NASCAR Race Hub’s top 50 drivers of all time: 20-11

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NASCAR Race Hub' unveils drivers 20 through 11 on their list of the top 50 drivers of all time, voted on by 21 crew members on the show.

- It's time for the top 20. And in at number 20 on our list, Tim Flock. Two championships, 39 career victories, Shannon.

SHANNON SPAKE: Number 19. He has 40 wins, but no Cup Championships. And that would be Mr. Mark Martin.

ADAM ALEXANDER: Kevin Harvick is in at number 18. 40 career victories and won that championship in 2014.

SHANNON SPAKE: And how about this guy? Very, very popular. Bill Elliott. He is coming in at 17 on our list.

ADAM ALEXANDER: Saw Buddy Baker yesterday. Today it's Buck Baker in at number 16. Won the championship in '56 and '57. A three-time Daytona 500 winner. 46 career victories for him.

So a reminder, 16 to 20, you got Baker there, Bill Elliott inside the top 20, Kevin Harvick in at 18, Mark Martin in the NASCAR Hall of Fame is 19, and Tim Flock 20th on our list.

Let's go to Kevin Harvick, all right, a guy that we see competing now. Won the championship in 2014. He's in at 18th. I had him at 13 when I voted. And one of the reasons why is, in addition to all those Cup wins, he's been outstanding in the Xfinity Series. Has a championship there.

Brad is a guy that competes against him on a weekly basis. What do you think about Kevin in at 18?

- I had Kevin in at 18. That's what I picked. [INAUDIBLE] perfect. That's exactly where he is in the wins list. And I think it's great to have won-- two Xfinity championships, I believe, he's won--


- --along with Daytona 500s.

And you look at his wins. And his average finish in the modern era is incredible. He's in the 13s. The only driver in the modern era with a better average finish than Kevin Harvick is Jimmy Johnson. And I have a feeling we're going to see him later on.

SHANNON SPAKE: Two Coke 600s, a Daytona, a Brickyard, a Southern 500, two Xfinity championships, and a Cup Championship. In my opinion, he should be higher.

LARRY MCREYNOLDS: I'm actually quite disappointed--

SHANNON SPAKE: He should be higher.

LARRY MCREYNOLDS: --that he is as low as he is, because, again, the 40 Cup wins, 47 Xfinity Series wins, 14 Truck wins, three championships in the top three series, and won big races. The Daytona 500, the Brickyard.

SHANNON SPAKE: He's also won in 15--

- Yeah, I'm--

SHANNON SPAKE: --of the 18 seasons that he's [INAUDIBLE].

- --I had him at 12th. I had him as-- about as high as any of our active drivers, other than Jimmy Johnson.

ADAM ALEXANDER: OK, let's go Mark Martin. I mentioned he's in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Here's a guy that didn't win a championship, Bobby. But when you look at his stat line, Mark got to victory lane 40 times, five times he was a runner-up at the Cup level as far as winning a championship, and 49 Xfinity victories. You race with him a lot. Should he have been higher than 19?

- Well, he should have been. I really picked him right around-- I was about a 20th, 23rd, I think. You know what? Now I look back and I go, maybe I should have went a little higher on that. But obviously, Mark Martin didn't win a championship. But gosh, he won so many races.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: He finished second a lot of the championships, too.

BOBBY LABONTE: Five times.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Yeah, I know, a lot.

BOBBY LABONTE: Second five times. But also won four, I think, four IROC championships? Four or five. And just absolutely one of the greatest drivers, I think. And I hate now that I feel bad about that I didn't put him higher than that. But that's where you go back and you don't know where you should put people at all times, if you rank them totally by wins or by championships, and you put them in the Hall of Fame. So it's difficult. But he is definitely-- he drove my race car a few times. He was awesome.

CASEY MEARS: In my opinion, too, he's one of those guys I talked about at the beginning. He got more out of a car than it gave him. And he did it on a consistent basis. He's always put laps on the board. Every practice he's one of the fastest guys. And he's just one of those guys, I feel, that overperform.

SHANNON SPAKE: OK, I think this is a case, Adam, where yesterday we heard, Bobby, I think it was you talk about the fact that you raced these guys. And for Mark Martin to finish second in the championship five different times, these guys on the race track, they knew how tough that was, that it's a lot more than just numbers on a stat sheet.

I want to talk about Bill Elliott. 37 years full-time in the Cup Series. But when you saw his final years, obviously, not as successful as he was earlier, but he's got so many victories, 44 of them, a Cup Championship. So did you guys expect him to be in this section or maybe a little bit higher, Brad?

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I think this is the perfect section for him. Two-time Daytona 500 winner, three-time Southern 500 winner. Those are the crown jewels, like we've talked all along.

But I think this was a perfect fit for him. He did have the one championship at the highest level in the Cup Series, but he didn't have any championships in Xfinity or Truck. So I think when you look at him and you compare him to Kevin Harvick, I think very comparable.

LARRY MCREYNOLDS: Yeah, this is about where I had him. And we think about those crown jewel races. Just remember this, Bill Elliott was the first guy to win that Winston Million for winning three of those four races back in 1985, the one championship. This is about where I had him.

But I want to go back to Mark Martin. I can't get off this Mark Martin bandwagon.

- Oh, boy.

- And this is one that just jumped out to me. Five-time IROC champion. People probably go, what the hell is IROC? Well, that's where they would take 12 drivers from all walks of racing, put them in equally matched race cars, and race them four races in the year. Mark won the IROC championship five times. And to me, that was huge.

