Top 5 Nicknames In NASCAR Today
Five Coolest NASCAR Nicknames
In NASCAR, anybody who's anybody has a nickname. The drivers, crew members, crew chiefs, car owners and even some members of the media have one. They've been a major part of NASCAR since its inception in the late 1940s. Fireball Roberts, the Intimidator, the King, the Rapid Roman, and Awesome Bill From Dawsonville are a few of the most well-known nicknames in the sport.
Some people, such as Fireball, Smokey Yunick, Red Byron and Tiny Lund are known only by their nicknames by most, and few could actually tell you their real forenames. Nicknames aren't just associated with individuals either. Jeff Gordon's pit crew was once known as "the Rainbow Warriors" while Matt Kenseth's DeWalt crew was commonly referred to as "the Killer Bees." Race cars themselves are even given nicknames such as Darrell Waltrip's "Big Bertha" and the infamous "T-Rex" car that Gordon once obliterated the competition with until NASCAR forced Hendrick Motorsports to retire the machine.
When it comes to NASCAR today, nicknames are still very much a part of the sport. This list consists only of current NASCAR drivers who plan to participate in the 2014 season. Before we get to the slideshow though, here's some honorable mentions:
Jeff "The Mayor" Burton, A.J. "The Dinger" Allmendinger, Rocket-man Ryan Newman, "Kyle "Young Money" Larson, Jimmie "Six-Time" Johnson, Greg "Da Bif" Biffle, "Kansas" Clint Bowyer, Cousin Carl Edwards, Matt "The Brat" Kenseth and of course, everyone's favorite ... Mark "Epic Swag" Martin.
Nick DeGroot is a Contributing Writer for Rant Sports NASCAR. Connect With Him on Twitter @ndegroot89
5. Kevin Harvick - The Closer
Kevin Harvick earned his nickname from his uncanny ability to always show up out of nowhere in the closing laps of races and at the end of the season when the title is on the line. He always hangs back, just out of the picture, until it's time to pounce. One of his most famous runs to the front was in the 2007 Daytona 500. He was outside the top-five with just a single lap remaining and Fox Sports announcer Darrell Waltrip was counting him out. By the time the field entered the final corner though, he was door-to-door with Mark Martin for the win and emerged victorious as the field wrecked violently behind him.
4. Marcos Ambrose - The Tasmanian Devil
Marcos Ambrose got his nickname in part due to where he was born (Launceston, Tasmania) and because of his fierce, ruthless driving style on the track. He was crowned the Australian V8 Supercar champion in both 2003 and 2004 before he made his way to America. In NASCAR, he's won multiple races at both the Cup and Nationwide levels and continues to drive to this day, well, like a Tasmanian Devil.
3. Kurt Busch - The Outlaw
Kurt Busch's nickname is one that's relatively new compared to the others on this list, but it suits him very well. Kurt's pugnacious attitude when aggravated and his rather tumultuous 2011 and 2012 seasons are what earned him the title of "the Outlaw." When confronted, Kurt isn't afraid to speak his mind and has never been known to walk away from a fight. He was fired from both Roush-Fenway Racing and Team Penske due to his conduct but to be fair, his demeanor has improved tremendously since 2012. The outlaw persona still fits him well though and has stuck to this day.
2. Kyle Busch - Rowdy
Yes, both the Busch brothers found their way onto my list. Kyle Busch has been known as "Rowdy" or "Rowdy Busch" for quite some time now. It comes from his personality and driving style, which mirrors that of the Days of Thunder movie character Rowdy Burns. It's a name he's lived up to on more than one occasion both on and off the race track.
1. Tony Stewart - Smoke
"Smoke" is one of the most iconic nicknames in NASCAR today. People started to call Tony Stewart "Smoker" because he had a habit of smoking the right rear tire in his early open-wheel days. When he got to Indycar, he kept blowing his engines and the name "Smoker" evolved into "Smoke." Now, he's just known for smoking the field and then his tires while celebrating, which happens on a fairly regular basis.