NASCAR is celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary all through the 2023 season.
In 1998, NASCAR had a board choose a listing of its 50 best drivers to rejoice its golden anniversary.
Likewise, we’re in growth We determined to compile our record of the 75 Best NASCAR Drivers in honor of this 12 months’s milestone. 17 of our writers participated within the number of the 75 drivers, and we are going to launch 4 to seven drivers from that record every weekday for the subsequent three weeks.
Just like the record in 1998, this record just isn’t a rating of the highest 75 drivers. As an alternative, we have damaged the record down into classes, with a brand new class launched every day (see full record under). Inside these classes, drivers are listed in alphabetical order.
Subsequent: Technology X stars.
Trifectas exist for most of the likes in NASCAR, however Greg Biffle could have probably the most distinctive: He earned championship titles, Most Beneficial Driver and Rookie of the Yr titles within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection and Craftsman Truck as he moved up the ranks of the game.
As soon as within the NASCAR Cup Collection, Biffle drove full-time for 13 seasons, recording 19 wins for Roush Racing on the premier NASCAR stage. Within the decrease collection, his stats are simple: 20 Xfinity wins, 17 Truck victories and enviable High 10 statistics: 149 High 10s in 244 appearances within the first, 55 High 10s in 83 begins within the second.
Biffle has gained two Southern 500s, claiming the duo’s crown jewel win in consecutive years; The primary of these got here in six wins, 21 high 10 makes an attempt in 2005, which propelled the No. 16 into second place within the standings.
Plus, as former Roush driver and motion recreation legend Travis Pastrana prepares to return to NASCAR, Biffle has completed his personal tasks in reverse: IROC, the 24 Hours of Daytona, Stadium Tremendous Vehicles, and the Tenting World SRX Collection are all CV factors.
Most not too long ago, the much-heralded return to the Truck Collection got here in 2019 with Kyle Busch Motorsports at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle led twice for 18 laps and gained the rattling factor. Age just isn’t detrimental to age now 53 years outdated. Adam Chick
Carl Edwards, a former substitute instructor from Columbia, Mo., took competitors to highschool throughout a NASCAR profession that spanned 15 years and included 72 wins throughout the three NASCAR Nationwide Tour Collection, with 28 wins within the NASCAR Cup Collection, 38 within the NASCAR Xfinity Collection, and 6 within the NASCAR Collection. NASCAR Craftsman Vehicles.
Edwards began 2002 with Roush, making seven truck begins with one top–
10 at his house monitor at Kansas Speedway. When Roush cut up from Jeff Burton in mid-2004, 25-year-old Edwards all of the sudden discovered himself within the Cup Collection, with a third-place end at Atlanta Motor Speedway and 5 top-10 finishes in 13 races in 2004.
Edwards rallied in his first full-time season in 2005, edging out Jimmie Johnson for his first profession win at Atlanta, one in every of 4 on his solution to third in factors. Edwards’ profitable season got here in 2008, when he led the Cup Collection with an astonishing 9 journeys to victory lane, ending second within the standings to Johnson.
Edwards is taken into account one of many best drivers by no means to win a Cup championship, ending within the high 5 in factors six occasions in his 12 full-time seasons (2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016). The closest of those calls occurred in 2011 when he tied on factors with Tony Stewart however misplaced by way of tie-breaker for many wins in a season, profitable simply as soon as to Stewart’s 5.
In January 2017, Edwards shocked the NASCAR world by retiring from seemingly NASCAR competitors in his prime, simply two months after a season with 3 wins and 4 championship appearances in 2016. He hasn’t returned since. Andrew Stoddard
Denny Hamlin, a Cup veteran coming into his 18th full-time season, grew to become him
The figurehead driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, the identical crew he competed for his complete Cup profession.
Hamlin started racing automobiles on the age of 16 and gained his first pole and race in his first begin at Langley Speedway. After profitable greater than 30 mixed late mannequin races in 2002 and 2003, Hamlin was signed by JGR as a improvement driver in 2004.
The Chesterfield, Virginia racer impressed early with a high 10 end within the first NASCAR Xfinity Collection begin at Darlington Raceway in 2004. The next 12 months, not solely did Hamlin run full-time within the Class II collection, he had 11 high 10 finishes and completed fifth within the standings, and likewise competed in seven JGR Cup races after Jason Leffler was let go close to the top of the season. Throughout that point, it’s
He earned three high 10s and a pole at Phoenix Raceway within the No. 11 FedEx automobile—the identical trip he drives to today.
