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.

Not only was Dale Earnhardt the best NASCAR driver to ever live he is arguably the best race car driver in any discipline period. Nascar has not recovered from his absence yet and probably never will

If Richard Petty wasn't on this list, The Intimidator would have won unanimously, but Dale Sr still coasts to a win

He was one stupid driver after crashing to ken scharder this is like he is eating crap

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

22 Comments
2 Richard Petty

200 wins 7 championships. He is statistically the greatest nascar driver ever!

The stats tell the tale!

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.

27 Comments
3 Jeff Gordon 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.

Really number 3!? I'd say he's in the top 15! Remember "of all time"?

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.

29 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 has won the same amount of championships as Richard petty, and Dale Earnhardt he should be above Jeff Gordon.

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?

22 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.

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.

4 Comments
6 Darrell Waltrip

Lol whoever said he should not be on this is retarded, most of the people on this list has already retired

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.

2 Comments
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 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.

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

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

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.

4 Comments
10 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!

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

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.

I like Dale Jr but this is the greatest drivers, not the most popular ones - lilrocketman

14 Comments

The Newcomers

? Paul Menard
? Matt DiBenedetto

The Contenders

11 Kyle Busch Kyle Busch

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.

The ultimate best

Your looking at a living legend in the making

201 wins HE IS awesome!

17 Comments
12 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 will never die out! - DEMONKILLER555

Awesome bill is top 10 move jr down

13 Carl Edwards 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.

Best number 19 driver

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

1 Comment
14 Kyle Larson Kyle Larson

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

Such an underrated guy. He deserves more

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

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

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 Ryan Newman Ryan Newman Ryan Joseph Newman, nicknamed "Rocket Man", is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Richard Childress Racing.

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

17 Rusty Wallace

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

18 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

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.

Good and very fair

He is better than jerks like Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson

1 Comment
20 Denny Hamlin Denny Hamlin

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

Denny is the best! Will always be my favorite

Awesome

21 Joey Logano 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

22 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.

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

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.

23 Jeff Burton
24 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

25 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.

Shes the best... AT WRECKING!

what - lilrocketman

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

She's actually one of the worst. - railfan99

4 Comments
26 Aric Almirola

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

27 Martin Truex, Jr.

Because he won a "" championship...and 12 people above him on the list...DID NOT!

How is he on this list?

28 Jamie McMurray Jamie McMurray
29 Dale Jarrett
30 Bobby Labonte

He should be higher

31 Junior Johnson

Junior is a very smart man

32 Johnny Sauter
33 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!

Why is Kevin lower than Cole Whitt

1 Comment
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

How is Matt lower than Danica?
You guys are idiots

36 Casey Mears
37 Austin Dillon
38 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

39 Geoff Bodine

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

40 Ned Jarrett
41 Davey Allison

What is he doing down here in 42nd? He won a lot of races in his short career.

42 Tim Flock
43 Greg Biffle

Great driver. Politics killed his career.

This is underrated

44 Cole Whitt

Yep best driver ever

All hail our lord and savior Cole Whitt

Cole whit is the best driver ever

Why is he on this board?

1 Comment
45 Tim Richmond

His lifestyle aside, Richmond one of the greatest talents ever behind any steering wheel. He should be in top ten easily...

Short lived but one of the greats... should fall into top twenty but most here don’t know NASCAR history at all.

46 Brad Keselowski Brad Keselowski
47 Buddy Baker

Needs to be in top5 lowest

fast

48 Rex White
49 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

50 Buck Baker
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1,000 votes
62 listings
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Top Remixes (21)

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
3. Kyle Larson
WildFiresOut
1. Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Richard Petty
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1. Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
2. Richard Petty
3. Darrell Waltrip
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