 NASCAR for 227 races.
When was the first win in the Number 13 NASCAR1963 in a Daytona Qualifying race by Johnny Rutherford was also his only start and only win in NASCAR.
Who currently drives the Number 13 NASCAR?Ty Dillon drives it for Germain Motor Company
How many times has the Number 13 car started in 13th positionThis has only happened twice, in 2000 with Robby Gordon, and in 2016 with Casey Mears.
How many drivers have driven the number 13 NASCAR?There have been 70 different drivers who have driven the number 13.
Who has had the most top ten finishes in a number 13 NASCAR?Pop mcGinnis and Ty Dillion are tied for top ten finishes in the non 13 car, with 6 each.
How many Laps has the Number 13 car led a NASCAR Race?as of 2021 season the Number 13 car has led 327 laps
How many pole Positions has a Number 13 NASCAR wonOnly 2 times has the number 13 been on pole position.
How many race have featured a number 13 carSo far, up to the 2021 season the Number 13 NASCAR has run in 627 Races
How many times has the number 13 car not finished a NASCAR race. The DNF total for the number 13 is 173 out of 627 races.

What is the Least Successful Nascar Car Number?

It appears at least in recent history that the car with the least luck in NASCAR is the number 79 car pretty closely followed by the number 35 car. Perhaps this is why neither are currently penned in to be racing in the 2022 series! We have included some quick stats below.

StatsNumber 79 carNumber 35 Car
Top 5 Places311
top 10 Places3839
Pole Positons01

What Is The Most Successful Nascar Number

The number 11 NASCAR has been the most successful in NASCAR historyOpens in a new tab., though that may be down to some of the all star drivers who have driven this number rather than any luck surround the number. Ned Jarrett, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Junior Johnson all drove the number 11 car during the multiple championship winning seasons.

StatsNumber 11 carNumber 43 Car
Top 5 Places791576
top 10 Places1071834
Pole Positons162122

Do they use the Number 13 in other Motorsports?

  • Formula 1: has had cars with the number 13 in the past, although these are pretty race. Only one time before 2014 was the number in a F1 race. In 2014 Pastor Maldonado decided to use it, without much success. Divina GalicaOpens in a new tab. did use the number to try to qualify before this, but it seemed the number was unlucky as she failed 3 times to qualify.
  • Indy car. Danica Patrick chose to race her last Indycar race using the number 13. her two previous numbers 7 and 16 had already been taken.
  • Isle of Man TT bike race: There seems to be no problem with the number 13. In the last running Sam WestOpens in a new tab. came in 12th in this dangerous motorbike race.
  • World Rally Championship: We are unaware of any rules around the number 13 in Rally championships, however in 2020 a year after drivers could choose their own numbers no one chose the number one for the first time in history.
  • MotoGP: Drivers are allowed to choose their numbers in the order they came in the previous years championship, however most skip tempting fate by choosing number 13. Romano Fenati did choose the number 13 for the 2018 season though. As he got dropped from the Marinelli Snipers Team I am not sure how lucky the number was for him.

Final thoughts

Although the number 13 NASCAR has been far from what we could call successful, it is also far from the most unsuccessful numbers. While NASCAR has its traditions and superstitions it seems that unlucky number 13 is not one of them. Other motor sports however seem to hang on to that and drivers are much more unlikely to choose number 13.



Al lifelong Motor Racing Fan, with a particular love of NASCAR and IndyCar racing. Been in and out of cars of varying speeds since i was a child and sharing what i have learnt here.

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