Nine of the Most Famous NASCAR Drivers in History

Aside from championships, race wins, winning percentage and impact on the sport are considered when naming the best NASCAR drivers of all time. The greatest drivers have achieved podium finishes more often than not and were big off the racetrack as well as on it. Here are some of the most famous NASCAR drivers who are considered the all-time best in the sport.

1. Richard Petty

When it comes to the racetrack, Richard Petty tops every list of greatest NASCAR drivers of all time because to date, no other race car driver has ever tallied as many wins as him. He holds the record of 200 wins, 123 poles, seven Daytona 500 wins, 1,027 career starts and 10 consecutive wins.

His illustrious career spanned from 1958 to 1992 and there has not been anyone since who has set as many records. He is arguably the best NASCAR driver ever.

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2. David Pearson

The late David Pearson is among the old NASCAR drivers whose records have yet to be broken. He began his career in 1960, ending his first season with the Rookie of the Year award. He won three season titles in 1966, 1968 and 1969 and earned the nickname “Silver Fox”. Pearson was a model of consistency – in 574 Cup series starts, he won 105 races with 366 top ten finishes.

3. Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Dale Earnhardt earned the nickname “The Intimidator” for his aggressive driving style. He was the first driver to tie Richard Petty with seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships. One of the most popular drivers in the sport’s history, he is remembered as one of the best NASCAR drivers of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and 90s. Earnhardt collected 76 wins, 428 top ten finishes and 22 poles in his career before his life was tragically cut short in a car crash while racing at the 2001 Daytona 500.

4. Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson has been racing in the Cup Series since 2001 and is tied at seven titles with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr., winning five straight from 2006 to 2010. Among his 83 victories were two Daytona 500 titles in 2006 and 2013. His stellar achievements earn him a place as one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time.

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5. Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon is known as one of the most successful and most famous NASCAR drivers of all time. He had a long career on the track, winning 93 Cup Series races, four championships and three Daytona 500’s. After Earnhardt and Petty, Gordon is ranked third of all-time in wins.

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6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Being recognized for 12 consecutive years as NASCAR’s most popular driver is evidence of the admiration the late racing star’s son received from fans and fellow drivers. But his genial personality is only a small part of why he ranks as one of the top NASCAR drivers. His achievements include two Daytona 500 wins, back-to-back championships in the Busch Series and 26 Cup Series victories.

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7. Glenn ‘Fireball’ Roberts

Of the past NASCAR drivers, Glenn Roberts was considered the first “real superstar” in the sport. He won the Daytona 500 once and twice went to Victory Lane in the Southern 500. Before his career was tragically cut short in a fiery crash at the World 600 in 1964, Roberts had collected 32 poles and 33 wins in 207 career starts. He won about one in every six races he entered.

8. Darrell Waltrip

He was named Most Popular Driver two times back-to-back and is tied with Bobby Allison at 84 career wins, good for fourth place on the all-time list. He also had one of the longest careers, winning three Cup Series championships, 59 poles and one Daytona 500 in his 29 years as a driver.

Nicknamed “Jaws”, Waltrip is still at it today as a popular NASCAR analyst on television.

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9. Bobby Allison

Voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011, Bobby Allison won the 1983 Cup Series title, was voted the Most Popular Driver six times, won the Daytona 500 three times and captured 58 poles in his career. He’s also ranked fourth on the all-time Cup Series wins list, tying Darrell Waltrip with 84 victories. One of the most remembered Allison moments was when he won the 1988 Daytona 500 while his son, Davey Allison, finished second.

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These are some of the most famous NASCAR drivers ever and, aside from earning fame and wealth, they are credited with establishing the Cup Series as one of the most competitive racing circuits in the world. If you’d like to book any of Sports Speakers 360’s auto racer speakers for your event, call (303) 747-4087 or fill out our contact form to get started and learn more about our wide selection of sports speakers!

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