The Top 10 Nascar Drivers of the 1990s

The Top 10 Nascar Drivers of the 1990s

The Top 10 Nascar Drivers of the 1990s

NASCAR saw several legendary drivers come out of the 1990s, giving the decade an important place in the annals of NASCAR history.

This was a decade which featured fierce rivalries and performances that defied belief showing just how strong and skillful some people are, and how far they would go to be the best.

Courtesy of Fan Arch, we're able to uncover the top 10 NASCAR drivers of the 1990s whose lives, accomplishments and legacy have left an impressive mark behind in the world of the racing.

1. Jeff Gordon

Years Active: 1992-2016

Car Number: #24

Cup Series Championships: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001

Total Wins: 93

It was a brief span of time in which Jeff Gordon translated his sprint car past and regional fan support into global NASCAR superstardom.

His performance in the 1990s was simply unmatched, winning three Winston Cup championships in four years and redefining the gold standard.

Earning 49 wins throughout the 1990s, Gordon made winning an omnipresent part of NASCAR culture his pace far outstripping his contemporaries and affirming his legacy as a giant in the history of the sport.

With a 21.5% win percentage and consistent top 5 and top 10 finishes show he was nothing short of a dominant figure on the race track led to a tremendous force to be reckoned with.

The competition between Gordon and his spirited rivalry with Dale Earnhardt Sr. was nothing short of electric and wowed both fans and experts alike, complete with head to head races for position, mutual respect and intense competition.

Vibrant, equally compelling before and after races, Gordon had the personality and attitude the global fan base took to, springing NASCAR out of the Southern fried misconception, lifting the sport in the wider sports world.

He was a global ambassador for NASCAR, transcending the sport and captivating a mainstream audience, all thanks to his commitment, passion and drive in the sport.

2. Dale Earnhardt

Years Active: 1975-2001

Car Number: #3

Cup Series Championships: 7

Total Wins: 76

NASCAR was a threat to be taken seriously in the 1990s with a man they called "The Intimidator," Dale Earnhardt.

His 35 wins and four of his seven championships came in this decade, securing his reputation as one of the best drivers of the era.

The number of top-10 and top-five finishes Bill scored in 1994, his final season, magnified the testament to his on track supremacy.

The prestige that comes with being named Earnhardt, along with the calculated brazenness of how "The Intimidator" raced, still echoes throughout NASCAR to this day.

3. Mark Martin

Years Active: 1981-2013

Car Number: #6

Cup Series Championships: 0

Total Wins: 40

That staving ode to consistency and determination belongs to Mark Martin, a driver who won 18 races in the 1990s but who likely is best remembered for his four runner up finishes in the championship standings.

Over the course of the decade, Martin's 30 wins and impressive 217 top-10 finishes allowed him to statistically rank among the decade's best NASCAR drivers.

While the series title never materialized for any sanctioning body, his total dedication to competition and desire to be victorious made an unchanging impression on the history of NASCAR.

4. Ricky Rudd

 

Total Wins: 10

One of the strongest figures of the '90s due to his great consistency and competitive spirit, Rick Rudd was tough to beat on track. Rudd boasted 10 wins and 132 top 10s, which speaks to his drive to be the best and his need to win. And his runner up points finish in 1991 only reinforced his status as one of the best drivers of the '90s.

5. Bill Elliott

Years Active: 1976-2012

Car Number: #9

Cup Series Championships: 1

Total Wins: 44

Bill Elliott's impact on NASCAR stretched into the 1990s as he went on to post eight wins and 110 top-10 finishes.

The consistent performance and having multiple top ten points finish are evidence of his skill and unwavering commitment to the sport. 

6. Darrell Waltrip

Years Active: 1972-2000

Car Number: #11, #17

Cup Series Championships: 3

Total Wins: 84

A Hall of Famer, Darrell Waltrip spanned a career that stretched through the 1990s in which he continued to demonstrate his talent behind the wheel, and proved his tenacity.  As a three time Cup Series Champion and 84 wins, Waltrip was a force in NASCAR that had a lasting effect.

7. Kyle Busch

Years Active: 2004-Present

Car Number: #18

Cup Series Championships: 2

Total Wins: 63

It was also in the 1990s when Kyle Busch began displaying a breathtaking level of talent that made his mark on the NASCAR world, winning two Cup Series Championships and amassing an astonishing 63 wins His single-minded commitment to perfection and his exceptional success ensured him a place among the greatest drivers of his era.

8. Terry Labonte

Years Active: 1978-2014

Car Number: #5

Cup Series Championships: 2

Total Wins: 22

Terry Labonte continued to influence NASCAR in the 1990s with high caliber driving talent and a consistent competitive drive. Labonte, with two Cup Series titles and 22 wins, was committed to excellence and had all the accomplishments of a top driver of his era.

9. Ned Jarrett

Years Active: 1953-1966

Car Number: #11

Cup Series Championships: 2

Total Wins: 50

Lingering legacy in 1990s for Ned Jarrett Former NASCAR driver Ned Jarrett's impact on the sport carried over into the 1990s, as he displayed his talent behind the wheel, along with his relentless spirit.

Jarrett's resiliency, his desire for greatness and his incredible past could be what eventually leads him to the status of one of the best drivers of his era, with two Cup Series Championships and 50 wins.

10. Kevin Harvick

Years Active: 2001-Present

Car Number: #4

Cup Series Championships: 1

Total Wins: 53

Kevin Harvick came of age in the 1990s, a decade in which he won one Cup Series Championship on his way to 53 wins and an enduring legacy in NASCAR.

His staunch commitment to perfection and outstanding accolades were engraved as one of the best drivers of his era.

 

Ultimately, with their great accomplishments, drive and life long influence on the NASCAR community has sown the seeds that has become what we see now.

Their impact is still felt today, influencing NASCAR's present and paving the way for a new generation of racing fans from across the globe.


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