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NASCAR Power Rankings: The best of one-hit wonders

Sixty-four NASCAR drivers have won one Cup Series race. Just one.

These single wins should not be disparaged. It’s difficult to win a Cup race, and each victory should be celebrated. “I never thought I’d win one,” is a frequent refrain from first-time winners.

Over NASCAR’s 75 years, some notable names have scored a single Cup win and never drove into a Cup Victory Lane again. Here are 10 of the top one-hit wonders:

NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Mario Andretti -- Andretti won in virtually every motorsports series he entered, and Cup was no exception. He ran 14 Cup races and won the 1967 Daytona 500 in a Holman-Moody Ford, leading the last 33 laps.

2. Mark Donohue -- The international superstar popped into NASCAR on six occasions. He won on the Riverside International Raceway road course in 1973, driving, of all things, a Roger Penske-owned AMC Matador.

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3. Trevor Bayne -- Bayne scored one of the most popular Daytona 500 wins of all time, finishing first in NASCAR’s biggest race in 2011 and returning the Wood Brothers Racing team to stock car racing’s No. 1 Victory Lane. Bayne has run 186 other Cup races without scoring a second win.

4. Ron Bouchard -- Bouchard, driving in his first Cup season, slipped past Darrell Waltrip and Terry Labonte in the final turn and scored a major upset in the 1981 Talladega 500.

5. Jim Roper -- Roper has a very high winning percentage. He raced in only two Cup events and won one (that’s .500 if you’re keeping score). That win came in the very first Cup (then Strictly Stock) race -- at Charlotte in 1949. Glenn Dunaway was flagged the winner but later was disqualified, handing the victory to Roper, who had driven to North Carolina from Kansas in the winning car. He ran in only one other Cup race.

6. Wendell Scott -- Scott’s Dec. 1, 1963 win in a 200-lap race on a half-mile dirt track near Jacksonville, Fla., is well-documented. It was the first victory by a Black driver in Cup history, and it came in the third year of a career that saw Scott start 495 races.

7. Johnny Mantz -- In only his third Cup start, Mantz struck gold. He won the inaugural Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on one of the zaniest days in NASCAR history. Seventy-five cars started the marathon, the first Cup race on a paved superspeedway. Chaos ensued. Mantz was the ultimate survivor, using tire strategy and slower but consistent speed to save his equipment. He won by nine laps.

8. Richard Brickhouse -- Brickhouse won one of the most infamous races in NASCAR history -- the 1969 inaugural at Talladega Superspeedway. When early runs on the super-fast 2.66-mile track produced issues with tires, most of the series’ leading drivers decided to boycott the race. NASCAR founder and track builder Bill France Sr. decided to hold the race anyway, building a 36-race starting field from a few regulars and drivers from a support race. Brickhouse emerged victorious as only 15 cars finished the race. He drove in 38 other Cup races without another win.

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9. Dick Brooks -- A long-time competitor in the Cup series, Brooks finished in the top five in 57 of his 358 starts but reached Victory Lane only once. He led the final eight laps in winning at Talladega Superspeedway in 1973.

10. Earl Ross -- Ross won at Martinsville Speedway in 1974, driving a Junior Johnson-owned car to victory. He was one of only 10 drivers -- from a 30-driver field -- to finish the race. Ross thus became the first Canadian to win a Cup Series race.