The world of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) has always been full of excitement. After all, it’s a race full of legendary drivers. Imagine seeing them zoom through 36 races on as many as 22 different race tracks, some of which are D-shaped or oval. Here, anything can happen. Hence, you need to have an awesome car, driver and pit crew.
Started way back in 1948, it showcases three exciting top series regularly, including the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series. In today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup, you see race cars that are based on the well-loved food door American made cars. As ThoughtCo notes, cars that are currently eligible in this cup include the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. Powering these cars up on the track is a 358 cubic inch V8 engine.
Now, you can keep learning about NASCAR in general or you can get in on the excitement by watching the races during the weekend. Before you do that though, you may also want to pick some of your favorite drivers already. This way, you would have a much better idea of who to cheer for. To help you with that, here’s a look at some of the best NASCAR drivers of all time along with the ones who clearly can’t drive.
25 Best - Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti is a car racing legend who hails from Montona, Italy. According to Biography, Andretti’s family moved to the United States at the end of World War II. Soon as they arrived, Andretti became involved in auto racing. After all, Andretti and his twin brother, Aldo, had idolized driver Alberto Ascari growing up.
In the beginning, Andretti participated in races with Aldo. However, injuries would eventually force Aldo to retire and so, Andretti continued racing on his own. He joined midget and new sprint car races. He also became a U.S. Auto Club member on the same year that he became a citizen. Soon after, he won his first Indy Car race in 1965, according to his website.
Throughout his career, Andretti won the Indy Car National Championship four times. He was also named the Driver of the Year during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Meanwhile, the Associated Press named Andretti the Driver of the Century in 2000.
Andretti also has a special auto racing claim to fame that no other driver can match. That is, he is the only driver in motorsports to have ever achieved victories in the Daytona 500, Indy 500 as well as Formula One.
24 Best - Bobby Allison
Bobby Allison has long been recognized as one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers. Born in Miami, Florida in 1937, Allison started racing when he was just a senior in high school. According to his website, Allison had to head to Alabama to pursue the sport and he brought his brother Donnie along to serve as his only pit crew member. Luckily for these men, things turned out well for them quickly. In fact, Allison started winning as early as the second week that they were in Alabama. The win came during a race at the Montgomery Speedway.
Over the years, Allison would go on to amass a significant number of racing victories. In total, he has achieved 717 wins across various divisions. These include NASCAR, Indy, later models, modified, dirt, ice, Busch, Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA),
International Race of Champions (IROC) and the United States Auto Club (USAC).
Allison had also managed to win the Winston Cup 85 times, although only 84 wins are being officially recognized by NASCAR. Meanwhile, he was also named the NASCAR Winston Cup Champion in 1983. Aside from that, he had also won the 1988 Daytona 500 where he raced alongside his son Davy.
23 Best - Darrell Waltrip
According to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Darrell Waltrip made his way to Owensboro, Kentucky to challenge some of the established stars in NASCAR. And when he did, he also made sure nobody would forget his name anytime soon.
Throughout this career, Waltrip won three NASCAR titles, all of which he achieved while driving for Junior Johnson. He also achieved 59 poles and was named the Driver of the Year in 1979, 1981 and 1982. Indeed, Waltrip kept on winning that he eventually became the first ever driver to win $10 million in the races. He would go on to finish his career with as much as $20 million in earnings.
Aside from that, Waltrip was also named the Driver of the Decade during the 1980s. Meanwhile, he was also named the Most Popular Driver twice. And in 2000, Waltrip was named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
Overall, Waltrip has achieved a remarkable 84 career wins, effectively putting him in a tie with Allison. Both men currently rank third on NASCAR’s prestigious all-time win list.
Today, Waltrip serves as a Fox Network NASCAR analyst. He had also become a team owner in the NASCAR Craftman Truck Series.
22 Best - Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon is another NASCAR legend with several championships under his belt. Born in 1971, Gordon started competing in auto racing when he was only five years old. Just a year later at age six, Gordon won 35 main events while managing to set as many as five track records. Clearly, he had talent and eventually, this would lead him to NASCAR.
