Five Of The Greatest NASCAR Drivers Of All Time
Richard Petty Is "The King"
There are drivers who have set the mark in NASCAR but no other driver has been able to do like Richard Petty.
Throughout his NASCAR career Petty has set several records that have gone on to go unbroken over the years even after his retirement. Petty who earned the nickname of “The King” went on to win seven Cup Series championships, the most by any driver and currently tied with the late Dale Earnhardt. Along with his championships Petty has won The Daytona 500 seven times in his career in the years 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981.
The King has even gone to earn some of NASCAR’s biggest honors such as the award for the most popular driver in eight occasions. He was a part of the first inaugural class to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 and was also inducted to the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Several of Petty’s records still remain unbroken. He currently holds the records for the most wins with 200, most poles at 123, most wins in a season with 23. He also holds the records for the most wins at the Daytona 500 with seven, most consecutive wins with 10 and the most starts by a driver with 1,185.
Even if Petty does not continue to compete behind the wheel of a racecar he does continue to compete in the Cup Series as a car owner as he currently owns Richard Petty Motorsports.
Bobby Allison One Of The Greatest To Race At The Tracks
To become one of the greatest drivers to ever race in NASCAR, Bobby Allison knew he had to race every single competitor including his own son.
Throughout his career Allison went on to win in some of the Cup Series biggest races. He won the Daytona 500 in 1978, 1982, and I 1988 beating his own son for the win. Allison also dominated in four occasions at the Southern 500 and twice at the World 600, which is now known as the Coca-Cola 600 and won three times in the Winston 500, now known as the Aaron’s 499.
In 718 career starts, Allison went on to win 84 races tying him with Darrell Waltrip in third for the most all time wins. He went on to capture 446 top-10 finishes and 58 poles. Allison won the Cup Series championship in 1983.
Throughout his time in the Cup Series Allison won the award for the Series most popular driver seven times. He won the award consecutively in two separate occasions, from 1971- 1973 and from 1980-1983.
As one of the greats to ever race in the Cup Series he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dale Earnhardt's Legacy Will Live On
Some NASCAR drivers set themselves apart for their accomplishments but Dale Earnhardt set himself apart from the rest for his racing style.
The driver who was known by many as the intimidator was able to accomplish several features on the track, which led to create his legacy. As one of the greatest drivers to ever race on the track, Earnhardt won in several of the sports most prestigious races. He won the Southern 500 in three occasions, the Coca-Cola 600 three times, and he even captured a win at the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500. Earnhardt even visited Victory Lane at Talladega in four occasions, even making back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000 at the Winston 500.
Throughout his career Earnhardt captured 76 wins, 428 top-10 finishes and 22 poles. He went on to capture some of the Cup Series top honors with the 1979 Rookie of the Year honors and seven championships, tied for the most with Richard Petty.
As one of the greatest drivers Earnhardt was part of the first NASCAR Hall of Famers as he was inducted in 2010. He was also inducted to the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Before There Was Five Time There Was Cale Yarborough
Only a few drivers have been able to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship and one two men have been able to continue their championship ways for three consecutive seasons, one of them being Cale Yarborough.
As one of the few drivers to ever win back-to-back championships, Yarborough set himself apart from the rest of his competitors. He dominated the Cup Series from 1976 until 1978 and he held onto that record until Jimmie Johnson won his third title in 2008 and become the driver with most consecutive titles the following year.
Throughout his career Yarborough won in some of the Cup Series biggest races and even creating some unforgettable memories in between. In 562 races, he won in 83 of them. Four of those wins were wins at the Daytona 500, five at the Southern 500 including back-to-back wins in 1973 and 1974. Two other victories occurred at the Winston 500 in 1978 and 1984.
Along with his three championships Yarborough won the honor of the most popular driver in 1967.
His legendary status has been cemented as he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994 and was recently inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2012.
Welcome To The Modern Era With Mr.Five Time Jimmie Johnson
Love him of hate him Jimmie Johnson has achieved many accomplishments within his NASCAR career that who knows whether they go unbroken in the future.
Since his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 2001, Johnson has gone on to make a case of why he will be a future Hall of famer. In his time in the cup series Johnson has gone on to capture 60 wins, 166 top-five and 248 top-10 finishes within 399 career starts. Throughout his career Johnson has even won 30 poles.
Johnson currently holds the record for the most consecutive championships with five, which gave him the nickname of “five time”. The record for most consecutive titles prior to Johnson’s five there were three by Cale Yarborough.
Johnson came close to a sixth championship in 2012 but fell short at the race at Homestead. Regardless of missing out in 2012 Johnson still has plenty of time to continue to add to his career and is on his path as a future hall of famer.
Over the years many NASCAR drivers have come and gone and have left their own mark on the sport. From the past and current racers, from current and future hall of famers, some NASCAR drivers have separated themselves from the rest.
Since the birth of NASCAR and the sport’s first ever race many drivers have come and gone into the sport and several memorable moments were created over the years. From 1949 and heading into a new season into 2013 many racers have become some of the greatest NASCAR has ever seen. Many became have stated their claim to become Hall of Famers and others are well on their way to achieve that honor.
Within all these years and seasons that have gone on by five drivers have become the five greatest NASCAR drivers of all time. Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Jimmie Johnson have all set the mark on what it takes to be one of the greatest to ever race on the track.
All five drivers whether current or legend each left their own mark that will least as long as NASCAR continues to host races. Several of these drivers set records that have gone unbroken over the years. Within just two of these drivers one of them set a record years ago that one recently broke.
All five drivers have gone on to win several of the sport’s top honors and accomplishments. All five have even gone on to win some of the sport’s biggest races.
Most of these drivers even competed against each other to become some of the greatest the sport has ever seen. While most of the five drivers no longer compete their records will still be intact going into the 2013 season.