Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson Named NASCAR's Greatest

Fox Sports 1's 'NASCAR Race Hub' counted down the 50 greatest drivers to some controversy.

Richard Petty congratulates Dale Earnhardt on seveth championship 1994
Dozier Mobley—Getty Images

Richard Petty is NASCAR’s all-time greatest driver according to a list of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers, compiled by “NASCAR Race Hub” on Fox Sports 1 during the Easter racing off-weekend. Jimmie Johnson was second, David Pearson third and Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt rounded out the top-five.



The revelation of the list spanned multiple days of the daily show, with the final drivers on the list—the ones at the top—revealed Tuesday. the list was compiled in much the same way as college football and basketball weekly top-25 polls voted by a group of those sports’ writers and coaches, with number one votes receiving 50 points, second-place votes 49 points, and so on. Twenty-one “Race Hub” contributors, including current and former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers and crew chiefs votes.

The results have proven controversial among NASCAR fans on social media and hosts of various shows on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90, especially the result of Earnhardt as NASCAR’s fifth-greatest driver of all-time. Danny “Chocolate” Myers, co-host of Trading Paint on SiriusXM and former Earnhardt crew member was most vocal among those on the station, expressing disgust that Earnhardt wasn’t ranked higher.

Myers remained calm on Twitter after seeing the completed list Tuesday evening.


Myers unleashed his wrath on his radio show the following day, especially taking offense to Brad Keselowski revealing that he put Earnhardt eighth on his list. In disgust, Myers said he removed Keselowski from his fantasy racing team.

Still seemingly miffed by Earnhardt’s ranking of fifth, Myers tweeted a photo of the statue of Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday morning.



Keselowski was a part of a panel discussing the list when the top drivers were revealed. He said his system of selection was based primarily on race wins, not giving extra weight to marquee races like the Daytona 500 and Southern 500.

The controversy came as Earnhardt is one of only three drivers to have a premier series-leading seven championships, with Petty and Johnson being the other two. Pearson and Gordon have more race wins than Earnhardt, with three-time champion Pearson second on the all-time wins list with 105 and four-time title holder Gordon third with 93. Earnhardt is eighth on the all-time wins list with 76 victories.

Current drivers in NASCAR’s top series were heavily represented. Eight of the Cup Series’ current stars made the top 50. Johnson, though, was the only current driver in the top 10. The next on the list were Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in 12th and 18th place, respectively. Other current drivers on the list included Kurt Busch in 28th, Keselowski 29th, Denny Hamlin 35th, reigning Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. in 36th and Joey Logano in 50th.

Other drivers cracking the top 10 on the “NASCAR Race Hub” 50 greatest drivers list include Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Tony Stewart and Lee Petty in sixth through 10th place, respectively.

This latest list is the second such widely-publicized list compiled of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers. NASCAR released a list to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 1998, but the drivers weren't ranked. Instead, they were listed in no specific order. This year mark’s NASCAR’s 70th anniversary.