Despite only racing for about 10 years, Davey Allison still lands on this list with an astounding number of victories and accolades. He was the 1992 Daytona 500 winner, the 1991 Coca-Cola 600 winner, and a three-time winner of the Winston 500. He collected a grand total of 19 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series over nine years, with almost 100 top tens.
He got Rookie of the Year in 1987 thanks to two wins, five poles, and nine top fives, but we lost a perhaps legendary career in 1993 when the helicopter Allison was piloting, carrying fellow driver Red Farmer, crashed while landing at Talladega Superspeedway. Allison suffered a head injury and died the following day.
Mike Stefanik – The Mega Modified Tour Champ
While Mike Stefanik mainly competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, he made appearances in a number of other tours and series. He has quite the collection of victory hardware in total, with a full seven championships coming from the Modified Tour – he was even named the second-greatest NASCAR Modified driver of all time back in 2003.
He’s also added a further two championships from the Busch North Series, and his grand total of nine victories ties him for the most, alongside Richie Evans, in NASCAR history. He also ran 26 races for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, making it in the top 10 on 10 separate occasions. He’s a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Stefanik passed away in 2019.
Kasey Kahne – A Triple Engine Threat
Engines in racing and NASCAR are a particular thing. While plenty of drivers change makes and models, most of them will stick with what they know and like. Kasey Kahne isn’t like that. Since he started racing in 2002 for NASCAR, Kahne has not only driven but WON with three separate engine manufacturers – Toyota, Chevy, and Dodge.
It’s certainly rare, but what might be more rare is the success he’s raked up while doing so. He’s gained 18 career wins in the Cup Series, with three of them coming from the 600-lap Coca-Cola 600. He was the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2004. While Kahne has retired from racing due to health reasons, he still manages his own racing team, Kasey Kahne Racing.
Buddy Baker – Still the Fastest Ever
During his 33 years of racing, Elzie Wylie “Buddy” Baker Jr., the son of NASCAR champ Buck Baker, collected 19 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series. He had the nickname “Gentle Giant,” and was known for his skill at coming out ahead on the superspeedways Daytona and Talladega – at those tracks he won a combined six races.
He parlayed his expertise on the track into a commentating career, which he continued until his death in August of 2015. One of his most enduring legacies is the average race speed he achieved in 1980 at the Daytona 500 – 177.602 miles per hour, a rate that has yet to fall despite all the attempts.
Geoff Bodine – Guinness Record Holder
Coming from a family of racing names, Geoff Bodine cut his teeth at a, frankly, frighteningly young age – he was part of the micro-midget division at the tender age of five. He loved racing so much that he disguised himself as a woman to race in the Powder Puff Derby when he was 15.
He’s one of the most well-rounded drivers in history. With almost 600 races in the NASCAR Cup Series, he has an impressive 190 top-10 finishes, 37 poles, and 18 wins. He was the 1982 Cup Rookie of the Year, and at one point held a Guinness World Record for most wins in one season, the 1978 Modified. That number was 55, and we guess “that one point” we mentioned is today.