Revving Through History: The Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers of All Time

by AutoExpert   |  3 April, 2024

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Let's be real, race car fans are some of the most opinionated folks out there. We LOVE a good debate about NASCAR, Indy Car, Formula One... hey, who doesn't get heated arguing over the greatest driver ever? Trophies won, epic rivalries, man, there's SO much to consider.

Well, we're throwing our hat in the ring. Here's OUR ultimate top 10, and why we think these folks deserve a spot in history:

10. Ken Block

Okay, if NASCAR or Formula One is your only jam, you might be scratching your head. But rally drivers? Man, they have insane skills. Ken Block wasn't just some championship racer, he was a pioneer. DC Shoes, crazy Hoonigan videos, THE Gymkhana series? The guy was a legend, pushing the limits of what you can do on four wheels. It's a tragedy we lost him, but his legacy lives on every time someone gets wild with their car.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

9. Alain Prost

The French have this thing for racing, and Alain Prost is their king. Four-time Formula One Champ, broke the record for most Grand Prix wins for a HOT minute... the dude was basically unstoppable. You gotta admire his smooth style, too. "The Professor," they called him, 'cause he wasn't just fast, he was calculating. Some classic rivalries with guys like Senna and Mansell... man, those were the days!

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

8. A.J. Foyt

"Super Tex" is an American classic. This guy didn't mess around – he raced EVERYTHING. Indy cars, stock cars, you name it! Foyt holds tons of records, even survived some nasty crashes. Plus, one of the only dudes ever to win the Indy 500 (four times!), Daytona 500, AND freakin' Le Mans? Total. Badass.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

7. Jeff Gordon

The "Rainbow Warrior" shook up NASCAR in the '90s. Youngest Cup Series champ in ages, multiple Daytona 500 trophies... he was a force. Yeah, his later years weren't as flashy, but Gordon put up some insane numbers throughout his career. Respect due.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

6. Richard Petty

NASCAR royalty! "The King" dominated back in the day, racking up championships and wins like they were candy. Daytona 500? Please, he won seven times! There's a reason Petty is basically synonymous with NASCAR – the guy's a giant in the sport.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

5. Nigel Mansell

The Brits love this guy, and with good reason. Not many folks can say they won both a Formula One Championship AND the CART Indy Car series. Especially cool was how he became CART champ right after leaving Formula One – talk about conquering the world!

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

4. Ayrton Senna

This Brazilian superstar is up there with the absolute legends. Three Formula One championships, crazy skills, that epic rivalry with Prost... they don't make drivers like Senna anymore. His tragic death on the track was a huge blow to racing, but man, his legacy will never fade.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

3. Dale Earnhardt

"The Intimidator." Need we say more? This guy WAS NASCAR for a whole generation. Aggressive, sometimes reckless, always entertaining as hell. Earnhardt's wins, those Daytona triumphs – he made fans go wild. His death was a shock to the whole racing world, but the guy will be a legend forever.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

2. Michael Schumacher

Seven-time Formula One Champ? Come on, that's ridiculous! Schumacher was a machine, breaking records left and right. Yeah, 2002 was a bit insane with the podium streak, but dude was just that good. That skiing accident was a gut punch, ending such a brilliant career. Still, he's an icon.

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

1. Mario Andretti

The GOAT. No question. This dude didn't limit himself – Formula One, Indy Car, NASCAR, if it had four wheels, he was winning. Formula One champ, Indy 500 winner, Daytona 500 winner... the list goes on. The racing world hasn't seen anyone like Andretti since, and who knows if they ever will again!

Top 10 Greatest Race Car Drivers

So, agree? Disagree? Think we missed someone? Let's hear it! Debating the greatest drivers is half the fun of being a fan anyways, right?

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