Greatest NASCAR Drivers

The Top Ten

1 Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr., known professionally as Dale Earnhardt, was an American professional stock car racing driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR.

After following Dale Earnhardt's NASCAR career, from 1988 - 2001; there is absolutely no other driver, who ever competed in the NASCAR Cup Series; who could ever be called a better driver than Dale Earnhardt was. There is also, no other driver, who could even be compared with Dale Earnhardt, as a NASCAR Cup Series, race car driver.
After following the NASCAR Cup Series, for over 30-years, now; I have witnessed, or know of any other individual, who has ever competed, at the Cup Series-level; that has ever possessed the kind of NATURAL/RAW, GOD-GIVEN, TALENT, that Dale Earnhardt, was so blessed with. Dale Earnhardt possessed a very rare, special-kind of talent. It's the kind of special-talent, so rare; that it doesn't come around very often, and only seen maybe, once in a lifetime. Dale Earnhardt was able to perform at the GREATEST - POSSIBLE LEVEL, for 20+ years. Dale Earnhardt performed with the GREATEST OF SKILL, allowing Earnhardt to display his DRIVING ABILITY; that was SO ...more

Dale could just drive the wheels off a car like few could - I'd compare it to what we're seeing Kyle Busch do these days- Kyle is clearly the most skilled driver today and that's what Dale was. Add that to a record 7 Cup championships (tied with Petty) and I think he's the best of the best. Jimmie is up there, Petty has the records but not as competitive an era, he didn't have the opposition Dale and Jimmie did. Gordon winning 92 races in modern NASCAR, to go along with 4 Cup titles has to be acknowledged. Watch out for Kyle though -Kyle wins almost every race he participates in these days, and in all 3 of NASCARs series. Kylse has 162 wins in all and he's just 30 years old and the defending Cup champion.

Dale I see by far the best NASCAR racer of all time. Richard Petty may have had the most wins, but that is mainly because at that time in NASCAR you could upgrade your car as much as you want and he was already rich before racing so he could easily be the best. While Dale wasn't allowed to upgrade his car. But Petty is still a good racer but in skill not the best.

Wow he's like looking in to a pure talent man he's the person everyone wants to be. I wish he was still driving he's like another joe montana but in nascar I think he should be the greatest person t ever live I don't think there wrong putting him at number 1 as a kid I looked up to him

V 17 Comments
2 Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon The Best NASCAR Drive Ever! All time wins modern era (more competitive era) will probably reach 100. Current iron man and will more than likely be all time. Titles with different crew/chief. Wins with 4 different crew/chief. Wins in 3 different decades. Most dominant seasons in modern era. Quickest to 50 wins. 40 wins in 4 seasons. Modern era single season win record, 13w. Poles every season, all time record. Will probably win another champ if not more. Mentored ungrateful JJ. Wins at every track but Kentucky, only 3 races but will win there too. King of roads. Stats aside he brought NASCAR to another level. And what everyone else said.

Jeff Gordon Rules! He was one of the best NASCAR drivers EVER, maybe even better than Dale, Kyle, Dale J.R. and Richard. He won 93 championships in his racing life time. Pity he retired.

Jeff Gordon is the last of an era! Love him or hate him his talent & skill should never be denied. Records prove this! Earnhardt said amazing things about Gordon. NASCAR will never be what it once was. Nor will there be another Jeff Gordon.

He was unfairly knocked out of the Championship his last 2 years

V 28 Comments
3 Richard Petty

What is this a damn popularity contest. Look at the RECORDS, the STATS. 200 wins, 7 championships, 123 cup poles, 10 consecutive wins in 1 year, 1027 career starts & 7 Daytona 500 wins. These are MOST ALL TIME records. Just like any other sport. The statistics tell it all. The King is the king of NASCAR. Jeff Gordon is a great driver & so was Dale Earnhardt but not as great as Richard Petty! SORRY

Sorry Earnhardt fans. Petty not only is tied for most championships with 7, he is one of the two drivers with 100 career wins (other is David Pearson) but Pearson has 105, Richard Petty won 200 races. Jimmie Johnson may get 100 wins and most likely pass the 7 championship mark but no one will ever win 200 races in NASCAR ever again. Petty had 10 straight wins and a 27 win season. He was unbeatable. 7 Daytona 500 wins.

Wins: 200
Top ten: 712
Pole: 126
Daytona 500: a record seven times
Won a record 27 races (ten of them consecutively) in the 1967 season alone.
1, 184 races run over 35 years including 513 consecutive starts from 1971-1989.
- catt

Petty was on a whole different level than the rest of these guys

V 24 Comments
4 Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Johnson Jimmie Kenneth Johnson is an American professional stock car racing driver and a six-time champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

He will probably be the greatest of all-time when he is done. 66 Career Wins and counting, 5 consecutive championship (no one ever had 4 in a row), 6 total championships, 2 Daytona 500 wins. If he doesn't get to 100 wins it would surprise most of us considering he is 2/3 of the way there at age 38. I even believe he will get 10 championships, he could just win 5 in a row (won in 2013) so 4 to go and just get 10 in 11 years. He is so dominant. Maybe the most dominant athlete of the 10 year period (Peyton Manning, Albert Pujols, Ronaldo, LeBron)

By the time Jimmie and the Lowe's 48 car leave the track for the last time, he will most likely either tie championship wins with The Intimidator, and The King, or beat them. With 77 wins in less than 20 years of racing, he may very well come real close The King's legendary 200 wins.