According to Biography, Gordon got the opportunity to race for Hugh Connerty at the 1990 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. He soon became popular in the racing world because of his impressive driving skills. In fact, Gordon received a Rookie of the Year award. He would also go on to be named the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 1993.
Throughout his career, Gordon would become the NASCAR Cup Series Champion during the 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001 seasons. He would also go on to achieve 93 career NASCAR cup victories and 81 career poles. Meanwhile, Gordon also has three Daytona 500 wins and five Brickyard 400 wins.
Today, Gordon still holds the record for nine Road Course victories and 12 Restrictor-Plate victories. Back in 2015, Gordon had announced that he was stepping down from racing full-time.
21 Best - Kyle Busch
Kyle “Rowdy” Busch is a current NASCAR driver that’s remained impressive season after season. Born in 1985, Busch unofficially started driving when he was only six years old, according to his official website. Back then, he only drove a makeshift go-kart. Soon enough, it became clear that Busch belonged in motorsports, much like his brother Kurt.
According to Biography, Busch was still a junior in high school when he decided to make his debut at the NASCAR Truck Series in 2001. In time, he got noticed and team owner Rick Hendrick decided to put the young Busch behind the wheel of the #5 Chevy. He was apparently chosen to replace two-time cup champion Terry Labonte at that time. After that, it wasn’t long before Busch started making a mark in NASCAR.
So far in his career, Busch has already won an impressive 43 races in the NASCAR Cup Series. According to NASCAR, he also holds the all-time record for Xfinity Series career wins with 91 victories. He also has 46 career wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and 50 career wins in the Truck Series. Overall, his combined wins across the NASCAR top three series now total 187.
20 Best - Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth is a leading race car driver who is currently driving the No. 20 Toyota Camry for the Joe Gibbs Racing team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Born in Cambridge, Wisconsin, Kenseth once made an agreement with his father that he would work on a car until he was old enough to race it. That car turned out to be a 1981 Camaro and Kenseth drove it to the championships at the Columbus 151 and Madison Speedway.
Over the years, Kenseth gained valuable racing experience. At first, he raced on various Wisconsin short tracks. He then made his way to various touring series such as the American Speed Association, Hooters Later Model, and ARTGO. After this, Kenseth got a full-time ride in NASCAR Busch Series, which was later named the Xfinity Series.
Throughout his career in NASCAR, Kenseth has achieved 29 wins in the Xfinity series. He was also named the Rookie of the Year back in 2000. Meanwhile, Kenseth was named the champion in 2003 and the following year, he also won the IROC championship.
Today, Kenseth has a total of 39 career wins, according to NASCAR. He has also won the Daytona 500 race two times.
19 Best - Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. is a current NASCAR driver for the Furniture Row Racing team. He competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Born in 1980, Truex started his racing career by competing in various go-kart races in his hometown of Mayetta, New Jersey as a child. Soon, he successfully transitioned to modified cars. Around this time, he became a part-time racer in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Clearly, he did quite well here, so much so that he caught the eye of Dale Earnhardt Inc. The company soon signed Truex in 2004 and put him in one of their Xfinity Series race cars.
During the 2004 season, Truex went on to win the Xfinity Series championship. He continued to be competitive on the track and won the 2005 Xfinity Series championship. After that, Truex graduated to full-time status and made his way to the NASCAR Cup Series during the 2006 season. Before he joined Furniture Row Racing in 2014, he managed to take home two Cup victories.
So far, Truex has achieved as many as 16 career wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, according to NASCAR. He was also named the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series champion.
18 Best - Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart is a legendary race car driver who remains active in NASCAR today. Born in 1971, he is known to be the only driver in motorsports history to have won a championship in both NASCAR and IndyCar, according to motorsport.com.
Over the years, Stewart has scored several impressive racing achievements. He became the USAC National Midget Series champion in 1994 and a USAC Triple Crown champion in 1995. Meanwhile, he also became the Indy Racing League champion in 1997. Around the same time, Stewart also received the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award in 1996. Aside from that, he was also named the Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 1999.
Moving on to more series championships, Stewart was named the Winston Cup Series Champion in 2002. He then became the Nextel Cup Series Champion in 2005 and the Sprint Cup Series Champion in 2011. In addition, Stewart also won the Brickyard 400 in 2005 and 2007. He also went on to win the Budweiser Shootout in 2001, 2002 and 2007.
