DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. — There's nobody running in NASCAR today with more immediate on-track connection to the earliest days of the sport than AJ Allmendinger. Every week, Dinger takes arguably the most famous number in motorsports onto the track. No disrespect to Allmendinger, but should he be running the 43? Should the legendary Richard Petty's number take its place in the Hall of Fame alongside its most famous driver?
"That's a tough question," Allmendinger said. "The King is around and his team's still running, so no, I don't think his number should be retired. It's not like any other sport, where you retire a number from one organization but it can still be used in others."
He noted, though, that the situation was slightly different with the No. 3 and Earnhardt, seeing as how Richard Childress Racing hasn't used the number in a decade.
Still, what if they decided to send the 43 to the Hall? "Either way. If they do it, I'm fine with it, and if they don't, I'm fine with that too."
In this space, we've advocated retiring certain numbers, but we can certainly see the other side. Since we're coming up fast on the anniversary of the last Cup-level running of one of NASCAR's most famous numbers, it's worth having the conversation again: should NASCAR place some of its most famous numbers on the shelf?