NASCAR offers numerous drivers who reached legendary status throughout their career. Their portfolio of work stands the test of time, even as different driving eras change the way races are won.
Do you agree with who we think are the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time?
#1. Richard Petty
There’s a reason why he is known as “The King.” Over the course of his career, he won seven Cup championships, 200 races, 123 pole positions, and even earned 27 wins in a single season. In 1967, Petty won 10 consecutive times. He’s also a 7-time winner of the Daytona 500.
#2. David Pearson
Casual fans of NASCAR might disagree, but Pearson’s 105 wins and 3 cup titles are impressive because he never ran on a full-time schedule during his career. He won his trio of championships in 1966, 1968, and 1969. Pearson would also earn 113 pole positions and finished in second place a total of 30 times in just two years.
#3. Dale Earnhardt
Although he was taken from NASCAR far too early, the “Intimidator” what is the dominant force on the circuit. He probably would have won his eighth championship in 2001. With 76 total wins and another 21 Nationwide (Busch) series wins in just 136 starts, his talent was the kind you see only once in a generation.
#4. Jimmie Johnson
No one knew who Johnson was when Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick took a flyer on him in 2001. Before the end of the decade, NASCAR would have its first five-time consecutive champion. In those first nine years, Johnson even finished in the top five in the point standings when he didn’t win the championship. He has won 7 Cups as of 2018, a total of 83 races, and he’s won at 20 different tracks.
#5. Jeff Gordon
He used to be known as the “Kid.” He’s a three-time winner of the Daytona 500, holds 81 pole positions (third all-time), and has one at least one pole position in 23 consecutive seasons. Hard to believe he’s 47 years old. His 93 wins on the circuit are impressive, as are the 477 top 10s that he earned.
#6. Cale Yarborough
Yarborough was the original NASCAR dynasty. Cale won three consecutive championships from 1976 to 1978. He also won 83 races throughout his career, with 28 of them coming during his championship years. He earned a total of 68 poles and finished runner-up in the series three times: in 1973, 1974, and 1980.
#7. Bobby Allison
Allison might still be racing in NASCAR if he hadn’t needed to retire in 1988 because of his injuries. He earned 84 career victories over the course of his career, 58 poles, and was the 1983 champion. Allison also has three Daytona 500 wins, all of which helped him become enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Numerous drivers have created moments for themselves in NASCAR history. These are the legends who will be remembered throughout the history of the sport.