Lone wins: An in-depth look at active drivers

Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images
Paul Menard captured his second checkered flag in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Saturday. Yet, the Cup veteran has only scored one career Cup victory.

By Kenneth Ferguson
TheRacingExperts.com Reporter
June 17, 2014

Paul Menard had a strong showing at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend.  After securing the second win of his career in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event, Menard had a solid top-five in the Cup race Sunday. 

Menard now has two wins in the Nationwide Series, yet only one in Sprint Cup—but it was a memorable win to say the least.

In 2011, Menard won the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in his 167th career Cup start. It was fitting his dad was in the infield to watch Menard gain his only win to date at a racetrack that he spent time at as a kid. 

There are plenty of other single win drivers throughout the long history of NASCAR. Could any of them have won a bigger race then the Brickyard for their only win?

Casey Mears secured his only career win at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Memorial Day weekend 2007. Mears stretched his fuel window, holding off J.J. Yeley and Kyle Petty to win.

Perhaps the granddaddy of them all: the 2011 Daytona 500.  At 20 years and one-day-old, Trevor Bayne started his second Sprint Cup Series race and found himself at the front of the pack as the checkered flag flew.  His in-car radio transmission of “are you kidding me? Am I dreaming right now,” has been heard by NASCAR fans ever since. 

Winning in any sport is hard but perhaps in racing it is just a little more so.  Depending on some race teams, many will be happy with a solid points day or bringing the car home in one piece, but all drivers dream of standing in victory circle with their owner, team, family, and teammates.

These men have won on NASCAR’s biggest stages, and while they may only have one win, they earned it, and as it is often said, they will try again next week.

Two will be in the field, Menard and Mears, at Sonoma Raceway next Sunday; a track Menard has never posted a top-10, and a track Mears has scored top-ten finishes at.