Commentary

Peer into the future, a different world with a slightly different top 25

There's a Clinton in the White House and new faces on the Top 25 drivers of all time list. Welcome to 2025 and while some things have changed, others stayed the same, writes Terry Blount.

Updated: May 23, 2008, 4:36 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

Chelsea ClintonLogan Mock-Bunting/Getty ImagesChelsea Clinton learned enough on the campaign trail in 2008 to succeed in her own bid in 2024.

It's the year 2025. Chelsea Clinton took the oath of office in January as the 46th President of the United States.

She replaced 78-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became the first foreign-born President after the Constitution was changed to allow him to run for the highest office in the land.

The mini Hydro Hummer is all the rage and the best selling car in America.

Race car drivers are more beloved than ever, symbols of the past when most cars ran on petroleum-based fuels these racers still use.

Maybe that's one reason many of the Top 25 drivers in history remain on the list 17 years after it first appeared. The four names at the top stay the same, heroes that young and old racing fans haven't forgotten.

But seven new names have made it on the list and pushed some racers from the 2008 list below the prestigious top 25. Here's how we see the 25 best stacking up in 2025. The new names are listed in all caps:

1. A.J. Foyt
A.J. Foyt

Series: Indy car and NASCAR
Birthdate: Jan. 16, 1935.
Hometown: Houston.
Accomplishments: Still the best after all these years. As he requested, the yard of bricks were dug up and Foyt was buried underneath them at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway start-finish line..

2. Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti

Series: Indy car, Formula One and NASCAR
Birthdate: Feb. 28, 1940.
Hometown: Nazareth, Pa.
Accomplishments: Will any American again win the Indy 500 and an F1 title, as Mario did? His grandson, Marco, won two Indy 500s, but fell short of a title in 10 F1 seasons.

3. Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: April 29, 1951.
Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Accomplishments: The longer he's gone, the more his legend grows, but seven Cup titles speaks for itself.

4. Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher

Series: Formula One
Birthdate: Jan. 3, 1969.
Hometown: Hurth Hermulheim, Germany
Accomplishments: Still the only driver to win seven F1 titles. He is now the Chancellor of Germany.

5. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Series: Formula One
Birthdate: Jan. 7, 1985.
Hometown: Stevenage, Hertfordshire, England.
Accomplishments: Now 36, the Brit has four F1 championships and he's still going. His 2019 victory in the Indy 500 made Hamilton the first full-time F1 driver to win at Indy since Mario Andretti in 1969.

6. Ayrton Senna
Ayrton Senna

Series: Formula One
Birthdate: March 21, 1960.
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Accomplishments: Might have won five or more F1 titles if he hadn't been taken from us in his prime.

7. Richard Petty
Richard Petty

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: July 2, 1937.
Hometown: Level Cross, N.C.
Accomplishments: His 200 NASCAR victories never will be equaled. His famous feathered cowboy hat was placed on the moon in a return visit to the lunar surface by NASA.

8. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: Aug. 4, 1971.
Hometown: Vallejo, Calif.
Accomplishments: Retired from NASCAR in 2014 as a five-time Cup champion, but raced in two Indy 500s afterward and earned one top-5 finish. Gordon lives in Monte Carlo with his wife, Ingrid. Their daughter, Ella, 18, is a supermodel and open-wheel racer in Europe who is hoping to earn a ride in Formula One.

9. Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: May 2, 1985.
Hometown: Las Vegas.
Accomplishments: Still racing strong at 39, the once-hated NASCAR driver now is revered for his four championships. Busch teaches classes in the off-season on anger management.

10. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: Sept. 17, 1975.
Hometown: El Cajon, Calif.
Accomplishments: Retired after winning his fourth Cup championship, but fell off a golf cart last year and broke his hip. Johnson now is the governor of California.

11. David Pearson
David Pearson

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: Dec. 22, 1934.
Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.
Accomplishments: The Silver Fox won the Cup title in all three of his four full-time seasons.

12. Jim Clark
Jim Clark

Series: Formula One and Indy car
Birthdate: March 4, 1936.
Hometown: Fife, Scotland.
Accomplishments: The popular Brit was an incredible talent who lost his life when his greatness was just starting to show.

13. Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio

Series: Formula One
Birthdate: June 24, 1911.
Hometown: Balcarce, Argentina
Accomplishments: Still second on the all-time list with five F1 championships and revered for wining titles with four different teams.

14. John Force
John Force

Series: NHRA Funny Car
Birthdate: May 4, 1949.
Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif.
Accomplishments: Won his record 15th NHRA Funny Car title in 2009 at age 60, but kept racing until he was 70. Now 76, he races his wheelchair down the back ramp of daughter Ashley's hauler.

15. Jackie Stewart
Jackie Stewart

Series: Formula One and Indy car
Birthdate: June 11, 1939.
Hometown: Milton, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
Accomplishments: Won three F1 titles over a five-year span, including 27 victories in just 99 starts over nine seasons.

16. Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: March 27, 1940.
Hometown: Timmonsville, S.C.
Accomplishments: Still the only man to win three consecutive Cup titles and still talked about for "The Fight."

17. Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Series: NASCAR and Indy car
Birthdate: May 20, 1971
Hometown: Columbus, Ind.
Accomplishments: A three-time Cup champion and the 2011 winner of the Indy 500. Stewart also won three Cup championships as a team owner.

18. Tony Schumacher
Tony Schumacher

Series: NHRA Top Fuel
Birthdate: Dec. 25, 1969.
Hometown: Park Ridge, Ill.
Accomplishments: The NHRA record holder with seven Top Fuel championhips. The Sarge is now The General.

19. Al Unser
Al Unser

Series: Indy car
Birthdate: May 29, 1939.
Hometown: Albuquerque, N.M.
Accomplishments: His four Indy 500 victories kept him on the list. His 644 laps led are still the most in Indy 500 history.

20. Emerson Fittipaldi
Emerson Fittipaldi

Series: Formula One and CART
Birthdate: Dec. 12, 1946
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Accomplishments: Won two F1 titles, two Indy 500s and the 1989 CART championship.

21. Alain Prost
Alain Prost

Series: Formula One
Birthdate: Feb. 24, 1955
Hometown: Saint Chamond, France.
Accomplishments: Universally respected as a four-time F1 champion and probably the most studious driver ever.

22. Helio Castroneves
Helio Castroneves

Series: Indy car
Birthdate: May 10, 1975
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Accomplishments: A four-time Indy 500 winner and two-time IndyCar Series champion. Helio retired in 2014 and joined his wife, Julianne, as a professional dancer. They have two children.

23. Joey Logano
Joey Logano

Series: NASCAR
Birthdate: May 24, 1990
Hometown: Middletown, Conn.
Accomplishments: At age 35, he's the best driver in NASCAR and is trying to win his fourth Cup championship for team owner Tony Stewart.

24. Shirley Muldowney
Shirley Muldowney

Series: NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car
Birthdate: June 19, 1940
Hometown: Schenectady, N.Y.
Accomplishments: Still recognized as a pioneer for women in motor sports as the first female to win a major racing championship. Muldowney won three NHRA Top Fuel titles.

25. Ashley Force
Ashley Force

Series: NHRA Funny Car
Birthdate: Nov. 29, 1982
Hometown: Yorba Linda, Calif.
Accomplishments: The first woman to win a Funny Car championship now has three titles and she's still racing at 42. Her 14-year-old son, Eric, is racing a junior dragster with his famous old grandpa as the tuner.

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter