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Who is the best NASCAR driver? Ranking the 15 best NASCAR drivers of all time
Fast forward to the beginning of 2022, there has been a plethora of races, tragic races, memorable ones, dramatic ones, and even more, some have been exciting. Despite the sport's high lows, heartaches, and exuberance, the racing sport NASCAR has experienced its fair share of some of the best drivers of all time.
In motorsports and relatable activities, NASCAR drivers are the most popular athletes, especially on the North American continent. Although the sport is highly followed in the United States of America, people around the globe have begun to develop a niche in the sport. This article reveals some of the best NASCAR drivers in history.
The top 15 best NASCAR drivers of all time
Selecting the top players in any given sport, be it soccer, basketball, football, or even NASCAR, is no mean task. Needless to say, there are often different combinations of top players who seem to fit in any relatable ranking list.
15. Ned Jarrett - 50 wins
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The NASCAR Hall of Fame describes Ned Jarrett as one of its greatest ambassadors. Famously dubbed Gentleman Ned, he is a two-time Cup champion, 1961 and 1965. More like a generic sport in the family, his son Dale is renowned for winning the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup title. To date, the Jarrets are still recognised for being the second father-son combo to win Cup titles together.
Aside from the legend winning 50 races, he is also known for his easy-going informative style as one of the first television commentators of the sport.
14. Junior Johnson - 50 wins
Even though Junior barely makes it to the top ten, the sport's Hall of Fame notes that he is unique in NASCAR history with overflowing success, both as a driver and a car owner. Even though he never won a Cup title as a driver, he was a six-time Cup Series owner's champion alongside his colleagues like Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip.
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13. Lee Petty - 54 wins
Lee was active in the 1950s, competing in 373 events over ten years. He won 47 races, including the inaugural Daytona 500 and series-best three championships in the decade, while scoring the most top-tens and fives in the era. Coming in at a stellar tally of 54 wins, he is dubbed the sport's Hall of Famer. He is the Petty racing family patriarch, and his son Richard has never ceased to embrace that legacy.
12. Rusty Wallace - 55 wins
There is seemingly nothing rusty about this legendary driver in any given race except for his name. According to his self-titled website, Wallace was the 1989 Cup Series champion, 1984 Rookie of the year, and 55-time Cup series winner. Hands down, he is considered among the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time.
11. Kevin Harvick - 60 wins
Harvick is among the few players in this list that are still active in these races. The 2014 Cup champion turns 49 at the end of 2022, but he is still on those wheels like never before. He notably rose to fame following his nine consecutive wins in 2020.
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Kevin tied with his colleague, Kyle Busch, who also has won 60 races at the time of writing. Despite the 71-day halt due to the global pandemic, he still managed to win the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.
10. Kyle Busch- 60 wins
Busch is more like a throwback personality that has rubbed fans, sponsors, and even car owners the wrong way at various points in his illustrious career. But even though that is the case, his talent is undeniable.
In 2005, the phenom from Las Vegas became NASCAR's youngest Cup Series pole winner at 19. With a stellar tally of 60 wins, he is still strong and cruising those steering wheels like never before.
9. Dale Earnhardt - 76 wins
Now getting into the single digits, Dale ranks among the best of any current NASCAR driver on this list. As iconic as any figure in sports, the legendary driver won a cup record-tying seven championships in 1980, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93, and '94 before tragically dying at the age of 49 in a crash on the last lap of the 2002 Daytona 500.
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8. Jimmie Johnson - 83 wins
Jimmie is the only NASCAR driver to win five consecutive Cup Series Championships. He is a renowned modern motorsports hero and a contender for the greatest in the sport's history. Since his debut on the scene, he has 83 Cup Series Wins and 35 Cup Series Poles and is also a five-time diver of the year.
7. Darrell Waltrip - 84 wins
Before Darrell became one of the most cherished broadcasters in the sport's history as a colour commentator for FOX sports, he had won three Cup championships in 1981, 82, and 85 after finding his niche during the 1970s.
In total, the current Fox broadcaster was a 57-time during the '80s. He even managed to appear inside the top 10 best drivers winning Cup series after Cup series.
6. Bobby Allison - 84 wins
The 1983 Cup champion took the Daytona 500 checkers three times, but his notable one was the one he took with the Cup Series winner, Cale Yarborough, in 1979. He is known for having the 4th (at a tie) number of wins in NASCAR competitions.
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Additionally, Bobby is renowned for being one of NASCAR's greatest race drivers in history and one of the most popular drivers in history.
5. Cale Yarborough - 86 wins
Cale is the first driver to three-peat as Cup champion in the years 1976, '77, and '78. Whenever there is a discussion about sports domination, it is said that Cale Yarborough should be mentioned twice.
According to the sport's Hall of Fame, his string of three consecutive premier series championships was overly unprecedented and unmatched. Since his debut in the racing arena, he has so far recorded 86 wins and counting.
4. Jeff Gordon - 93 wins
After earning the nickname Rainbow Warrior following his multi-coloured wheel of signature, Gordon has become a cornerstone of the sport moving from television announcer to co-owner and vice chairman of Hendrick Motorsports.
The Rainbow Warrior made his Cup Series debut in the now-legendary 1992 H*oters 500 at Atlanta, which also happened to be Richard Petty's final run. He has since become a four-time Cup Series champion and recorded 93 wins. In 2019, he was made the sport's Hall of Fame Inductee.
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2. David Pearson - 105 wins
The Silver Fox was a three-time Cup champion in 1966, '68, and '69, famed for his track versatility and rivalry with Lee Petty's successor, Richard Petty. Although he passed away in 2018, he is considered among the best NASCAR drivers as of 2022.
During his spell, he managed to record a stellar tally of 105 Cup Series and 113 Cup Series Poles, and also, in 2011, he became the sport's Hall of Fame Inductee. To date, David is still considered among the greatest NASCAR drivers.
1. Richard Petty - 200 wins
Known globally as The King, Richard Petty has done a good job succeeding his father, Lee Petty. He was a seven-time Cup champion in 1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75, and '79 who won the Daytona 500. Throughout his 35-year career, Richard recorded 200 Cup Series wins, which remains unbeaten, 123 Cup series Poles and 27 Cup Series Wins in a season.
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Which is the best NASCAR car?
For a race to be successful, certain factors determine that. For instance, a good driver, and most of all, the type of car. Here are some of the most popular NASCAR brands successful drivers use in their races.
These are some of the best NASCAR drivers who started those engines and won more than 70 races throughout their career spells. Although there are some of the best know drivers who have not appeared on the list, it does not deter the fact that they are successful in their ways.
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