The No. 10 car in NASCAR – currently with Ford and Stewart-Haas racing – has a rich history.
It was recently announced that Danica Patrick, who’s been in the No. 10 car since 2013, will no longer step behind the No. 10’s wheel and Aric Almirola will take up that position instead. This has been the most controversial position to open up in NASCAR during the 2017 season, and we at CLICKON would like to take a look back at the No. 10 and Aric Almirola’s greatest achievements to see what we can expect going forward.
Over its lengthy history and participation in NASCAR’s premier series, the No. 10 car has been raced by an eye-boggling 114 different drivers since 1949. Only four of which have actually made it to Victory Lane and only two of those made it to Victory Lane on more than one occasion. The most successful driver of the No. 10 was veteran driver Ricky Rudd, who won six times between 1994 and 1998. He was also the owner and driver of the No. 10 Tide-sponsored car.
— #NASCARPlayoffs (@NASCAR) July 22, 2017
Arguably the best victory to happen in the No. 10 was actually by Derrike Cope, who won twice as the driver of the No. 10. Of course, his spectacular win came in the 1990 Daytona 500 – where some of NASCAR’s most stunning victories have been made. What made this race so incredible was the fact that Dale Earnhardt had dominated but then lost the lead to Cope on a last-lap pass with barely 1.5 miles left of the 2.5-mile track.
Dale Sr’s legendary black No. 3 Goodwrench-sponsored Chevrolet had been slowed down with a cut tire, and what resulted was arguably one of the greatest upsets in NASCAR history after a David vs. Goliath-style battle. It was so unexpected and astonishing, that Cope was faced with a unique challenge following the race – he didn’t know where Victory Lane was.
— Classic Nascar (@classicnascar) December 3, 2014
Current driver Danica Patrick has made 118 of her Premier Series NASCAR starts behind the wheel of the No. 10 and her best finish was 6th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2014. Overall, the No. 10 car has made over 1,300 starts and has collected ten wins. Along with Ricky Rudd and Derrike Cope, Greg Sacks and Johnny Benson Jr also took the car to Victory Lane. Top it all off, the car has collected 67 top five finished, 219 top ten finishes, led 1,808 laps and scored 9 poles.
Aric Almirola will step out of the iconic No. 43 car and away from Richard Petty Motorsports to make way for Bubba Wallace, and will now take over the No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing – starting in 2018 with Smithfield Foods as the primary backer. The 33-year-old has had one career win in 212 starts and his victory was scored during the Coke Zero 400 in 2014, at… you guessed it – Daytona International Speedway.
Before he joined Richard Petty Motorsports, Almirola ran most of his 30 races with Dale Earnhardt Inc. between 2007 and 2010. He has three NASCAR XFINITY Series wins and two Camping World Cup Series wins under his belt. On top of that, he has 11 career top-five finishes, 31 top 10 finishes and one pole in the premier series.
He made plenty of headlines during the 2017 season when he was involved in a terrifying wreck at Kansas and suffered a back injury.
Bubba Wallace stepped in to the No. 43 for four of those races, and it was that experience that contributed to Bubba’s upcoming full-time contract in NASCAR’s Premier Series. Following this news, it was unclear as to where Almirola might end up, but plenty of predictions have since proven to be correct now that it has been officially announced that he’ll step into the No. 10 car.
It’ll be interesting to see how Almirola progresses now that he’s in a new car and under the umbrella of a new team. It’s clear that the No. 10 car has a rich history, but it perhaps has a lack of success when compared to other iconic numbers such as the Jeff Gordon in the No. 24 or Dale Sr in the No. 3.
To be fair though, at least one of the No. 10’s victories was a high-quality win, given that it now classes as one of the greatest upsets in NASCAR history. As for how Almirola will get on in the No. 10 – we can only wish him the best of luck and hope for the best. Almirola will now race alongside teammates Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch.
— #NASCARPlayoffs (@NASCAR) November 8, 2017