The Kid, The King, the Silver Fox and two of open-wheel racing's very best
The Kid has won more NASCAR races than any active driver. The King has won more than anybody, period. The rest of drivers 10 through six in ESPN.com's top 25 drivers of all time? Two open-wheel legends and the only man to consistently beat Richard Petty at his own game, writes Terry Blount.
Who are the top 25 drivers of all time? ESPN.com asked 19 experts to vote for any driver who piloted something with wheels and a motor. Today's list presents drivers 10-6.
|10. Jeff Gordon|
Championships: Four Cup titles (1995, '97, '98 and 2001).
Accomplishments: He was youngest driver to win the sprint car Silver Crown at age 20 in 1991. Cup Rookie of the Year in 1993. Gordon has three Daytona 500 victories. His 81 victories rank sixth on NASCAR's all-time list and first among active drivers. The only driver to win the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard four times. Has earned a NASCAR record $95 million in his career.
|9. Juan Manuel Fangio|
Championships: Five (1951, '54, '55, '56 and '57).
Accomplishments: Fangio dominated the first decade of F1. His five championships were unmatched for almost half a century until Michael Schumacher won his sixth in 2003. Fangio's championships came for four different teams, a feat that never has been matched. Even more amazing is that all five of his championship seasons came after he was 40 years old, with the last one coming at age 46.
|8. Jim Clark|
Championships: Two (1963, '65).
Accomplishments: Clark won the Indy 500 in 1965, becoming the only man to win the F1 championship and Indy in the same season. And Clark almost did it in 1963, finishing second at Indy. He was the first driver to win the Indy 500 in a rear-engine car. Clark won seven of 10 F1 races in 1963 and six of his nine starts in 1965.
|7. David Pearson|
Championships: Three Cup titles (1966, '68 and '69).
Accomplishments: Only four times in his career did Pearson compete in more than 80 percent of the scheduled races for a season. He won the championship in three of those four years. His rivalry with Richard Petty was one of NASCAR's best. From 1963 through 1977, the duo finished 1-2 in 63 Cup races. Pearson won 33 of those events.
|6. Richard Petty|
Championships: Seven Cup titles (1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75 and '79).
Accomplishments: Petty won the Daytona 500 a record seven times. He won a record 27 races, including 10 in a row, in 1967. In 1,185 starts, he posted a remarkable 712 top-10 finishes. His 13 victories in 1975 is a modern-era record that Jeff Gordon tied in 1998, but Petty's wins came in three fewer starts (30 to 33).
TOP 25 DRIVERS OF ALL TIME
Top 25 Video
The Top 25• Monday
25. Steve Kinser
24. Nigel Mansell
23. Don Garlits
22. Niki Lauda
21. Shirley Muldowney
20. Darrell Waltrip
19. Emerson Fittipaldi
18. Alain Prost
17. Bobby Unser
16. Tony Stewart
15. Al Unser
14. Cale Yarborough
13. Jackie Stewart
12. John Force
11. Rick Mears
10. Jeff Gordon
9. Juan Manuel Fangio
8. Jim Clark
7. David Pearson
6. Richard Petty
5. Ayrton Senna
4. Michael Schumacher
3. Dale Earnhardt
2. Mario Andretti
1. A.J. Foyt
More Stuff• Monday
Blount: A nearly impossible task
All-Time NASCAR fantasy bargains
Page 2: Hollywood's big wheels
McGee: The King is sixth? We need a recount!
Blount: Foyt did it all
Blount: The Top 25 in 2025
Newton: Smoke has his say, and he says A.J.
Newton: Allison seems like a big omission
Knutson: The F1 drivers; who made it, who didn't
Oreovicz: The Indy contingent
Stephens: The NHRA represents
SportsNation Ranker: Give us your list
The Voters• Kenny Bernstein -- Six-time NHRA champion with four Funny Car titles and two Top Fuel titles.
• Terry Blount -- ESPN.com motorsports writer.
• Tim Brewer -- ESPN NASCAR commentator and two-time Cup championship crew chief.
• K. Lee Davis -- ESPN.com motorsports editor.
• Mike Dunn -- ESPN analyst for NHRA events and one of only four drivers with 10 or more career victories in Top Fuel and Funny Car.
• Ray Evernham -- ESPN NASCAR analyst and crew chief for three of Jeff Gordon's four Cup championships.
• A.J. Foyt -- Four-time Indy 500 winner.
• Scott Goodyear -- ESPN IndyCar analyst, former IndyCar racer and member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
• Jeff Gordon -- Four-time Cup champion in NASCAR.
• Mike Harris -- Long-time auto racing writer for the Associated Press.
• Dale Jarrett -- ESPN NASCAR analyst and 1999 Cup champion.
• Dan Knutson -- Formula One writer for ESPN.com.
• Ryan McGee -- Motorsports writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com.
• Juan Pablo Montoya -- Current Cup driver, 1999 CART champion, 2000 Indy 500 winner and former Formula One driver.
• John Oreovicz -- American open-wheel racing writer for ESPN.com.
• Richard Petty -- Seven-time Cup champion in NASCAR.
• Marty Reid -- ESPN motorsports broadcaster.
• Tony Stewart -- Two-time Cup champion in NASCAR and 1997 IRL champion.
• Rusty Wallace -- ESPN NASCAR analyst and 1989 Cup champion.