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Top 25 Drivers Of All Time - ESPN

Old 5/23/08, 10:12 PM
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Less competition on a slightly less level playing field. Dale could will a car across the finish line, besides he's the Intimidator not just the King. Don't get me wrong Petty is great but I would give the edge to Earnhardt. I would also give the edge over Earnhardt to Senna he was good, crazy dominant good on a very tough circuit.
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Old 5/23/08, 10:26 PM
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Back in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s many drivers didn't had factory support and big sponsors like today which is pretty much why I respect a lot more guys like Pearson (who drove for Wood Brothers throughout 1970s without any factory support) than any of modern drivers, including Earnhardt.
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Old 5/23/08, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Star View Post
Can anyone explain it to me then why is Dale Earnhardt in front of Richard Petty?

Statistically Petty is waaaaay better than Earnhardt.
The problem is that Petty's statistics are skewed by the huge differences between classic and modern NASCAR, so you can't just go by the numbers. Personally, I think he and DE are pretty close 1,2 or 2,1 possibly interchangeably.
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Old 5/24/08, 08:23 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Evil_Capri View Post
Yarborough is on the list at #14. Why all the hate towards Tony (as if I have to ask.) He's a 4-Time USAC Champion, Triple Crown winner, IRL Champion and 2-Time NASCAR Cup Champion. Regardless of what you may think of him, he's a great driver.
Alright, I'm losing it....thats the second guy on the list I've missed altogether. And actually I'm going to tell on myself here and say I missed three since Garlits is on the list too. I'm off my nut.

As for Stewart, my problem with the guy is that he just hasn't done enough to be on a list like this. First, most modern era drivers in A league series like NASCAR have met with success in lesser series, it's typically how they got to the A league, so the USAC and IRL success isn't going to do much to sway me here. And while two NASCAR championships are impressive there are, again, more than a few guys who have accomplished the same in several racing leagues who didn't make this list so again I'm looking for something else. Show me something that makes Tony Stewart undeniably different from the masses of good drivers.

Stats worthy of this list?

Bob Glidden: He garnered ten Pro Stock championships having won five of those consecutively. He Retired with the most wins in NHRA history and is still third with 85 total wins. Streaks include 9 event wins in a row during the 79 season, number one qualifier 23 times in a row, and 50 elimination round wins in a row. He was also the first driver to break 200mph in a door-slammer. And his final stat is that he isn't on the list (I double checked )

I've seen enough of your posts to have an idea of how you approach things and I'll be extremely surprised if you think Stewart is even in the same league as the above. I could do the same with several other drivers including Bobby Allison, Bobby Isaac, and more than a few others. These lists always create controversy, but in the end I think we have to realize that usually there are several people who could be included or excluded from these lists and arguably you can make a case for it....IMO Stewart isn't one of them.

Now I'm going to move on before I find somebody else I previously missed on the list.

Last edited by jsaylor; 5/24/08 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 5/24/08, 08:57 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by tacbear View Post
Mark Martin
He hasn't even won a championship in NASCAR. He's a great driver, but how could you consider him the greatest driver in NASCAR ever????

The reason Earnhardt always gets the nod over Petty is because everyone of this generation saw him race and therefore are biased towards him. He is also beloved because of the way he passed away. I still don't know how they can put Petty #6...Even an ESPN columnist wrote an article crying foul.
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Old 5/24/08, 12:43 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
Alright, I'm losing it....thats the second guy on the list I've missed altogether. And actually I'm going to tell on myself here and say I missed three since Garlits is on the list too. I'm off my nut.

As for Stewart, my problem with the guy is that he just hasn't done enough to be on a list like this. First, most modern era drivers in A league series like NASCAR have met with success in lesser series, it's typically how they got to the A league, so the USAC and IRL success isn't going to do much to sway me here. And while two NASCAR championships are impressive there are, again, more than a few guys who have accomplished the same in several racing leagues who didn't make this list so again I'm looking for something else. Show me something that makes Tony Stewart undeniably different from the masses of good drivers.

Stats worthy of this list?

Bob Glidden: He garnered ten Pro Stock championships having won five of those consecutively. He Retired with the most wins in NHRA history and is still third with 85 total wins. Streaks include 9 event wins in a row during the 79 season, number one qualifier 23 times in a row, and 50 elimination round wins in a row. He was also the first driver to break 200mph in a door-slammer. And his final stat is that he isn't on the list (I double checked )

I've seen enough of your posts to have an idea of how you approach things and I'll be extremely surprised if you think Stewart is even in the same league as the above. I could do the same with several other drivers including Bobby Allison, Bobby Isaac, and more than a few others. These lists always create controversy, but in the end I think we have to realize that usually there are several people who could be included or excluded from these lists and arguably you can make a case for it....IMO Stewart isn't one of them.

Now I'm going to move on before I find somebody else I previously missed on the list.
Uh-Oh . . . I hope I'm not becoming too predictable! No argument here for Mr. Glidden (my all time favorite NHRA driver!!) He should be on the list.

