Greatest NASCAR Drivers

The Top Ten

1 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.

There's 3 drivers at the top - Petty, Earnhardt and Johnson. You can really place them in any order. I went with Dale because I feel his era was the best

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.

Simply the BEST! I grew up a die hard Petty fan, but Earnhardt was the man. The only other driver close to his ability was, Tim Richmond. Gordon was good, Jimmie Johnson is way over rated. Long live the Intimidator!

2 Richard Petty

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.

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

He's by far the greatest ever. Even better than Jeff and Dale! 200 wins, 7 Daytona 500s, 7 championships, 27 out of 36 races won, a record 10 wins in a row in the same season, 712 top tens 126 poles, and in his 7th Daytona 500, a mad pit strategy led him to winning. Sure, you can say he had the greatest crew chief ever, Dale Inman, but what did the guy in the drivers seat, Richard Petty do wrong? #no contest

200 wins, and this man is why NASCAR is still going. He defined what the sport was, and still is. From his first championship in '64 to his last in '79, Petty proved anyone could succeed. All those 500 wins, all that success, has made up the greatest career of all-time. When you think of NASCAR, you think of Petty.

3 Jeff Gordon Jeffery Michael Gordon is an American former professional stock car racing driver, currently an announcer for Fox NASCAR, and a top executive for Hendrick Motorsports.

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.

I don't see how you say jimmie johnson would be higher? Just cause he has 5 championships so what? I truly think it should be the king, then jeff, then sr, then darrel waltrip. Johnson shouldn't even be in the top ten. He wouldn't be anything with out the chase. Without the chase jeff would have 6 titles. Without jeff there would be no jimmie. Jeff brought him into the sport and owns half of him. Look at the numbers jeff is way better than jimmie!

4 Championships, 88 career wins and counting, 3 Daytona 500 wins. Maybe the best driver of the 90's (see Dale Earnhardt) and the 00's (see Jimmie Johnson) Gordon is on a good role in the 2014 season. Has the ability to become the 3rd driver to 100 wins competing with Jimmie Johnson to get there first. (Age 42)

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.

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

Jimmie is without a doubt the GOAT of NASCAR. He won 5 championships in a row and 7 in total in the most competitive time in NASCAR. Dale was popular and should be second. RP was good but should be third, he raced in a very non competitive time. Then Gordon in forth, you can't argue his 4 championships are better than the 7 the other drivers ahead have won. Jimmie also has won his championships in 3 different cars and 2 different playoff formats.

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)

Jimmie is only good because of his team. Its more car than driver. And he has been caught cheating on multiple occasions. But he is a great driver. But he doesn't belong with guys like Gordon, Waltrip, Petty and Earnhardt. He's as good as Stewart, Yarbourough, Bobby Allison, Elliot, and Mark Martin. He's in that category. He's a three time Champion at best.

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.

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.

After many years of retirement, they put him in a car to test. He could hardly get in or out due to major back problems. That day, he beat the record set in that car by a current driver. I consider him the very best of all drivers.

6 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Jr helped us ALL enjoy, even like NASCAR again! Most popular because he is a true gentleman and humble guy. Smart because he knew when to retire from the track AND make watching enjoyable again!

He road his dads coattail for two decades. Dale Jr. never had the passion his father had. He was too busy with outside interests. It reminds me of Kyle Petty, he won few races early on, then spent more time on a motorcycle.

You would think that he would need to win a championship to even be considered. But he does sell more T shirts. So I guess I would put him at #1 for sales and maybe in the top 20 of drivers.

Uh this guy is worse then almost everyone below. I don't think people understand that it's how good they are not popular

7 Tony Stewart Anthony Wayne "Tony" Stewart, nicknamed Smoke, is an American former professional stock car racing driver and is currently a NASCAR team owner.

Tony is a great person. He faces the issues he has in front of him and keeps going. He has a great group working for him and I see in the future that all 4 cars will win more races and more championships. Let Kevin and Kurt have there glory and seem very happy where they are and Danika gets better every year. Tony keep up the great work and I see another champtionship coming your way. M Remember you were doing bad the year you won the championship so do not give up hope, If you do not win I could see Kevin doing it again. Him being a great father, husband and driver he is doing the best I have ever seen since he joined SHR. Keep up the good work and being the great person you are. My thoughts go out to you.

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.

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

8 Darrell Waltrip

Also tied for 6th. 84 Career wins, 3 championships, 1 Daytona 500 win. A NASCAR icon forever. Cartrip is one of the best. Just don't think you can put him ahead of Yarborough.

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

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

9 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

Say what you want about Petty's "stats", they're extremely weighted in this case. Petty raced in a time when almost anyone could just wheel their own ride to the track and reserve a spot in the grid. Kyle has achieved his impressive statline during NASCAR's most competitive era, yet. I'm not a Kyle Busch fan (I'm an SHR guy) but he's a 1 in a billion driver.

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.

I feel bad for Kyle Busch. After that crash he will probably miss 6 races. He probably would've had a great year, now he will finish 31st in points 2 spots behind Danica

10 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.

The Contenders

11 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.

12 Kyle Larson

he is trash he is the worst nascar driver ever he even said the n word in a zoom meeting and got fired from nascar never to come back he is garbage he is TRASH

Great class act. Seems to be close to the front most of the time. Good for the sport.

He is really awesome. He is the next king of NASCAR.

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

13 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.

14 Carl Edwards Carl Michael Edwards II is an American former professional stock car racing driver. He last competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving the No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. Prior to that, he drove the No. 99 Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing.

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.

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

Good maybe should be in the top 10

Best number 19 driver

15 Alan Kulwicki

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

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

16 Bill Elliot

First million dollar winner and fastest ever at Dega at 212.803 mph and over 210 at Daytona...the name Awesome Bill says it all.

Awesome bill is top 10 move jr down

Awesome BILL will never die out!

17 Denny Hamlin

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

Denny is the best! Will always be my favorite

the 2nd best nascar driver of 2020

18 Joey Logano

Great way better than Danica he has won a championship he will be the king of nascar some day
Go22

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

19 Kasey Kahne

I nearly cried when Kasey retired, he has a amazing driver, he always tried his best to win, and the racing on Indianapolis in 2017 next to Brad was amazing, his whole career was a success, should be higher.

One of if not the best young racers of all time. Did tail off towards the end.

He is better than jerks like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson

The first race I watch he won and I think he is the best

20 Rusty Wallace

Why is this guy not in the top 10?

21 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.

22 Dale Jarrett
23 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.

Wreck wreck wreck wreck...

People only like her for her body/being a woman in a male dominated sport. She never won a single Daytona 500. Idiot.

she should never be on this list ever and she is the worst driver EVER and worst she is in love with rickey stenhouse jr and with his stupid mullet

Danica crashes so much and blames a lot of drivers when she crashes she BE TRASH

How is danica higher than chase Elliott and the 2014 champ Kevin Harvick?

24 Bobby Labonte

He should be higher

25 Kevin Harvick

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!

Kevin Harvick is my favorite driver

Kevin is the best driver ever he

Should be in the top 10!

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