BOBBY LABONTE: Yeah. And he also won the All-Star race twice. So he's a win-- I mean, he won a lot of races. And winning that IROC championship, I think he definitely should be higher than where he's at.


- [INAUDIBLE] talking about it.

- Yeah, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott certainly a fan favorite. I know you guys said that that's not part of the voting. But it was a little bit. It swayed some of my decisions.

So we have number 15. And that would be Junior Johnson. 50 victories at the Cup level for Junior Johnson.

ADAM ALEXANDER: Last driver that did not win a championship. Rusty did win a title. Wallace in at number 14. The 1989 Cup champ, Shannon.

SHANNON SPAKE: And driver of the number 13 car, Herb Thomas. How about this? 48 wins over 10 years at the elite level.

ADAM ALEXANDER: Two-time champion. And then at number 12, Kyle Busch won the championship in 2015. 43 Cup wins. 91 times to victory lane in the Xfinity Series.

SHANNON SPAKE: Number 11 is Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett. 50 victories and a two-time Cup champion for Mr. Jarrett.

So here they go, our top five in the top 15, Junior Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Herb Thomas, there is Kyle Busch-- we were all wondering when he was going to pop into the list-- and Ned Jarrett.

OK. So I want to start with Kyle Busch here. Because we were having a conversation before we came back on-camera where Kyle Busch only has three more victories than Kevin Harvick. And Kevin Harvick has all of those crown jewels. So is this where Kyle should be?

- Well, I don't think that a lot of the voters went down Brad's road as far as just Cup wins. It has to be because of all the other wins. You know, he has over 180 total wins in the top three series. Now, I still don't put him in the category of Richard Petty, because he's that close to 200 wins, because Richard Petty's 200 wins. But you think about it, in the top three series, that's a lot of wins. And he's still in his early 30s with a long way to go.

- Let's play a little up/down with Kyle Busch. He ultimately comes in at 12. Just quickly, up or down? Would you have him higher or lower? Bobby, where do you go?

- I think about the same, about where he's at. I actually didn't have him that high. But when you think about it, I had him a little bit lower than that. But I think I'm glad to see him in this group of five, because the fact that like what Larry said, he won all the races. And we can't forget the Snowball Derby. He won that race, too.


So there's so many that he's done. And he's just a excellent driver all the time when he goes out to compete against anybody in everything he drives.

- I had him at number 17, Bobby. That's where he's at on the wins list. But I have to give him a lot of credit, because he's won at every racetrack--


- --on the circuit. And that's, to me, something that's big.

CASEY MEARS: Yeah, I had him roughly where he was at. And that's-- what makes it so hard is when you're thinking about that next group that is above him. Then you start looking at those guys and go, well, should he be above those guys? Should he be below those guys?

But obviously, from what you guys said as far as all the races he's run, how competitive he's been in every single series that he's been in, it's hard to put him any lower than really where he's sitting right now.

- An interesting person on this list, also, for me is Junior Johnson. No Cup Championships. But-- and wonder, Brad, do you take this into consideration? 150 wins as an owner. So he didn't only win as a driver, but he also won as an owner. Did that count at all?



BRAD KESELOWSKI: No. It's top 50 drivers, not owners--

SHANNON SPAKE: Here's another thing.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: --and drivers.

SHANNON SPAKE: He won 16% of the races that he competed in.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: Now, that's impressive.

SHANNON SPAKE: So that's impressive.

BRAD KESELOWSKI: I like that stat. And you know what I really like about Junior Johnson as I think about his legacy as a driver, he's the guy that first figured out the draft.

- There you go. There you go.

- And when I think of great drivers, and maybe this is just me, I think of guys that set precedents, that set trends that continued for decades. I think of Dale Junior-- or Dale Earnhardt, how he learned how to work the draft better than anyone else. And he set a template that drivers to this day still follow of how to draft.

And I think of Junior Johnson. He set the template for just learning what the draft was and how to use it from the very start. I think of David Pearson and at some of the moves that he made with the slingshot. Those were impressive moves. So I think of tactics. And Junior Johnson created some of the modern tactics we know today.

- So tactics--

- It's interesting, though--

- --or wins?

- Wins. It still comes to wins. But I love his tactics.


ADAM ALEXANDER: Interesting note, though, about Junior Johnson, Larry, he's number 15. He'll be the highest that we have on our top 50 list that has not won a championship. And so he garners that distinction.

- Yeah, and when I look at this group right here, I was not off on a lot of these right here as far as where I had them. But a lot of them were real close to that 50-win era. Yeah, Junior Johnson did not have a-- win a championship.

But then I think about Ned Jarrett. You know, Ned really did not race that many years. And to win those championships and to win the two Cup Championships and 50-Cup wins. And think about this. Bobby, you've won the Southern 500. He won the Southern 500 one year by 14 laps.

SHANNON SPAKE: Is that good?


SHANNON SPAKE: I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.

- That's pretty solid.

- That's pretty good. [INAUDIBLE]

- I think I won by 14 feet.


Yeah, well, and I think you're right, Ned is another one of those guys, won two championships, obviously, won the Southern 500 by that many laps. But he didn't race a lot. But his percentage of wins, his percentage of top five finishes, top 10 finishes are very impressive. Championships-- if you were categorizing championships, he should be way up there. And wins, same way. So I think he's in the right place.

- I got to stop real quick and say, Rusty Wallace, 14th? That's an abomination. He is number nine on an all-time win list, champion. 14th? Pffffft.