Today, Stewart owns and drives No. 14 Chevrolet SS car in the Sprint Cup Series. He is also the owner of the NASCAR team Stewart-Haas Racing.
17 Best - Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson is undoubtedly one of the greatest NASCAR legends around. Johnson happens to be a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, it’s an all-time record that he proudly shares with the likes of Earnhardt St. and Richard Petty. It’s no wonder that Associated Press has once named Johnson the Male Athlete of the Year. Meanwhile, Forbes has also ranked him 93 in the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list for 2017. His earnings are estimated at $21.8 million so far.
Born in 1975, Johnson had always known that he wanted to rice. However, it was initially motorcycles that attracted him. In fact, he won a 60cc class local track championship when he was just eight years old, according to his official website. After that, he moved on to racing buggies and trucks. Soon after, he competed in the American Speed Association (ASA) in 1998, which then led him to compete in NASCAR.
Throughout his career so far, Johnson has already achieved 34 poles, 341 top ten finishes and 83 total wins. You can be sure that he is not yet done adding to his victories. Johnson is currently in his 17th full season. Expect to see him on the track in NASCAR.
16 Best - Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick is a NASCAR racing great who continues to impress spectators to this day. Born in 1975, Harvick made his debut in NASCAR at the Camping World Truck series back in 1995. He then kept on racing as he started picking up several wins.
Over the years Harvick has had several notable racing achievements. In 1998, he was named the Winston West Series Champion. He also became the Busch Series Champion in 2001 and later on in 2006. Meanwhile, Harvick was named the 2002 IROC champion and the Sprint Cup Series Champion later on in 2014.
At the same time, Harvick went on to win the Brickyard 400 in 2003, the Daytona 500 in 2007 and the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge in 2007. He also achieved four consecutive race wins at the Phoenix International Raceway from 2013 to 2015. Meanwhile, he also won the Coca-Cola 600 race in 2011 and 2013.
Today, Harvick is a full-time driver for the Stewart-Haas Racing team. Catch him during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. According to motorsport.com, Harvick also drives the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro for the JR Motorsports team at the NASCAR Xfinity Series. However, this is subject to a limited schedule.
15 Best - Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Dale Earnhardt has always been considered one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. Born in 1951, Earnhardt was inspired to start car racing since his father, Ralph Earnhardt, was a race car driver himself. He had the skills after all and NASCAR fans would know it soon too.
According to Biography, he proudly took NASCAR’s Rookie of the Year award back in 1979. That year, he also won the Southeastern 500 race in Bristol, Tennessee. Meanwhile, during his second season, Earnhardt managed to win the Winston Cup championship. He would go on to have 76 exciting race wins in total. He would also win the Daytona 500.
Soon, everybody going to the races knew Earnhardt’s name. Not only that, they have come to call him the “Intimidator.” This is because of the aggressive way he always attacks the race in his car. For Earnhardt though, this strategy worked extremely well. In fact, he became the very first driver to top $30 million in race career earnings.
Unfortunately, racing would also prove to be Earnhardt’s demise. In 2001, he was killed while competing in the Daytona 500. His car had flown into a wall and he died on impact.
14 Best - Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Based on the name itself, you may have already guessed that Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a third-generation race car driver. Born in 1974, Earnhardt Jr. was a natural behind the wheel from the very beginning. Clearly, he inherited the Earnhardt DNA as far as competitive driving was concerned. At the same time, this is one race car driver that has been full of charisma. In fact, race fans have selected him as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver for as many as 14 consecutive times. According to his website, he has also been named one of America’s Top 10 Favorite Athletes, which typically includes the likes of Peyton Manning, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.
Indeed, Earnhardt Jr. was just as successful in NASCAR racing as his father. By 2016, he had already secured as many as 26 career victories, putting him on a tied 29th spot on NASCAR’s all-time race winners list. Moreover, he has also won the Daytona 500 twice and has managed to qualify for NASCAR playoffs eight times over the years.