6 time NASCAR champion, 4 time All-Star race winner, 2005 Budweiser Shootout winner, 2-time Daytona 500 champion, 4-time Coca-Cola 600 winner, 2-time Southern 500 winner, 4-time Brickyard 400 winner, 2010 Prelude to the Dream winner, 6 off-road racing championships, 1998 ASA National Tour Rookie of the year, 2009 AP male athlete of the year, 5-time driver of the year, 474 races run over 15 years, 71 wins, 294 top-tens, and 32 poles. Need I say more?

Jimmie and Jeff are my favorites

V 21 Comments
5 David Pearson

I am as big of a Gordon fan as you can get, but I've got to give props to the Silver Fox. He is the only other driver with more than 100 wins (105 to be exact) other than 'The King' Richard Petty. In fact, he has only ran the full season (or close enough to it) three times; he won the championship each time. The other seasons, especially when he drove for the Wood Brothers in the 1970's, Pearson would only run in the events that paid out large sums of money (i. E The Daytona 500, the 600, Michigan etc...). Money to run full seasons was much more scarce back in the late 60's/early 70's as seasons consisted of almost 50-60 races and corporate sponsors had not started to foot the bill like they do today. Pearson is also know for his ability to snooker other drivers by laying in the weeds, and then striking. He beat Richard Petty by doing this at the end of the Daytona 500 once to win the race. The silver fox should be higher than 5th.

He is a legend, and 5th is in my opinion is right where he belongs. One of only 2 drivers to get more than a hundred wins. (105) He is part of the fierce five. He raced for 25 years. And he only drove 3 full seasons. But he won the championship in all three of them.

Pearson is truly the best driver of anyone on this list. He may not have the most wins or championships but if all these drivers were in there prime competing against each other and I had to pick one to win, as of now I'd pick Pearson.

Simply the best ran part time in the 60s and still won 3 championships. During a two year span. 1st 30 times second about 25 times. Most of time to petty and the hemi was the difference

V 4 Comments
6 Darrell Waltrip

Boogied boogied boys lets go racing. The life and soul of NASCAR he is the one who makes NASCAR exciting.

He changed what a real NASCAR driver was. And the people love him still. Enough said - greatesttop10s

Great Driver, Great Analyst.

He does not even race anymore and should not be on this list at all

V 1 Comment
7 Bobby Allison

Had him at 6 for a long time. After the 2013 season Johnson just had to be above Cale and Bobby. I would say it's a tie at 7. though. Bobby Allison is just such an icon in NASCAR. 84 or 85 wins depending on the source. Surprisingly, only 1 championship (Part of the fierce 5 Cale, Petty, Waltrip, and Pearson) and 3 Daytona 500's.

In my opinion, there are 8 drivers that are the best. They go in this order: Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Sr., David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, and Darrel Waltrip.

8 Tony Stewart Tony Stewart

Between himself, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, and Rusty Wallace... it was tough. The Championships (3 so far) and the potential he still has broke the tie. Tony has 48 wins and counting. Never brought in that Daytona 500 though. Smoke has earned his spot. If he can get one or two more championships he'd be right in there with Yarborough, Allison, and Waltrip. Has a chance at 65 career wins. (Age 42)

Tony has more racing championships, across several venues, then any other race care driver in the history of mankind. This includes the greatest NASCAR championship ever, winning 5 races in the chase.

Only thing is that he changed cars and numbers on me. Now what am I gonna do with all the 20/Home Depot crap. - haineroid

He actually has five championships if you count his owner championships and has also won an indy title. as well as several other throughout his career. Not too shaby

V 4 Comments
9 Cale Yarborough

Had him at 5 for a long time. He did win 3 Championships in a row. They are just the only championships he won. 83 Career wins and 3 of those are at the Daytona 500. Competed in the Waltrip, Allison, Petty, Pearson era.

10 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Dale Jr shouldn't even be on this list.

Dale just stinks he is not exciting when he wins race like carl edwards

Needs to get more wins

So awesome

V 10 Comments

The Contenders

11 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch

Hands down just pure racing ability, Kyle Busch! He can win in anything he gets in and on the same weekend. While others are laying in motor home resting he is racing on Saturday and winning. Then he gets in car on Sunday and more than less, wins! The numbers doesn't lie. And he is just 30 years old. If he continues on this path until at least 40-42 years old, your looking at 80+ Cup wins, 100+ Xfinity, 50+ Trucks, well over 200 combined with most likely 4 championships. History books will put him top three best ever and maybe best pure racer ability

Please, car control! He is a real driver and shows it in everything he races!

