Top 10 NASCAR Drivers of All Time
The NASCAR world is full of incredibly amazing drivers, but there are some who stand out more than others.
These Top 10 NASCAR drivers have earned the reputation as some of the best in the sport, and their list of actions proves that they deserve it.
As you look through this list of top 10 NASCAR drivers, think about which driver you think deserves to be at the top spot and why! Let me know in the comment box.
Top 10 NASCAR Drivers
10. Joe Weatherly
Joe Weatherly also known as Little Joe, Joe was a three-time Cup Series champion in 1960, 1961, and 1962. His career grand total to date is 37 wins.
In 1956, He won his first race at Hickory Motor Speedway, then achieved Rookie of The Year honors when he scored 8 top 5s and 16 top 10s in his first full season (1957).
A year later, he got his first win at Hickory and finished third in points for that season.
In 1959, he put together a string of 12 top-three finishes out of 19 races.
He followed that up with 18 top-fives, 17 top-tens, and 9 wins in 1960 on his way to winning his first Cup title.
9. Sterling Marlin
Sterling Marlin was Born and raised in Batesville, Arkansas.
Marlin is one of only a handful of drivers to ever win both races at Daytona International Speedway twice (the Pepsi 400 and The Daytona 500), including when he did it back-to-back.
He also became one of seven people in history to have ever won a race at both 200 mph and above and below 190 mph in speedway history.
In total, he has 4 championships under his belt—twice from 1986 to 1987, once from 1994 to 1995, and finally during his most recent stint from 2002 to 2003.
As a result, Marlin has been inducted into many racing halls of fame for his contributions to racing over time.
8. Alan Kulwicki
Kulwicki won 5 races in 1992 when he led more laps than any other driver but lost the title to Bill Elliott on a tiebreaker (wins).
At Bristol Motor Speedway that year, he beat Bobby Allison and Davey Allison by two seconds after leading every lap from start to finish.
In addition to his racing career,
He earned an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and founded his own construction company before becoming a full-time race car driver.
After his death in an airplane crash in April 1993,
Kulwicki was considered by many to be one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers never to have won a championship.
He had 18 wins, which is tied for 25th on the all-time wins list, and finished fourth in points three times.
7. Bobby Allison
Bobby Allison has won 84 races in his career, He is the third most in series history.
In 1988, he became one of the only two drivers to win races in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions (Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks).
Allison also won at least one race per year for 17 consecutive seasons.
After finishing third in points twice (1966 and 1973), He was named Driver of the Year by many media outlets.
6. Benny Parsons
Benny Parsons was born on 26 October 1939 in Goochland, Virginia.
He made his name by winning several races during NASCAR’s top-tier circuit in 1970 and became a fan favorite throughout his career.
It would take him until 1981 to win again at that level.
His talent as an analyst after retiring in 1978 eventually led to a job with ESPN as one of their anchors for their coverage of NASCAR events.
In 2014, he suffered a heart attack while riding on his bike and never recovered, passing away at age 76 on September 16th of that year.
He is widely considered one of the best drivers in NASCAR history to have never won a championship…
but he is widely considered one both fans and peers alike consider one of their favorites, making him a spot on our list here!
5. Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Lee Waltrip is a three-time winner of what is now known as The Winston, awarded to each year’s most popular driver.
He also won four Daytona 500s and 12 other races.
He was born on 11 June 1939 in Owensboro, Kentucky. His success was instant and incredible.
Even though he only finished his rookie season with two wins, he achieved the Rookie of the Year honors for his performance that season.
In the years 1975 and 1976, Waltrip became one of only five drivers to win three consecutive championships.
Afterward, he went on to earn 40 victories total over his career.
4. Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough was born on 16 February 1936 in Timmonsville, South Carolina.
He is a former American NASCAR driver. Yarborough was nicknamed The Little Captain for his short stature.
However, he’s recognized as one of the best drivers to ever race in NASCAR history.
In the years 1979 and 1980 he won two out of three Daytona 500 races.
His 37 combined wins from 1967 to 1979 are tied with Darrell Waltrip for second-most in series history; only Richard Petty has more with 53.
3. Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt was one of the best drivers in NASCAR history, and his name is a legend.
His favorite number 3 still turns up in race cars all over today.
Dale has more wins than any other driver at Daytona International Speedway, winning four races there between 1988 and 1994.
He is a true legend who deserves to be on our list of Top 10 NASCAR Drivers of All Time.
Dale started racing stock cars as a teenager after his father asked him to follow him around the track while he worked as a mechanic.
He started racing on dirt tracks before moving up to local short-track races and eventually NASCAR Winston Cup Series events.
He made his first start in NASCAR’s top series with Junior Johnson in 1979 but didn’t finish well enough to make another start until 1981. it would take him three years just to qualify for every race!
By 1986 he had won two races and finished 7th overall in points,
by 1987 he had nine wins and won his first championship;
by 1989 he had 18 wins and two championships.
2. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon is a three-time Sprint Cup champion who retired at age 43.
He made history in 1997 when he won five straight races and finished second in points to teammate Terry Labonte,
And become the third driver to win four or more consecutive races.
That season he also became only one of four drivers ever to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single season.
During his career,
Jeff achieved 92 wins (fourth on the all-time list), three Daytona 500 victories, and 94 top fives – including 55 runner-up finishes.
In 24 postseason starts, Jeff never won a title but did earn an additional six trips to Homestead with multiple wins on his resume there as well.
1. Richard Petty
Petty is a member of seven different halls of fame: NASCAR, Motorsports, and Sports.
He won races every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (1972–1980 and 1982–2000), becoming second to Richard Petty on multiple occasions.
He also won a record 27 races at Daytona International Speedway (from 1968 to 1989).
During his career,
Petty drove for many car owners with his own team being Petty Enterprises founded in 1958.
In 1976 he was awarded as one of three drivers given Legend status by NASCAR.
In 1999, editors at Sports Illustrated ranked Richard Petty #20 on their list of Top 50 Athletes, making him tied with Lance Armstrong and just behind Arnold Palmer.