In 2017, Earnhardt Jr. announced that the 2017 season would be his last. “I just wanted the opportunity to go out on my own terms,” he explained.
13 Worst - Brett Bodine
Even to many NASCAR fans today, the name Brett Bodine may still be familiar. After all, this former NASCAR driver typically drives the pace car during Sunday afternoons. Indeed, he actively maintains a close relationship with his former sport. Racing means a lot to him especially since race car driving runs in the family.
You can say that Bodine has been around the track for most of his life. According to a report from motorsport.com, Bodine’s father owned and operated the Chemung Speedrome, a race track that's strategically located in Chemung, New York. Meanwhile, Bodine’s brother, Geoff, was involved in racing and Bodine tried to learn as much as he could from him. “Our dad owned the speedway, but I really learned about racing from being around my uncles and of course following Geoff around and learning from him,” he remarked.
Eventually, Bodine went on to enter NASCAR. However, he did not get to score as many wins and points as other drivers on the track. According to Racing Reference Info, Bodine only had one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win throughout his 18-year career. He also only has five Xfinity Series wins and zero Camping World Truck Series wins.
12 Worst - Lake Speed
You could say that Lake Speed was a man who suffered a lot of misfortune when he was still actively driving in NASCAR from 1980 to 1998. Just like many others though, things were looking up for Speed before his racing career took a turn for the worst.
Back when he was competing in karting, Speed managed to win six championships. As far as NASCAR wins go, however, Speed’s number are rather dismal. According to Racing Reference Info, Speed only managed to secure a single win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series throughout his 19-year career. He also never won a single race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Speed decided to give up racing soon after he turned 51. It was a serious accident during his last season that convinced him that it was time to retire. “This is a God thing, as far as I'm concerned. He knew the only way He was gonna stop me from racing was probably to put that concrete barrier in front of me and break me up, so that I had to stop,” the former NASCAR driver remarked according to NASCAR Driver of the Day.
11 Worst - Dick Brooks
In the beginning, things were looking up for Dick Brooks as far as NASCAR was concerned. Born in 1942 in Porterville, California, Brooks was named the NASCAR Rookie of the Year back in 1969. Just several years later in 1973, he won the Talladega 500. After that though, things pretty much declined for Brooks.
According to Race Reference Info, the Talladega 500 win was the only win that Brooks ever recorded in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Meanwhile, Brooks also failed to win a race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
On the other hand, there are several records of Brooks participating in the Daytona 500 qualifying races. The highest finish he ever accomplished was second in 1975.
Overall, Brooks participated in 358 races throughout his NASCAR career. Although he rarely won, he had managed to accomplish four top ten point finishes, 150 top ten finishes, and 57 top five finishes. Legend of NASCAR reports that he only led in the points standing once. His total career earning was estimated at around $1.2 million.
After his retirement, Brooks served took on the role of a NASCAR sportscaster briefly. He passed away on February 1, 2006, due to pneumonia.
10 Worst - Bobby Hillin Jr.
If you think about it, Bobby Hillin Jr. is a rather accomplished former NASCAR driver. After all, he had been the youngest driver in NASCAR’s entire history to win at the Superspeedway. Unfortunately, though, he did not remain in winning form throughout the rest of his career.
Like some of the other NASCAR drivers, Hillin grew up in the racing life. According to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website, Hillin’s father was the one that fielded Longhorn racing. Hence, Hillin spent a good part of his childhood surrounded by his father’s very own team.
Despite trying his best, however, Hillin’s career results are rather dismal. While he may have gone on racing for 17 years, Hillin only managed a single win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, according to Racing Reference Info. Meanwhile, he only had two wins in the 15 years that he raced in the Xfinity Series.
Hillin had retired from racing professionally back in 2000. Today, he is busy managing T-Rex Engineering & Construction, LC, a company which he had co-founded in 1986, according to records from Bloomberg. Hillin currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Things did not turn out so bad for him after all.
9 Worst - James Hylton
According to NASCAR, Hylton started in the sport in the Sportsman ranks. Utilizing his automotive knowledge, he took on mechanic jobs alongside some NASCAR Hall of Famers. For quite some time, he worked as part of Ned Jarrett’s crew. In 1966 though, he gave driving a try.