And I understand the reasoning for the A, B and C level series argument and the natural progession and success for drivers. And I'll even throw out that his IRL Championship is not at the same level as the current IRL series (even before the coming together of Champ Car and IRL) . . . . but the guy can drive just about anything and has been successful every step of the way. With his resume listed above plus an IROC Championship I think he deserves to be in the Top 25. Heck, he almost had a Daytona 24hr overall win to add to his resume, but racing being racing . . . he doesn't. Would you put Tony in your Top 30?

Lists are fun to argue (with the right people. ) No harm in differences of opinions.

Last edited by Evil_Capri; 5/24/08 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 5/24/08, 04:58 PM
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Old 5/24/08, 05:06 PM
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i see no mention of the Stig so it's completely invalid at that point

I don't see any Rally racers there..You cannot for one second say that anyone who can run a car at 90+ MPH through the woods and not hit a tree or anything isn't a great driver...as a matter of fact I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that one of the top rally drivers..Loeb, Groeholm, Mcray etc could easily hold there own on any of those races save for drag racing. And I'd also bet that they would scare the crap out of any of those drivers if they were to give them a race in a rally car.

but of course this all my own opinion

Last edited by burningman; 5/24/08 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 5/24/08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by burningman View Post
i see no mention of the Stig so it's completely invalid at that point

I don't see any Rally racers there..You cannot for one second say that anyone who can run a car at 90+ MPH through the woods and not hit a tree or anything isn't a great driver...as a matter of fact I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that one of the top rally drivers..Loeb, Groeholm, Mcray etc could easily hold there own on any of those races save for drag racing. And I'd also bet that they would scare the crap out of any of those drivers if they were to give them a race in a rally car.

but of course this all my own opinion

You have a good point, I would love to see the best from NASCAR, World Rally, Rolex/Koni Cup, IRL, Sprint Car, Austrailian Super Cars and SCCA race a 4 or 5 race series in identical cars.
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Old 5/24/08, 06:14 PM
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That would be the race of the century and I'd pay good money to see it
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Old 5/26/08, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Evil_Capri View Post
Lists are fun to argue (with the right people. ) No harm in differences of opinions.
Thanks man. Rest assured there is always a great deal of respect for your opinions here...your contributions to this forum are much appreciated.

Originally Posted by Evil_Capri
And I understand the reasoning for the A, B and C level series argument and the natural progession and success for drivers. And I'll even throw out that his IRL Championship is not at the same level as the current IRL series (even before the coming together of Champ Car and IRL) . . . . but the guy can drive just about anything and has been successful every step of the way. With his resume listed above plus an IROC Championship I think he deserves to be in the Top 25. Heck, he almost had a Daytona 24hr overall win to add to his resume, but racing being racing . . . he doesn't. Would you put Tony in your Top 30?
Actually, I've almost certainly come across as being a bit harder on Tony than I actually mean to be. First, he is a first class race car driver and while I think his personality can take a turn toward the dark side on occasion I do find a lot to like about him. First, he comes across as a regular guy in a racing series that was once all about the regular guy and which is now unfortunately filling with drivers who don't even remotely resemble somebody you might actually hang out with.

Also, Tony possesses what I believe is a key characteristic of truly great race car drivers.....he can take a car which isn't perfect and make it bend to his will. A lot of guys have the ability to go fast when their car is set up just right, but that doesn't say anything special about their abilities as a driver. Tony can take a mediocre car and have a good day.

My reaction wasn't colored so much by the fact that Tony was on the list but rather by the fact that Tony and Gordon were on the list and people like Bobby Allison, David Pearson, and Bob Glidden weren't. In general I think these lists typically have a bias toward the modern era, and that is understandable. Still, I wish they would put more thought and time into them.

As for wether Tony would be in my top 30 of all time. I dunno. I'd really have to sit down and think about who I thought the top 30 drivers really are and I would have to try to keep my personal bias in check (like my desire to put Bill Elliott in the top five even though he realistically doesn't have the long term stats to swing that) Thats a good question that I'm not certain I have an answer for.

Originally Posted by burningman
I don't see any Rally racers there..You cannot for one second say that anyone who can run a car at 90+ MPH through the woods and not hit a tree or anything isn't a great driver...as a matter of fact I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that one of the top rally drivers..Loeb, Groeholm, Mcray etc could easily hold there own on any of those races save for drag racing. And I'd also bet that they would scare the crap out of any of those drivers if they were to give them a race in a rally car.

but of course this all my own opinion
I agree completely on this one. Ari Vatanen is a glaring omission IMHO. 1 WRC Championship, a Pikes Peak hill Climb victory, and four Paris Dakar rally wins....amazing....gets him the nod in my book.

Last edited by jsaylor; 5/26/08 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 5/26/08, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kh765 View Post
He hasn't even won a championship in NASCAR. He's a great driver, but how could you consider him the greatest driver in NASCAR ever????

