One might think that every race car driver has an extensive personal car collection consisting of only supercars and pristine autos, but that's actually not true. Many NASCAR drivers, for instance, prefer to travel in anything but style. Many NASCAR drivers opt for modest cars and trucks. Some of these pieces of junk could even be called beaters. Just because a person goes fast on the track, that doesn't mean that he or she needs to go fast on the highway.
Old pickups of all makes and models are popular with NASCAR drivers. Some like to ride around in newer but cheap models, while other NASCAR drivers prefer classic pickups that have spent their entire life hauling fence posts on the farm. Many of these old pickups are beaten up and rusted. However, for many, that's part of the charm. Some NASCAR drivers prefer rust to a fancy new coat of paint. The Toyota Camry is a popular car with NASCAR drivers both on and off the track, and some even opt for a Toyota Prius or Chevy Volt. Hybrids and eco-friendly cars are also popular with many NASCAR drivers. Tony Stewart has perhaps the weirdest beater of all NASCAR drivers. He enjoys driving around in a hearse as opposed to a fancy new muscle car.
Here's a look at 25 NASCAR drivers who drive beaters on the daily. If you were a famous NASCAR driver, would you drive around in one of these bland autos?
25 Joey Logano: Ford Econoline Van
Logano might have put a lot of work into this one, but it's still a beater. You can't really turn a Econoline van into a work of art, no matter how hard you try. Logano added a camper to his 1961 Econoline and gave it a smooth, all-white paint job. The bright green rims give this van a very unique look. However, at the end of the day, it's still an Econoline van.
It's a beater and will always be a beater.
24 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Chevy Laguna
Dale Earnhardt has a lot of very expensive classic cars in his collection. However, he has some underrated gems, too. His 1976 Chevy Laguna is a neat muscle car, but it's nothing incredibly fancy. You can buy one for pretty cheap nowadays. This car is special to Earnhardt Jr. and he enjoys driving it day to day because this was the same type of car NASCAR used many decades ago.
NASCAR fans recognize the Laguna when Earnhardt Jr. takes it out for a drive.
23 Clint Bowyer: 1934 Chevy Sedan
“I drive it every chance I get. It’s a very fun car to drive," said Clint Bowyer about his 1934 Chevy Sedan. Fancy new cars are simply not Bowyer's style. This NASCAR Driver likes to drive around old beaters like the 1934 Chevy Sedan. The only things pristine on Bowyer's rat rod are the whitewall tires. Everything else is run down and beat up.
It may look like a beater on the outside, but this rat rod can go as fast as plenty of stock cars.
22 Tony Stewart: Cadillac Hearse
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart has a very interesting car collection. It's filled with odd pieces, like a Cadillac Hearse. Stewart actually enjoys driving his hearse on a day to day basis. Perhaps there's some subconscious thinking going on considering how dangerous NASCAR driving can be sometimes. It may have been a beater to start, but Stewart turned his hearse into a party wagon.
The tricked out Caddy, which he has nicknamed Smoke DeVille, comes complete with a TV and a liquor cabinet.
21 Jimmie Johnson: Chevy Stepside
Jimmie Johnson's daily driver may look like a beater, but that's just how it looks at first glance. Johnson's vintage pickup truck isn't just any old rust bucket. Johnson loves driving his classic 1949 Chevy Stepside on the daily. The paint is peeling and it looks like a junker, but it has an incredibly powerful Corvette engine under the hood.
This is one pickup that can really move. “It looks old, but it’s very comfortable to drive around,” said Johnson.
20 Joey Logano: 1939 GMC pickup
Logano is another NASCAR star who has a love for vintage pickup trucks. Like Johnson, he has an old beater for a pickup that's actually a beast upon closer inspection. Joey Logano's 1939 GMC pickup is rusted out and beat up, but that's part of the charm. He affectionately calls his 1939 GMC pickup "Rat Rod."
Logano's Rat Rod is souped up and incredibly fast. It may look like a hunk of junk, but it's actually a speed demon.
19 Danica Patrick: Ford Expedition
Danica Patrick says she doesn't care much for collecting cars. She prefers to drive them on the track and win races. In fact, her daily driver isn't anything special at all. Patrick uses a Ford Expedition to get from point A to point B. The racing superstar doesn't even own the Ford Expedition. Instead she gets to drive it for free thanks to her sponsor Ford.
