Ford has been involved in NASCAR racing since it’s the beginning. The list of drivers who have won in a Ford is a who’s who of NASCAR racing. Ned Jarrett won the first Championship for Ford and also outpaces all ford drivers with 43, in what is now the Sprint Cup Series, wins.
79 drivers have won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race under the Ford nameplate. There have been eight series championships for Ford since NASCAR began competition in 1949, but Ned Jarrett captured the first in 1965.
“When I learned that I had won the championship and was the first one to win it in a Ford, it made me extremely proud,” said Jarrett, who drove a Ford Galaxie to that initial championship. “I grew up in a Ford family. My dad had a farm and a sawmill and a Ford car and Ford trucks. When tractors came out, he bought a Ford tractor, so I was pretty well married to Ford. I grew up in them, and when I learned I was the first driver to win a championship, I was beside myself. I felt better after learning that than I did about winning the championship to start with. It’s just a great feeling.”
The championship, which was Jarrett’s second overall, came in dominating fashion as he won 13 times and posted 42 top-five finishes in 54 starts. His marquee victory was undoubtedly the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, which he won by a record 14 laps.
Bill Elliott has won 40 races in a Ford and to some might have been on the top of the list of Ford winners.
“I was honestly surprised when I learned that I was the driver that had won the most races in a Ford,” said Jarrett, who has 43 Ford wins – three more than second-place Bill Elliott. “I was very proud of that record as well. It’s hard to put into words how something like that makes you feel, especially when you were a Ford guy growing up.”
Jarrett was recognized with the Spirit of Ford Award in 2003, which is the highest honor in Ford Performance. The award goes to someone who has made significant contributions on and off the track to the sport of auto racing.”
Newer NASCAR fans might have put Mark Martin or Ned Jarrett’s son Dale Jarrett on the list of the most wins for Ford. Their wins of 35 and 30 fall short of Ned Jarrett and Bill Elliott’s record of 43 and 40 wins.
Although this is about Ned Jarrett, David Pearson won 29 races in a Ford and 43 in a Mercury. Rounding out the list of Ford wins are Junior Johnson and Fred Lorenzen at 26 wins each. Matt Kenseth has 24 and Rusty Wallace 23.
Ned Jarrett Remains Ford’s All-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Wins Leader 50 Years After Winning First Championship
If you want to watch a video of Ned Jarrett follow this link http://youtu.be/vWYfVkyzR0o.
Feature Photo Credit: Ford