Finished second in the Sprint Cup Series point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002). In 1990, a 46-point penalty at Richmond for using an illegal (but non-performance enhancing) carburetor spacer caused him to lose to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points in the final standings.
Martin has also won five IROC titles (1994, 1996, 1997 1998 and 2005) in addition to 13 races, both records for that series.

Won his record extending 47th NASCAR Busch Series race in 2005 at Las Vegas . In 2006, he had 14 starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, winning a series-high six times, with 11 top fives and 12 top-10 finishes Won three consecutive American Speed Association championships from 1978-80 before moving to NASCAR; returned to ASA and won 1986 title before making permanent move to NASCAR.

I would put him up against anyone in Identical Cars!!
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Old 5/27/08, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
Thanks man. Rest assured there is always a great deal of respect for your opinions here...your contributions to this forum are much appreciated.
Thank you.

Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
My reaction wasn't colored so much by the fact that Tony was on the list but rather by the fact that Tony and Gordon were on the list and people like Bobby Allison, David Pearson, and Bob Glidden weren't.
Pearson is #7 in the list . . .

Last edited by Evil_Capri; 5/27/08 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 5/27/08, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by burningman View Post
i see no mention of the Stig so it's completely invalid at that point



but of course this all my own opinion
FTW. io personally dont see a point to these lists. because with some of your arguments, robby gordon should be added as well. look at his off road record. Also Richard Burns, Colin McCrea? i agree Loeb should be there. at least a shout out to some riders, Rossi Especially.
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Old 5/27/08, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Evil_Capri View Post
Pearson is #7 in the list . . .
I don't know if I should laugh at myself or cry at this point....I need a drink .

Last edited by jsaylor; 5/27/08 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 5/27/08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tacbear View Post
Finished second in the Sprint Cup Series point standings four times (1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002). In 1990, a 46-point penalty at Richmond for using an illegal (but non-performance enhancing) carburetor spacer caused him to lose to Dale Earnhardt by 26 points in the final standings.
Martin has also won five IROC titles (1994, 1996, 1997 1998 and 2005) in addition to 13 races, both records for that series.

Won his record extending 47th NASCAR Busch Series race in 2005 at Las Vegas . In 2006, he had 14 starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, winning a series-high six times, with 11 top fives and 12 top-10 finishes Won three consecutive American Speed Association championships from 1978-80 before moving to NASCAR; returned to ASA and won 1986 title before making permanent move to NASCAR.

I would put him up against anyone in Identical Cars!!
He still hasn't won a title, no matter how you spin it. I don't see how you can consider him the best NASCAR driver of all time when he hasn't even been the best in a single year. I personally like Mark Martin and I think he is an excellent driver, I just can't put him anywhere near the top 5 of greatest drivers of all time.

As for IROC, that series was a bit of a joke. They ran like 4 races a year and the series was really nothing but NASCAR drivers winning on their tracks. I enjoyed watching them for years, but because Martin won a bunch of IROC titles doesn't give him the right to be a top 5 driver of all time. They tried to make it a pure form of racing, but there's a reason the series doesn't run anymore. I don't see any compelling evidence that Mark Martin should even be in the top 25 drivers, much less the top 5.
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Old 5/27/08, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kh765 View Post
He still hasn't won a title, no matter how you spin it. I don't see how you can consider him the best NASCAR driver of all time when he hasn't even been the best in a single year. I personally like Mark Martin and I think he is an excellent driver, I just can't put him anywhere near the top 5 of greatest drivers of all time.

As for IROC, that series was a bit of a joke. They ran like 4 races a year and the series was really nothing but NASCAR drivers winning on their tracks. I enjoyed watching them for years, but because Martin won a bunch of IROC titles doesn't give him the right to be a top 5 driver of all time. They tried to make it a pure form of racing, but there's a reason the series doesn't run anymore. I don't see any compelling evidence that Mark Martin should even be in the top 25 drivers, much less the top 5.

You are right...I am wrong. I apologize to everyone here for my opinion being wrong. I will try to do better next time.
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Old 5/27/08, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tacbear View Post
You are right...I am wrong. I apologize to everyone here for my opinion being wrong. I will try to do better next time.
I didn't mean for you to take it that way. I just like having good arguments. You gave two rebuttals to my opinion and I just wanted to state my case.

Last edited by kh765; 5/27/08 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 5/27/08, 08:24 PM
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I'd give some consideration to Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alanso only because they won each of their two F1 championships in the Shumi era. I wouldn't necessarily say top 25 of all time, but rght up there with Tony Stewart. I'd hate to make up one of these lists because there are so many variables to consider. I'd just have to give up and have to add Speed Racer and Ricky Bobby to the top of the list.
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Old 5/27/08, 10:03 PM
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I agree for Hakkinen, but I'm not so sure for Alonso. Alonso did win 2 championship, but Schumacher was at the end of his career at that time.

Although Alonso does deserve recognition since he won both championships with Renault. I'm surprised anyone was able to win next to McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari.
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