The Expedition may be a solid SUV, but it's a beater compared to the Lambo that she has sitting in her garage.
18 Kyle Busch: Toyota Camry
Legendary NASCAR driver Kyle Busch drives a quintessential beater. The Toyota Camry is about as far away from a supercar as you can get. However, the Toyota Camry is the perfect car for Busch as it's what he drives both on and off the track. He can win races in his Camry, and he can use his personal Camry to go get groceries at Wal-Mart.
Busch is very loyal to Toyota. He also has a much more elegant Lexus LFA in his garage.
17 Jeff Gordon: Chevy Tahoe
Jeff Gordon made a career out of going fast, but not every car in his personal collection is super fast. For example, one of Gordon's daily drivers is a Chevy Tahoe. That's not exactly the auto you would associate with someone who likes to go fast.
The Chevy Tahoe that Gordon drives is a hybrid, but that doesn't mean it's all that great when it comes to fuel economy. However, Gordon has much better autos in his collection. He also owns a 33 Ford 3-window coupe.
16 Matt Kenseth: Lincoln Navigator
Matt Kenseth is a NASCAR driver who prefers to keep things classy and low key when he is not on the oval. Kenseth doesn't drive a supercar or sports car day to day. Instead, he prefers to travel around in a comfortable Lincoln Navigator.
Kenseth is quite flashy on the track. He made waves in 2000 when he was named Rookie of the Year, but he prefers to travel around in something more subdued when he's out on the highway.
15 Carl Edwards: Ford Fusion Hybrid
NASCAR drivers like to stay loyal to their sponsors. That's why when Edwards was racing with Roush Fenway Racing he drive a Ford Fusion both on and off the track. He made headlines when he drove a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid 1445.7 miles on a single tank of gas.
The Ford Fusion is a great daily driver for Carl Edwards. It may not be fancy or elegant, but it gets the job done if you want to go from point A to point B.
14 Joey Logano: 2004 Ford Thunderbird
Logano has plenty of amazing cars in his personal collection, but this isn't one of them. The remake of the classic Ford T-bird doesn't have a lot of fans, but there are some people who love this forgotten auto. One of those die-hard fans is Logano's wife.
The 2004 Ford Thunderbird is actually her dream car. The T-bird seems out of place next to Logano's classic muscle cars, but it has a lot of sentimental value because Logano proposed to his wife with this car.
13 Vaughn Gittin Jr. 2004 F-150
Vaughn Gittin Jr. has made a name for himself as both a NASCAR driver and a Formula drift racer. He has amazing skills. Gittin Jr. can go fast on the oval and make just about any car go sideways. However, when he's on the open road he prefers to drive the pickup of the everyman.
He doesn't drive a fancy supercar regularly. Instead he like to take his 2004 F-150 out for a spin. Gittin Jr. loves the F-150. He even has a custom one which he uses for drifting.
12 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Chevy S10
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a very impressive collection of cars in his garage, but not every vehicle he drives day to day is a super fancy luxury car or a classic muscle car. He has quite a few beaters that he likes to drive day to day. One such beater is his Chevy S10.
Earnhardt has a fully restored S10, and he bought the 1988 pickup because it was just like the one he had when he was a kid. However, the one he had as a child was completely totaled when he crashed it.
11 Jimmie Johnson: Chevy Volt
Johnson is another NASCAR driver who stays true to his sponsors. "It's a great car to drive and uses a better alternative of power source," said Johnson of his Chevy Volt. Johnson even got to tour a Chevrolet plant to see exactly how the Volt was made. The NASCAR star enjoyed the tour and the autoworkers enjoyed getting autographs from Johnson.
As long as Johnson is on Team Chevy, you can expect him to drive a Chevy product day to day.
10 Ryan Newman: Chevy Parkwood Wagon
Ryan Newman takes a lot of pride in his 1960 Chevy Parkwood Wagon. He bought this station wagon at auction after his kids started climbing around inside the car. Newman's dad calls the Parkwood Wagon a Grandma's car, but he doesn't care. Newman enjoys taking his family out for ice cream in this beater. This is the perfect car for a family man.
It's a solid and dependable old car. The Parkwood Wagon is a far cry from the Camaro he drives on the oval.
