Three NASCAR personalities have made TheDrive.com’s list of top 10 most influential car people in sports.
It’s a curious list, to be sure, with an eclectic selection of athletes and others on it.
Coming in at No. 7 was Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Since the death of his father in 2001, Junior has been the most popular and, arguably, the only ubiquitous race car driver, in the United States," the website wrote. "Worship Tony Stewart, respect Jimmie Johnson, and doff your cap to Kyle Busch, but always bow to Junior."
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Ranking sixth was Gene Haas, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR and Haas F1 in Formula One. " Running a two-car F1 team can cost as much as $500 million, and, historically, it’s a story that always ends in epic failure — at least for Yanks," noted TheDrive.com. "If Haas can pull this off (and so far, he’s exceeding all expectations), it’ll be a massive step forward for America in motorsports."
The highest-ranking NASCAR entry on the list was the sanctioning body’s Chairman and CEO Brian France. "France — who inherited the family business from his father, who inherited it from his father — still puts cars in front of more eyeballs than just about anyone else in sports," said the website.
TheDrive.com’s 10 Most Influential Car People in Sports:
1. Lewis Hamilton, 31; Formula One race car driver
2. Ken Block, 48; Global Rallycross Driver, Hoonigan Racing Division; founder, D.C. Shoes
3. Floyd Mayweather, 39; Retired boxing champion
4. Alex Vega, 41; Owner of Auto Firm in Miami, Florida
5. Brian France, 53; CEO and Chairman of NASCAR
6. Gene Haas, 63; Owner, Stewart-Haas Racing and Haas F1