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Greatest NASCAR drivers of all-time

CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 22: 2019 Jeff Gordon, left, smiles while chatting with Richard Petty during the NASCAR 2020 Hall of Fame announcement ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 22, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Miczek/Getty Images)

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Over the years, there have been a number of NASCAR drivers that many believe are, or will go on to be legends. Some fade away into obscurity, while others live up to the expectations and go on to be great. 

This post will list some of the best drivers the spot has ever seen. These men drive and succeed at such a high level, that it will be difficult for anyone to match. If you are betting on a racer, lookout for the qualities of these legends. 

Tim Flock

Many people may not have heard the name Tim Flock before, even some hardcore NASCAR fans may be unaware of him, but he is regarded as the first truly dominant driver in the sport. 

With all 39 of his career victories coming in the 50’s, he is sometimes regarded as less successful than the bigger names of the time such as Herb Thomas and Lee Petty. However, Flock won nearly as many races in far fewer starts, with a career win percentage off 22.5%. 

Not only is that percentage the highest amongst drivers with over 100 starts in the series, he also earned himself 129 top-10 finishes, with a meager 22 of those not being top fives. Flock is also part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, after being inducted in 2014. 

Richard Petty

Obviously Richard Petty was going to be on this list. Even though he started driving at the backend of the 50’s, Petty’s career really took off at the start of 1960. He earned his first 3 wins that season, before finishing second in the ranks that year. 

Over the course of the 60’s, Petty led every statistical category, except for series championships. During his career as well, his 200 wins, 712 top-10’s and 555 top-5’s easily put him as the best driver of the time. 

He was the most dominant driver of his era and everyone else was simply trying to play catch up the whole time. 

Dale Earnhardt

Easily one of the most recognizable names in the sport, Dale Earnhardt earned his reputation for greatness by simply being better than everyone else. He won his first series championship in 1980, and would go on to win another 2 in the same decade. 

The 1990’s were just as successful for Earnhardt. He started every race in the decade, and went away with 37 wins. He finished better than 10th 195 times, with 126 top-fives. He won 4 titles in the 90’s, with the final one of his career coming in 1994. 

His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr still drives and continues the legacy of this incredibly famous driving family. 

Darrell Waltrip 

Waltrip was a successful driver during the 1970’s, but his best success came in the 1980’s. 1981 and 1982 were easily the best two seasons of his career, winning 12 races in both seasons and went away with the championship both years. 

In total, he won 57 races, he finished in the top-10 a staggering 198 times, and finished in the top-5 an amazing 158 times. He also raced in all 296 races of the 80’s, making his records and consistency even more impressive. 

Another impressive statistic is the fact that all through the 1980’s, Waltrip only finished outside of the championship top 5 once, a seventh place finish in 1988. 

Jeff Gordon 

Another legend of the sport, Jeff Gordon was easily the best driver of the 1990’s. During his first season in the sport, Gordon was a two-time winner, including winning the race at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

1995 was the year Jeff Gordon cemented his name in the sport. He won 7 of the races that season, and ended up taking home the series championship title of his career. It was only up and up for the driver from there. 

In his 805 races of his career, he won 93 of them, and had a total of 477 top-10 finishes. Between 1996 and 1998, he won an incredible 33 races, a total nobody got near during that era. 

Jimmie Johnson 

One of the best, if not the best driver since the turn of the millennium, Jimmie Johnson’s list of achievements is absolutely incredible. In his first full rookie season, he won 3 races and finished in the top 5 six times.

Johnson has a total of 370 top 10’s, and 83 wins under his belt, incredible numbers. He has also one each of the sports biggest races, those being the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Coca Cola 600 and the Southern 500. 

With 672 races under his belt since 2001, Johnson has reached legendary status, and his name and fame in the sport will live on long after he retires, with many drivers struggling to reach the same heights he has.

These aren’t all of the greatest drivers the world of NASCAR has seen, but they are definitely a handful that need mentioning. Whether it be the 50’s, or the 2000’s, NASCAR has, and will continue to produce absolute legends, and drivers that are famous the world over. 

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Posted by on August 11, 2020. Filed under Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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