By the Numbers: Dale Earnhardt

No. 3 is Dale Earnhardt. He could have signed it as an autograph and most would've been happy. He donned the forward-slanted white sticker for more than 15 years, a rarity in today's NASCAR world.

But it's not the only number that goes hand-in-hand with his car, or his career, for that matter.

1 -- Time a driver has won rookie of the year and the Cup championship in consecutive years (Dale Earnhardt in 1979 and 1980)

2 -- Wins in races he started from 30th position or lower -- 1980 Atlanta (31st), 2000 Atlanta (35th)

2.67 -- Average finish through the first six races of 1980, the year Earnhardt won his first championship. He had consecutive victories at Atlanta and Bristol.

5 -- Races won after starting from the pole -- 1985 Bristol, 1990 Atlanta, 1990 Talladega, 1990 Darlington, 1993 Darlington

5 -- Times Earnhardt was within reach of a Daytona 500 victory before winning it in 1998. He ran out of gas while leading in 1986. He blew a tire on the final lap while leading in 1990. He hit a seagull and later crashed in 1991. He got passed by Dale Jarrett with one to go in 1993. He crashed while battling for the lead with 11 to go in 1997.

6 -- Victories in the first eight races of the 1987 season, including four consecutive wins. His average finish on the season was 5.9, and he ended with 11 wins in his championship year. 7 -- Nextel Cup championships won by Earnhardt (1980, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93, '94), tying Richard Petty for the most in NASCAR history

8 -- Different car numbers Earnhardt drove in his career: 8 (1975); 30, 77 (1976); 19 (1977); 96 (1978); 2 (1979-81); 15 (1982-83); 3 (1984-2001)

9 -- Cup victories at Atlanta, more than any other driver

10 -- Cup victories at Talladega, more than any other driver

12.6 -- Percent of laps that Earnhardt led in his career. Of the 202,888 career laps driven, he was up front for 25,707 of them. Earnhardt ranks fourth among lap leaders in NASCAR history.

15 -- Consecutive seasons (1982-1996) with a victory

20 -- Times he finished in the top 10 in points in 22 seasons of full-time competition

22 -- Finishing spot in his first-career start at the 1975 World 600 in Charlotte. He was 45 laps down to winner Richard Petty, who lapped the entire field.

34 -- Career victories at Daytona International Speedway, an all-time record

53 -- Consecutive races in which Earnhardt finished from 1997 to 1998, setting the modern-era record

59 -- Consecutive races in which Earnhardt went winless from 1996 to 1998, the longest of his career. The streak was broken by his victory in the 1998 Daytona 500.

63.3 -- Percentage that Earnhardt finished in top 10 during his career. In 676 career starts, he collected 427 top-10s.

76 -- Number of career wins, currently ranking him sixth all-time

95 -- Career DNFs

102 -- Races in which Earnhardt drove something other than a Chevrolet. The man synonymous with the bowtie (574 of his 676 career starts were in Chevys) drove a Ford in 64 races. He also hopped in a Pontiac for the 1981 season (31 starts), a Buick for three starts, an Oldsmobile for three starts and a Dodge for one.

April 1, 1979 -- First victory, which occurred at Bristol Motor Speedway. Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip were the only other drivers on the lead lap, with Richard Petty finishing fourth -- two laps down.

Nov. 2, 1986 -- Earnhardt lapped the entire field at the Atlanta Journal 500. One of his five victories during the championship year, he was the only driver to complete all 328 laps that fall at Atlanta. Richard Petty finished second, one lap down.

245,420.9 -- Miles that Earnhardt drove in his Cup career. His least-traveled season was 1977, when he entered one race and lasted just 37.5 miles, while his longest season in terms of mileage was 13,188.8 in 2000.