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NASCAR 75 Greatest Drivers Review & Snub

What’s up everybody? First off, some news in my personal life. I had to take a small break from writing as I became a new father two weeks ago! It’s been a very stressful couple of weeks, but our new daughter is home now and are finally starting to get in the swing of things where I can take some time to get back to the latest in NASCAR. Let’s get right to it.


Last week NASCAR announced the final drivers added to their 75 Greatest Drivers list. For some background, NASCAR did a top 50 list back in 1998 for the 50th anniversary, and for the 75th anniversary this year, they added 25 to the original list. Here are the newest additions to the list in alphabetical order:


· Sam Ard

· Greg Biffle

· Jeff Burton

· Kurt Busch

· Kyle Busch

· Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

· Carl Edwards

· Chase Elliott

· Denny Hamlin

· Kevin Harvick

· Ron Hornaday, Jr.

· Jimmie Johnson

· Kasey Kahne

· Matt Kenseth

· Brad Keselowski

· Bobby Labonte

· Randy LaJoie

· Kyle Larson

· Joey Logano

· Sterling Marlin

· Ryan Newman

· Larry Phillips

· Mike Stefanik

· Tony Stewart

· Martin Truex, Jr.



The part of this list that excites me the most is how they recognized greats from outside the Cup Series as well. Ron Hornaday, Jr was a monster in the truck series. Until 2019, he held the all-time race wins record for the series with 51 wins and amassed 4 series championships. His record was broken by Kyle Busch, but if it takes a driver the caliber of Busch to break your record, you did something right.



This list is mostly solid. There are a few “old timers” on the list that I don’t know and were before my time, so I’ll leave those alone. 95% of these drivers though, I remember watching them race or they’re still currently racing. There is 1 person that I do not think should be on the list though.


I don’t understand why NASCAR put Randy LaJoie on this list. Respectfully, he did win 2 championships in the Xfinity (Busch) Series. Other than that, he won 15 races in his entire career in that series, with 10 of those coming in his two championship years. He raced 44 times in the Cup Series throughout his career and has 1 top 5 and 3 top 10s to his name. There is nothing about this career that says to me he is deserving of a top 75 spot.


So, who would I put in his spot? Clint Bowyer.


He is a former Xfinity (Nationwide) Series Champion and has a 2nd and 3rd place finish in Cup Series points (2007 & 2012). If you think that doesn’t match with LaJoie’s two Championships, we’ll compare the stats because stats don’t lie. Bowyer has an average finish in the Xfinity Series of 11.1 while LaJoie had an average finish of 17.6. Bowyer has an average finish of 15.6 in the Cup Series, while LaJoie’s was 29.3. Bowyer has 10 Cup Series wins to LaJoie’s zero. I’m sure Randy is a great guy and I believe that if his son Corey could get in some better-quality equipment, he could be a real contender in the Cup Series for the Championship, but Clint Bowyer is the biggest snub from this list and deserved to be on it over Randy.


I’m not going to let that overshadow the rest of the list though.


Overall, NASCAR did a great job putting this list together. I like the fact that they took a page from the NBA play book and didn’t mess with the original list, just added more drivers to it. The NBA did the same thing last season for their 75th season. I’m looking forward to seeing what drivers will earn the right to be added to the top 100 list in the next 25 years.



-M.B.

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