After purchasing a 1965 Dodge from car builder Cotton Owens, Hylton started racing and quickly became the top rookie in the series. He was described as an “independent driver-owner” who managed to make 20 top five finishes and 41 starts during his debut year in driving. Despite his potential though, Hylton’s racing career would become lackluster.
In the 32 years that Hylton raced in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, he only managed to win two races. Furthermore, records from Racing Reference Info also show that Hylton failed to win any race in Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Moreover, he also failed to score any wins in the ARCA racing series.
Hylton passed away recently in April 2018. According to a report from People, the former NASCAR racing driver and his son, James Jr., after their truck crashed on the road. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
8 Worst - Johnny Benson Jr.
From the very beginning, you can say that Johnny Benson Jr. was inspired to get into motorsports. After all, his father was none other than professional race car driver John Benson Sr.
In the beginning, things seemed to be looking up. After all, he was also named the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 1996, according to Famous Birthdays. As years went on, however, it became clear that Benson couldn’t win as many races as he’d like.
According to records from Racing Reference Info, Benson only won a single race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. On the other hand, he had much better luck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, taking home a grand total of 14 wins. Meanwhile, he won three races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and one race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Although Benson’s career in NASCAR may be less than impressive, that doesn’t mean he left the sport empty handed. In fact, Net Worth Post estimates Benson’s current net worth at around $12 million. His profession is also currently listed as an actor, having reportedly appeared in the film “Inspiration Point.” Indeed, that is not bad at all.
7 Worst - Casey Mears
Like several NASCAR drivers, Casey Mears’ interest in auto racing also grew because of his family background. “My Grandpa and Dad are the reason I have a passion for racing. They are great people to go during racings highs and lows,” Mears wrote on his official website.
Today, Mears’ race career stretches over a decade. Unfortunately though, Mears doesn’t have as many wins as other drivers. According to Racing Reference Info, Mears had only managed one win across all 488 races that he competed in at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Meanwhile, he also only won one race in the Xfinity Series. On the other hand, Mears faired slightly better in the ARCA Racing Series, winning three out of six.
Back in December 2017, it was revealed that Mears was going to be competing part-time in NASCAR for the 2018 season. According to a report from NBC Sports, the veteran driver is also looking forward to competing in the Stadium Super Trucks and Global Rallycross series. “Right now I’m talking to a few NASCAR programs to do maybe limited stuff. I don’t have anything that would be a full-time ride in a NASCAR series,” Mears explained during an interview.
6 Worst - Greg Sacks
When it came to the open wheel modified circuit, Greg Sacks had game. According to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his team managed to win 28 of the 38 races they entered in 1982. They even won two stretches of 11 races in a row. Indeed, Sacks had much talent and much promise. And at this point in his career, he had his eye on the Indianapolis 500 racing event.
Suddenly, opportunity came. “I was looking for a sponsor for a Winston Cup team, and he called back and asked if I’d like to compete in the ‘500’ in one of Pat Patrick’s cars. There wasn’t an actual offer, so I don’t know, but we had made a family investment in the stock car series and I decided to pursue the higher levels of NASCAR,” Sacks explained.
Once he made into NASCAR, Sacks stayed for a good number of years. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite capitalize on the racing opportunities. According to Racing Reference Info, Sacks only managed one win in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Xfinity Series. He achieved zero wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series East, Southwest Series, and Whelen Modified Tour.
5 Worst - Jimmy Spencer
Jimmy Spencer is a retired NASCAR racing driver who kept on competing until he was 48 years old. Spencer used to go by the name “Mr. Excitement” and he hung out with the likes of Earnhardt Sr. and the late NASCAR Chairman, Bill France Jr.
According to data from the Racing Reference Info, the most wins that Spencer ever had in NASCAR was when he competed at the Whelen Modified Tour. Of the 90 races he participated in here, he managed to win as many as 15.
At the same time, he had a number of race wins in the Xfinity Series. Here, he managed to win 12 of the 211 races he entered. Meanwhile, he also won two of the 478 races he joined in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as well as two of the 13 races he participated in at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Spencer also had one win in the Camping World Truck Series. On the other hand, he failed to win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and North Tour.