9 Ryan Newman: Chevy C10
Ryan Newman has plenty of classic pickups in his car collection, and he likes to drive many of them on a daily basis. The C10 is one such pickup that Newman loves to take down a dusty dirt road. His C10 isn't fancy at all. However, this beater does have a lot of charm.
“It’s a farm truck. It’s not perfect. It’s got rust and a gun rack in the back. I call it a beater even though it’s not. I like it just the way it is,” said Ryan Newman. It may look like a beater, and it pretty much is except for the Turbo 350 transmission.
8 Ryan Newman: Sanford and Son F-150
Ryan Newman has a classic Ford F-150 that's almost identical to the one from the classic Norman Lear sitcom Sanford and Son. This rusted out F-150 is the epitome of a beater, but Newman still loves driving it.
It's one of the most unique pickups out there, and Newman gets a lot of compliments on this classic piece of TV memorabilia. This pickup is actually a replica, which makes it the cheapest vehicle in his collection. It's not even worth $2,000.
7 Joey Logano: 1972 Chevy Suburban
The Chevy Suburban is another beater that Joey Logano has in his garage, and he drives this one as much as the other. Logano has done next to nothing when it comes to the restoration of his 1972 Chevy Suburban. He enjoys the SUV exactly the way it is.
Logano enjoys taking leisurely Sunday drives in this old beater. Logano has some truly amazing cars in his personal collection, but he owns some vehicles just for the joy of driving.
6 Kyle Petty: Toyota Prius
Retired NASCAR driver and racing legend Kyle Petty doesn't use a fancy supercar as his daily driver. Instead the former NASCAR star prefers to drive a compact car that's great for the environment. The Toyota Prius is the exact opposite of the stock cars he used to drive during his racing career.
"For me the Prius has been a 10 all the way around," he says. "I can lay the seats down, I've got tons of room in it. You wouldn't believe the stuff I carry in it from guitars, golf clubs to just about anything else. It's funny, it feels like a much bigger car when I drive it."
5 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 1948 Chevy TK pickup
NASCAR drivers seem to have a fascination with old and rundown pickup trucks. One pickup beater that Earnhardt Jr. enjoys taking out for a drive is his 1948 Chevy truck.
"All the cars I collect are drivers", said Earnhardt. "I don't like to have any cars that are too nice to drive." Earnhardt thinks the rust and scrapes give the pickup personality. The motor is brand new, but everything else is old and beaten up, which gives the pickup personality.
4 Bubba Wallace: 2015 F-150
When he was racing in the Xfinity Series, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace used a 2015 Ford F-150 as his daily driver. It's a solid and dependable pickup. The F-150 can't go anywhere near as fast as the No. 6 Ford Mustang that he was driving on the track at the time, but it doesn't have to.
Wallace now races for team Chevy, so it's likely he's traded that Ford pickup in for a Silverado. NASCAR drivers can't get enough of pickup trucks.
3 Chase Elliot: 2015 Chevy Silverado
Chase Elliot made history when he became the first Rookie to win a National Series Championship in NASCAR. You would think winning the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship would lead him to buy a fancy sports car, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, Elliot gets his errands done while driving around in a very modest 2015 Silverado.
Maybe in the future he'll splurge on some fancy cars to add to his collection, but for now he's happy in this reliable pickup truck.
2 Daniel Suarez: Toyota Camry
NASCAR is the best thing that ever happened to the Toyota Camry. When a Camry wins a NASCAR race on a Sunday, you can bet that there are plenty of fans who head to the dealerships on the following Monday to pick one up for themselves. Daniel Suarez is one NASCAR driver who uses a Camry day to day.
When a NASCAR driver like Suarez drives a Toyota Camry regularly, that also helps with the marketing of the car. Toyota owes a lot to NASCAR.
1 Daniel Suarez: Volkswagen Beetle
His modest Toyota Camry may be what Suarez drives day to day, but he does own another car. This one is a true beater. He drove his classic Beetle all the way up from Mexico when he came to the U.S.A. to be a NASCAR driver. The old Beetle kept moving along the highways and dirt roads despite nearly breaking down multiple times during the long journey.
The Beetle may be a beater, but it can withstand long road trips across the border.
Sources: MSN, Autoblog, Autoevolution, Jalopnik, Racingnews, Motortrend