On the 2006 Rookie’s Cup, Hamlin swept each Pocono Raceway wins and completed third in factors, incomes him Rookie of the Yr honors.
4 years later, Hamlin was having a breakout season. With a career-best eight wins in a 12 months, he entered the ultimate race with a 15-point lead over Jimmie Johnson, solely lacking out on the title after an early spin value him his probability.
With a whopping 48 wins, together with three Daytona 500 victories, 312 high 10 finishes, and eight high 5 championships, Hamlin is statistically one of many best drivers to not win a Cup.
A minimum of not but. Dalton Hopkins
Tapped to exchange Invoice Elliott within the Cup Collection in 2004, Casey Kahne emerged into the early stage of NASCAR as a relative unknown. Nonetheless, it did not take lengthy for followers to change into conscious of him.
Enumclow, Wash,. Countryman frolicked with Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports, Pink Bull Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Leavine Household Racing over 15 seasons.
After profitable the 2004 Rookie of the Yr Award within the No. 9 Dodge at Evernham, Kahne lastly obtained his first win at Richmond Raceway in 2005 after scoring six second-place finishes. That carried over into the 2006 season which noticed him win a number one six races. Throughout that season, he gained his first Coca-Cola 600, a race he conquered thrice to tie him for the third most 600 wins. In 2008, he grew to become the primary and thus far solely driver to win after being voted on by followers.
His first season with Hendrick noticed him instantly vie for a championship, incomes his fourth profession factors end. Priest’s race in Hendrick has seen him win six races and make the qualifier 4 occasions, together with an excellent last win within the chaotic 2017 Brickyard 400.
Kahne’s success additionally expanded past the cup stage. He gained eight races within the Xfinity Collection and almost set an ideal NASCAR Craftsman Truck Collection report, profitable 5 of his six begins.
Kahne needed to retire at cup stage in the course of the 2018 season resulting from dehydration points. Nonetheless, this and his under-the-radar persona mustn’t overshadow his success, as he has a report of 18 Cup wins, 93 high fives, 176 high 10s, 27 poles and 4678 laps.
The 42-year-old continues to supervise and race for Kasey Kahne Racing within the World of Outlaws, a five-time champion group. – Lookin Glover
Often called the Rocket Man for his engineering background and qualifying prowess, Ryan Newman was among the finest Cup drivers of the 2000s.
In 20 full-time Cup seasons, Newman has visited victory lane 18 occasions with 117 top-5 video games and 268 top-10 begins in 725 profession begins. His 51 profession poles rank him ninth all-time in Cup historical past.
A local of Rushville, Indiana, Newman’s profession peaked throughout his first seven seasons with Staff Penske, driving the No. 12 ALLTEL Ford. He completed within the high ten in factors in every of his first three seasons.
Throughout his rookie marketing campaign in 2002, Newman earned his first profession win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and beat future seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson to seize the Rookie of the Yr Trophy honors.
Newman’s highest win complete got here in 2003, capturing eight flags and ending sixth within the standings. He adopted that up with a two-win season in 2004 and have become one of many ten drivers within the inaugural qualifier.
In 2008, Newman started his last season with Penske, including a
Daytona 500 wins on his racing resume.
After his Penske years, Newman went on to drive for 3 extra groups. From 2009-2013, Newman joined Tony Stewart on the newly created Stewart-Haas Racing, taking one win in every season from 2010-2013, most notably scoring the 2013 Brickyard 400.
From 2014-2018, Newman was behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 Chevrolet. In 2014, regardless of not profitable, Newman clinched a spot within the first ever Tour 4, ending 2nd behind Kevin Harvick. His solely win with RCR got here at Phoenix Raceway in 2017.
In 2019, Newman moved to the No. 6 Ford of Roush Fenway Racing and spent his last three seasons there. He went winless with Roush, his most memorable second with the crew was the harm in a final lap wreck on the 2020 Daytona 500, he missed the subsequent 4 races.
Newman will all the time be remembered for his longevity within the sport and for being among the finest gamers ever to make the playoffs. -like
growthNASCAR’s 75 Best Drivers
The tenth technology
Heroes of the 2000s and past
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Masters of modifications
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He left early
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Stars of the sixties and seventies
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Stars of the eighties and nineties
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Stars from 1949-1960
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Cranes of all trades
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