According to a report from NBC back in 2017, Spencer is now a happily retired man who enjoys being a grandfather.
4 Worst - Lennie Pond
Lennie Pond was a former NASCAR driver who was born in Ettrick, VA in 1940. His career in the sport was promising at first and even managed to be awarded Rookie of the Year back in 1973. Prior to that, he also became a five-time Late Model champion in the Virginia short tracks. Unfortunately, the rest of his career would become lackluster.
According to data from Racing Reference Info, Pond entered 234 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. However, he only won one. It was the Talladega 500 back in 1978. On the other hand, Pond also participated in several Daytona 500 qualifying races. However, his highest finish was only third place.
Pond passed away in 2016 due to complications to cancer, according to Legends of NASCAR. He was 75. Following his death, Earnhardt Jr. expressed sadness over the loss of a long-time fixture in the sport. “Prayers for the family of racer Lennie Pond who passed away from complications with cancer. Lucky to have raced with him once. 1973 Cup ROY,” he tweeted. Meanwhile, NASCAR broadcaster Mike Joy tweeted, “Very sad. Great competitor, truly one of the nicest guys in racing. Corvette guy, loved talking cars & racing.”
3 Worst - Derrick Cope
Today, Derrick Cope has one of the longest career runs in NASCAR. Born in San Diego, California, Cope competed in short track events before making his debut at the Winston Cup Series in 1982. During the race, he won a cool $625, according to a report from motorsport.com. Unfortunately though, he would only score just a few more wins.
So far, Cope has been competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for 31 series, participating in 425 races. Of these races, he has only managed to win two, with both occurring in 1990. One of these wins was at the Daytona 500.
Today, Cope continues to drive in NASCAR. As confirmed by The Drive recently, Cope took over the additional Dover entry car during the AAA Drive for Autism 400 earlier this month. At the moment, Cope is also serving as a team manager for the StarCom Racing team. “I have been consumed with the team manager duties up to this point but am excited to get back into the StarCom Fiber 99 Chevrolet, and especially at Dover, one of my favorite tracks,” Cope remarked. Cope also competed during the final races of the 2017 NASCAR season.
2 Worst - Ron Bouchard
Born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Ron Bouchard started racing back in 1963. He immediately became a racing star in New England after he won championships in various modified and late model divisions. And then in 1981, team owner Jack Beebe and his crew chief Bob Johnson decided it was time to bring Bouchard to NASCAR. That same year, Bouchard managed to win the Talladega 500 race and was also named the Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, he would not get as many race wins after this.
According to data from the Racing Reference Info, Talladega 500 would be Bouchard’s only race win at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series despite the 160 races he entered. Meanwhile, he managed to win two of the 20 races that he had joined in the Xfinity Series. On the other hand, Bouchard failed to win races at the NASCAR North Tour.
Bouchard passed away in 2015 while surrounded by his family. He was 67. Following his death, former NASCAR driver Waltrip tweeted “sad to hear about the passing of Ron Bouchard, he was a heck of a race car driver and a friend to many in the modified series, RIP my friend.”
1 Worst - Elmo Langley
Elmo Langley was one of the few NASCAR participants who was both car owner and driver. Back in 1966, he decided to partner up with Henry Woodfield to create the Langley-Woodfield Racing team. That year proved to be a lucky one for the racing veteran, as he recorded two race wins. Sadly, those would be the only ones that he would achieve throughout his relatively long racing career.
According to data from Racing Reference Info, Langley participated in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series from 1954 to 1981. Overall, he competed in as many as 535 races but only ended up with the two wins he scored in 1966. Meanwhile, he also participated in as many as seven races in the NASCAR Convertible Series but failed to win in any of them. Similarly, his Daytona 500 qualifying race results were also rather dismal. His best finish was 19th place.
Langley would go on to serve as a NASCAR pace car driver from 1989 to 1996, according to Legends of NASCAR. As NASCAR prepared for an exhibition race in Suzuka City, Japan that year, Langley suffered a heart attack while driving a pace car. He later passed away at the hospital.
Sources: nascar.com, biography.com, legendsofnascar.com