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

5/23/2008
Chelsea Clinton learned enough on the campaign trail in 2008 to succeed in her own bid in 2024. Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images

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:

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..

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.