Kyle Larson’s New NASCAR Number Has a Storied History

When Rick Hendrick launched his NASCAR Cup Series team in 1984, it was under the All Star Racing moniker, and his first number was the No. 5.

The team’s earliest success came with that entry. Geoff Bodine won the organization its first race at Martinsville, one day before Hendrick was set to shut the doors due to a lack of funding. They won twice more and finished ninth in the standings. Ricky Rudd won once in the No. 5.

Terry Labonte remains the most successful driver to pilot the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5, running the number from 1994-2004, and winning the 1995 championship. Texas Terry won 12 times during his decade with the team.

Kyle Busch drove the car for two seasons before joining Joe Gibbs Racing. Casey Mears spent a year (2007) in the car.

Mark Martin nearly piloted the car to the 2009 Cup Series championship but was defeated by teammate Jimmie Johnson. Rick Hendrick had lured Martin out of semi-retirement to chase a championship in his oldest tenured number.

He won five times with four poles that season, but failed to match that success in his remaining seasons driving the No. 5, only winning the Daytona 500 pole in 2010.

Kasey Kahne is the most recent driver to have piloted the No. 5, winning six times from 2012-2017, including the Brickyard 400 in his final season with the team.

Now Kyle Larson will have the opportunity to add to the storied legacy of the No. 5, joining the team for the 2021 season. Larson will drive what is now the No. 48 team, which will be renumbered with Alex Bowman’s No. 88 team taking over the No. 48 for the departing Jimmie Johnson, who will race IndyCar for Chip Ganassi Racing next season.

That rich history of the No. 5 can be relived below.

Geoff Bodine leads Bobby Allison and Richard Petty during the Sovran Bank 500 NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Bodine went on to win the event, his first career Cup win as well as the first Cup victory for his car owner Rick Hendrick. The win saved the team from impending closure the next week.

Geoff Bodine picked up a second Cup short track win at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on July 14, 1984.

Bodine earned his third victory of 1984 in the No. 5 at Riverside International Raceway on Nov. 18, 1984. It completed a successful first season for Hendrick Motorsports, that ended ninth in points.

After a winless 1985, Geoff Bodine drove the No. 5 Chevrolet to victory lane at Dover International Speedway on May 18, 1986.

Bodine and the No. 5 returned to the winner’s circle at Pocono Raceway on June 19, 1988.

Bodine’s final win in the No. 5 came at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Oct. 15, 1989. Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt crashed on the final lap and Bodine was right behind them.

Ricky Rudd took over the No. 5 machine in 1990 and earned his first win with Hendrick Motorsports at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 12.

Rudd took on the “Lady in Black” and won, earning the organization’s second win at Darlington Raceway on April 7, 1991.

Rudd drove the No. 5 Chevy to victory lane at Dover International Speedway on Sept. 20, 1992.

Rudd’s final win in the No. 5 came when he took the checkered flag on June 20, 1993, at Michigan International Speedway.

Terry Labonte took over piloting the No. 5 in 1994 and immediately was successful, winning at North Wilkesboro on April 17.

Labonte took home his first Richmond win at Hendrick Motorsports on Sept. 10, 1994, when he posed with the trophy and team owner Rick Hendrick.

Terry Labonte celebrates in victory lane after winning his third NASCAR Cup race of the season, the Slick 50 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Labonte was in victory lane again at Richmond on March 5, 1995, making him the back-to-back winner at the track.

Hendrick Motorsports returned to the winner’s circle at Pocono after Labonte crossed the finish line first on June 11, 1995.

This win at Charlotte on Oct. 6, 1996, helped Labonte take home his second Cup Series championship and the second consecutive title for Hendrick Motorsports.

It took Terry Labonte a year to return to victory lane after completing his championship campaign — doing so at Talladega on
Oct. 12, 1997.

For the third time, Labonte and the No. 5 won at Richmond on June 8, 1998, nearly four years after his first trip to the track’s winner circle for Hendrick Motorsports.

One of Terry Labonte’s signature accomplishments came on
March 28, 1999 at his new home track — Texas Motor Speedway.

Labonte brought home another crown jewel for Hendrick Motorsports after he won at Darlington Raceway on Aug. 31, 2003.

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