Hands down he is my favorite. His drive to excel in the Trucks, Xifinity and Monster is outstanding. That is one of the reasons I became a Kyle Busch fan. If he's not driving, I'm not watching.

My favorite rn, prolly always will be - EliHbk

V 7 Comments
12 Bill Elliot

Awesome BILL will never die out! - DEMONKILLER555

V 1 Comment
13 Carl Edwards Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards should be number one he is awesome he does back flips when he wins he has the best cars he is the best guy should have won the 2011 sprint cup championship he is so going to win it this year and smoke them all.

Good maybe should be in the top 10

He's okay, doesn't belong on this list though

Best number 19 driver

V 1 Comment
14 Rusty Wallace

Why is this guy not in the top 10? - greatesttop10s

15 Lee Petty

Produced Richard Petty, had 54 career wins, won 3 championships, and out of the 59 drivers competing in the race, he won the first Daytona 500 in one of the closest races of all-time.

Before his son Richard came along, he was the king of NASCAR. - Darrell

16 Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin

Best driver, most courteous, strategy "A plus" and intelligent.

Denny is the best! Will always be my favorite

Awesome

17 Ryan Newman Ryan Newman

You don't see him whining over losses. He races fair even though he doesn't win ALL the time

18 Kyle Larson Kyle Larson

This guy will be the face of the sport one day.

19 Alan Kulwicki

My personal hero. The last of the true independents in this sport. - Darrell

He died after his championship. He deservers to be in the top 10,maybe even the top 2

20 Kasey Kahne

He is better than jerks like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson

V 2 Comments
21 Mark Martin

I have so much respect for this guy. He has had a much longer career then most drivers ever will, and in his 50's he had this sudden career resurrection where he contended for his 1st ever championship. He has come 2nd in the overall standings so many times. I don't even remember the number, but it was insane. Even though he has never won the championship, he is decorated with just about every honor you get get in the sport and he's a great guy. He should be top 15 the very least. There's no way he should be down here at 31 when all of these young modern generation drivers with like 20 wins are taking up spots in the top 20.

Mark Martin is the greatest Champion without a trophy. How many wins does this man have, if he had been the one to "Rattle their cage" like others would have. Best of all time...

Mark Martin is 53 and still racing the track. I have grown up a fan of Mark and I continue to enjoy to watch him beat all the inexperienced druggies like Jimmie Johnson.

He never won the championship, but the best driver who neve won one.

22 Kurt Busch Kurt Busch Kurt Thomas Busch is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

2004 champion and 2017 Daytona 500 winner!

He is good this is a good spot for him

23 Jeff Burton
24 Joey Logano Joey Logano

He has not even got to his prime quit yet he will be a great

25 Aric Almirola

He has a win, and almost made it to the chase this year

26 Martin Truex, Jr.

How is he on this list?

27 Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
28 Danica Patrick Danica Patrick Danica Sue Patrick is an American professional racing driver. She is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing—her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only female win in an IndyCar Series race.

She's actually one of the worst. - railfan99

Danica Patrick is the best

She is hot in a bikini

No, shes not good.. like at all - EliHbk

V 2 Comments
29 Dale Jarrett
30 Bobby Labonte

He should be higher

31 Junior Johnson
32 Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick

Should be in the top 10!

He should be in top 10

Kevin Harvick is so awesome. He is my favorite driver. Even though he only has 1 chapionship, and has 6 top 2 finishes, he is still my favorite driver!

Really guys?

V 1 Comment
33 Johnny Sauter
34 Terry Labonte
35 Matt Kenseth Matt Kenseth

Best driver because he knows what he's doing anyone who says he whines don't know what they are talking about

He is a good driver that doesn't whine over loses like Tony Stewart Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson

V 1 Comment
36 Geoff Bodine

The king of new york and the only man dale earnhart had trouble defeating

37 Casey Mears
38 Austin Dillon
39 Chase Elliott

He is NOT a good driver, he just has an op (overpowered) car. The car is WAY too fast. - kennywilliams21

Won Championship as rookie. Deserves to be higher.

Danica apparently is better than him

40 Ned Jarrett
41 Greg Biffle

Great driver. Politics killed his career.

This is underrated

42 Davey Allison
43 Buddy Baker

Needs to be in top5 lowest

fast

44 Marcos Ambrose

He's good at road courses, that it.

45 Tim Flock
46 Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski
47 Red Byron

The first champion of NASCAR. He didn't win after that season, but he got the sport off to a great sport. - Darrell

48 Buck Baker
49 Neil Bonnett
50 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
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List Stats

900 votes
59 listings
10 years, 263 days old

Top Remixes (21)

1. Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
2. Richard Petty
3. Darrell Waltrip
greatesttop10s
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
3. Jeff Gordon
aliner33
1. Kyle Larson
2. Danica Patrick
3. Joey Logano
KyleLarsonFan16

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