Rusty Wallace had a long career that spanned 25 years. In 1980, Rusty raced in his first NASCAR race in the Atlanta 500. Besides being known for his charismatic personality and for being a close rival to Dale Earnhardt, Wallace also experienced a number of severe crashes.
Rusty Wallace was known as one of the best road course drivers in NASCAR. He had 697 consecutive starts, falling short of Ricky Rudd’s 788. Wallace won only one Cup championship in 1989, however, he longed to win another one until finally retiring in 2005. At the end of his long career, Wallace finished in the top ten in 349 races, winning 55 of them and starting from the pole position in 36 of the races.
Bobby Isaac- Grand National Champion
Another North Carolina-born racer, Bobby Isaac began racing full-time in 1956. However, it wasn’t for seven years and a lot of hard work that he made it to the Grand National division. In the ’60s, Isaac raced Dodges for Nord Krawskoph and took home three NASCAR Cup race wins in 1968.
In 1970, Isaac had his first big win, winning NASCAR’s Grand National Series. He drove the number 71 Dodge Charger Daytona which was sponsored by K&K Insurance. In his 20-year career, he won 37 races in NASCAR’s top series and started from the pole position 49 times. To this day, he still holds the record for the most poles in a single season with 20.
Dale Earnhardt- Seven Cup Championships
Another racer born into a family of racers, Dale Earnhardt is widely regarded as one of the best NASCAR racers in history. He had several nicknames during his driving career, thanks to his competitive and fierce driving style. Among them was the “Intimidator.” With seven Cup championship wins, we are sure that he did intimidate. He also won 76 Winston Cup races.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck too early on in his career, taking his life at the young age of 49. Had it not, who knows how many more wins he would have achieved. At the Dayton 500 in February 2001, the “Intimidator” was instantly killed in a three-car crash. His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. raced as well and only learned of his father’s death after he finished the race.
Carl Edwards- 75 Wins
Although Edwards is still so young, he already retired from racing in 2017 at the age of 37. But, with 75 wins to his name, maybe he felt like it was enough for him. In 2015 when he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway, he celebrated by holding up the checkered flag.
Edwards was recognized for the No. 19 Toyota Camry that he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He was also known for performing his famous backflip off of his car every time he won a race. In 2009, he married Katherine Downey and the couple have two children together.
Buck Baker- 635 Races
Buck Baker was a bus driver before he got started as a stock car driver. He raced in his first NASCAR race in 1949 at the Charlotte Speedway. Three years later, he won his first race at the Columbia Speedway. Baker proceeded to have a long 27-year career during which he raced in over 600 races, won two championships and 46 races, and started in the pole position 45 times.
He also finished in the top ten in 372 of the races. At least three of the wins he had were at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in 1953, 1960, and 1964. In 1976, Baker called it quits and decided to retire from the sport. But, like many other fellow drivers, he didn’t leave the sport far behind him.