NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, has been a staple of American sports culture for decades. Throughout the years, this highly competitive race series has seen many drivers come and go, but a select few stand out among the rest. In this blog post, we’ll look at 5 of these greats that have graced the series with their brilliance.
Before you begin, review our sports betting digest to improve your chances of winning as the regular race season resumes at full throttle.
Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. is widely considered one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. With a career spanning over three decades, he won a total of seven NASCAR Cup Series championships and 76 Cup Series races, putting him third on the all-time wins list.
Earnhardt’s aggressive driving style and “Intimidator” persona on the track made him one of the most polarizing figures in NASCAR.
Beyond his numerous on-track accomplishments, Earnhardt had a profound impact on the sport of NASCAR. His tragic death in the last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 stimulated several safety reforms that have safeguarded the life of every NASCAR driver to this day.
Earnhardt’s legacy lives on in the sport he loved. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, and his name is still synonymous with NASCAR to this day.
Richard Petty is the most successful driver in Cup Series history, with numerous accomplishments to his name. Through his tri-decade-long career, he won a total of 200 NASCAR Cup Series races.
Championship-wise, he is a seven-time cup series champion, tying him with Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most in history. Petty was also known for his dominance at the Daytona 500, winning the race seven times.
Petty will continue to hold numerous records for a very long time, including the most wins (27) in a season, even though he no longer holds the record for most career victories. The seven-time champion is one of only three to own to accomplish such.
Jimmie Johnson is, without a doubt, the best NASCAR driver of the modern era. No other driver comes close to matching his achievements. From 2001 to 2020, he won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, tying him with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty for the most championships in history.
He also won 83 Cup Series races, putting him sixth on the all-time wins list.
Johnson’s dominance in the sport was unprecedented, winning five consecutive championships from 2006-2010, a feat no other driver has accomplished. The two-time Daytona 500 champion ended his full-time career with 83 victories in 686 race starts, which translates to a winning percentage of 12.1%, one of the best recorded in the Modern Era.
A key figure in NASCAR history, Jeff Gordon will go down in history as one of the most prolific drivers. In 805 career starts, Gordon won 93 times, including four Cup Series titles in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. Also notable were the former Hendrick Motorsports driver’s three seasons in which he won 10+ races consistently.
Throughout his career, Gordon led an impressive 24,936 laps, the fifth-best of all time. Suffice it to say, there won’t be another Gordon in the scope of the cup series. His contributions to the sport in his fabled rainbow-colored no 24 car puts him in a league of his own.
With the highest winning percentage of 18.29% (of any driver with more than 500 starts) in the history of the sport, David Pearson is one of NASCAR’s most successful pioneers. Nicknamed the ‘Silver Fox’, he took home the cup series championship on three different occasions in 1966, 1968, and 1969.
Pearson eventually finished his career with 105 victories from 574 starts.
Although Pearson’s greatest achievements in the sport came before the Modern Era, he was still very successful at the onset. During this time, the three-time champion won 45 matches, enjoying a successful career that spanned both the old and modern eras.
Have your say: