There are tons of great drivers in the storied history of NASCAR. Big names and larger-than-life characters to go along with it. From the outlaw roots of bootleggers creating hotrods to outrun the police, to today’s racers who were raised with a steering wheel in their hands, the cream has always risen to the top of stock car racing.
Here’s our list of the five best drivers in the history of NASCAR’s top circuit, the Sprint Cup (formerly known as the Winston Cup)!
5 – Jeff Gordon
Dale Earnhardt Sr. nicknamed Gordon ‘Wonder Boy’ early in his career and boy was he right! Gordon has racked up 91 wins and 4 titles in his career racing for Hendrick Motorsports!
4 – Jimmie Johnson
Johnson was the first rookie to lead in the points standings, serving notice that he was a force to be reckoned with when he swept at Dover that year. He would then go on to become the first man in NASCAR history to win five consecutive championships and he has also been driver of the year five times. Along with his six titles, Jimmie Johnson has amassed 69 wins for Hendrick Motorsports.
3 – David Pearson
David Pearson has 105 wins and is a three-time champ. His biggest obstacle on the track was his rival, Richard Petty. Arguably the greatest rivalry the sport has ever known, Petty and Pearson finished first/second 63 times over their storied careers (with most wins going to Pearson).
2 – Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Known as “the Intimidator”, Earnhardt was known as fearless on the track and could be any driver’s worst nightmare if they found him in their rearview mirror. A seven-time champion, Earnhardt Sr. won 76 races in Sprint Cup competition and at the time of his death, he was arguably the sports biggest star.
1 – Richard Petty
Richard Petty is known as ‘The King’ to most NASCAR fans (even his son, Kyle Petty refers to his father this way) and for very good reasons: no one has won more races or more championships in the history of the sport. Petty, second generation racer has 200 wins to his credit and 7 championships as well. His easy smile and disposition have made him a near perfect ambassador for the sport!