It was the year 1998 and as part of Nascars 50th anniversary they decided to gather a list of 50 of the top race car drivers in the auto racing industry, the idea first came about when the NBA granted 50 of its players for the Greatest Players In NBA history. To quote the president of Nascar, Bill France said that "These are the men who define the competition of our sport. Their accomplishments are the benchmark that much of our history is identified by. Honoring them in this way, at the beginning of the NASCAR 50th Anniversary celebration, is one way of showing our true appreciation for them and the invaluable contribution they have given over the past 50 years. These are the drivers who made and make NASCAR fans stand on their feet and cheer. These are the drivers who are NASCAR history."
Well since there is already a list of 50 that commemorates all the greatest drivers, I decided to make a list of 10 along with their sponsorships and or brands of the drivers at hand along with a little bit of other information about the driver. These drivers have all been in the limelight for quite some time now, but a few of them are up and coming drivers as well. The old 50 count list had a lot of deceased drivers, and I wanted to list all the newer drivers still in the Nascar industry. These drivers are not in any sort of an order, so let's take a look, shall we?
Jeff Gordon of Pittsboro, Indiana was born August 4, 1971 and drives the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet. He had 36 starts in 2007, 6 wins, 30 top tens, and 1 DNF. Sponsors include Du Pont, Pepsi, GM, Motorsports Authentics, EA Sports, Jeff Gordon Racing School, and Time Warner Cable. As of right now Jeff is ranked at #8.
Tony Stewart of Rushville, Indiana was born May 20, 1971 and drives the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. Tony had 36 starts, 3 wins, 23 top tens, 4DNFs and was 6th in the Championship standings in the year 2007. Sponsorships include Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Old Spice, Toyota, Subway, Simpson, Mac Tools, and Oakley. Rank #7
Kurt Busch of Las Vegas, Nevada was born August 4, 1978 and drives the Penske Racing No. 2 Dodge. In 2007 he had 36 starts, 2 wins, 14 top tens, 3 DNFs and was 8th in the Championships. Sponsors include the likes of Miller Lite, Snap-on, Mobil 1, Kodak, Penske, Sirius, PPG and Dodge just to name a few. Rank #18
Kyle Busch (little brother of Kurt) of Las Vegas, Nevada was born May 2, 1985 and drives the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota and in 2007 he had 36 starts, 1 win, 20 top tens, 2 DNFs and was 5th in the Championships. Sponsors include M&Ms and Susan G Komen For The Cure. Rank #11
Denny Hamlin of Midlothian, Virginia was born November 18, 1980 and drives the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota. Denny had 36 starts, 1 win, 18 top tens, 1 DNF and was 12th in the Championships, sponsors include that of FedEx, Coca-Cola, Joe Gibbs Racing, TRD, Toyota and Willey X Sunglasses. Rank #12
Matt Kenseth of Cambridge, Wisconsin was born March 10, 1972 and drives the Roush Fenway Racing No. 17 Ford. In 2007 Matt had 36 starts, 2 wins, 22 top tens, 4 DNFs, and he was 4th in the Championships. Sponsors include Gatorade, Kraft, Ford, Sherwin Williams, and MRO. Rank #9
Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Kannapolis, North Carolina was born October 10, 1974 and drives the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet. Dale had 36 starts, 12 top tens, 9 DNFs, and was 16th in the Championships. In 2008 Dale decided to leave the company founded by his dad and move to Hendrick Motorsports. Sponsors include Remington, The Outlaw, Snap-on and Budweiser. Rank #10
Carl Edwards of Columbia, Missouri was born August 15, 1979 and drives the Roush Fenway Racing No. 99 Ford. He had 36 starts, 3 wins, 15 top tens, 4DNFs, and was 9th in the Championships, Sponsors include Charter Communications, Roundup, MacTools, and Superchips. Rank #2
Martin Truex Jr. of Mayetta, New Jersey was born June 20, 1980 and drives the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Chevrolet. He had 36 starts, 1 win, 14 top tens, 4 DNFs and finished 11th in the Championships. Sponsors include Enterprise, American Airlines, Hampton, SPRO, Motorsports Authentics, Behr Designs and Bec-Car Printing Company. Rank #17
Jeff Burton of South Boston, Virginia was born June 29, 1967 and drives the Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet. Jeff had 36 starts, 1 win, 18 top tens, 3DNFs and was 7th in the Championships. Jeffs Sponsors include AT&T, Lenox and Prilosecotc. Rank #4
And of course rank #1 is Jimmie Johnson but, if you're a hardcore fan you wouldn't even have to take a guess at why! In 2007 he had 36 starts, 10 wins, 24 top tens, 4DNFS and he was the NEXTEL Cup Championship. As a third consecutive championship Jimmie and crew chief Knaus will not make the same mistakes that caused the suspensions and penalties that they had last season. The two men work as a team very well and plan on improving their game plan a little better this year!