Top 5 NASCAR Drivers of All Time
By: Good2GoPublished: August 16, 2018
Established in 1948 with the driving force of William “Bill” France, Sr. behind it, NASCAR held its first Strictly Stock race on June 19, 1946 at the Charlotte Speedway in North Carolina to the delight of 13,000 fans. Today, NASCAR has 80 million fans, making it easy to understand why it is ranked in the top 10 favorite American sports. In honor of NASCAR’s 70th anniversary, here is our list of the Top 5 NASCAR Drivers of All Time.
# 1 – Richard Petty
Nicknamed ‘The King,’ Richard Petty has more wins than any other driver in the history of NASCAR. Having taken home 7 championships and winning over 200 races, it’s clear that he’s earned his nickname in a genuine fashion. His flashy urban cowboy look and extensive resume make him the ideal poster child for the sport.
#2 – Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Earnhardt was widely regarded as NASCAR’s biggest star, and he played the part to keep the fans in his corner. Afraid of no one, ‘The Intimidator’ used aggressive tactics to beat others across the finish line, and took home first place in 76 races in the Sprint Cup. Although he sadly passed away in a racing accident in 2001, his legacy lives on through his record, and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
#3 – Jimmie Johnson
Johnson’s story is anything but a tale of beginner’s luck. In his first season, he swept the races at Dover, and became the first rookie to lead in the point standings. Earning six titles, 69 wins, five Driver of the Year awards, and becoming the first driver in NASCAR to win five consecutive championships, it’s no wonder that Johnson’s legacy is still talked about today.
# 4 – Jeff Gordon
Gordon made his name known the first time he hit the track 1993, and went on to earn the nickname ‘Wonder Boy’ from Dale Earnhardt Sr. His lengthy 23-year stint in the pro circuit landed him 93 wins, four Sprint Cup Championships, and was named the ‘Iron Man’ leader for competing in 797 races between 1993 and 2015. Now, Gordon is a Fox Sports analyst and commentator, and has made it clear that he has no plans to step back from the world of NASCAR.
# 5 – David Pearson
With 105 wins and earning the champion title three times, David Pearson was the archenemy of Richard ‘The King’ Petty. The two titans of the track were neck and neck in most races and finished first and second in 63 of their races together. Despite Petty having more wins attributed to his legacy, Pearson took home the win in the majority of their 63 bouts.
Although watching a NASCAR race is not for everyone, the sport has cemented itself as a crucial piece of American culture. Despite a small dip in popularity over the past few years, NASCAR is here to stay as a force to be reckoned with in the world of popular sports.
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