For many of its 75-year historical past, particularly because the early Nineteen Seventies, the point of interest of the NASCAR Cup Sequence has been the seasonal championship.
The title win was noteworthy earlier than the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. joined NASCAR as its major sponsor, however the piles of cash offered by the Winston cigarette model elevated the significance of the championship exponentially. The title of “Winston Cup Champion” has grow to be a a lot coveted honor.
Over time, many proficient drivers have chased the championship, received dozens of races, come near successful the title trophy and constructed Corridor of Fame careers, all whereas failing to succeed in that final purpose.
Listed here are 10 of the perfect “non-heroes”.
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1. Denny Hamlin Hamlin has been trying like a championship driver since his first full-time season (2006), when he completed third within the standings. Alongside the best way, he received the Daytona 500 3 times, received 48 Cup races, and constructed a Corridor of Fame induction resume. However within the race for the championship, he completed second, third 3 times, fourth twice, and fifth twice.
2. Mark Martin Martin was Denny Hamlin earlier than Denny Hamlin. He chased the championship throughout the game’s 23 full-time seasons, failing on a number of agonizing events. He was second 5 instances and was among the many prime 5 eight extra years. Forty Cup victories and a fame as a racer have given him a particular entry into the Corridor of Fame.
3. Junior Johnson Johnson was the other of the “factors” racer. He was driving vehicles as if there was no tomorrow. The consequence was normally a win, a wreck, or an explosive drive. Regardless of successful 50 races as a driver and later six championships as a crew proprietor, there could be no driving title for Johnson.
4. Davey Allison – Actually the son of his father (Bobby received the championship in 1983), Davey checked each field that may be listed beneath “champion” within the early years of his profession. He barely misplaced the title in 1992 however regarded set to compete for a number of championships on the highway. He died in a helicopter crash in 1993.
5. Fred Lorenzen – “Courageous” Freddy, sensible, quick and good-looking, was a runaway star within the Nineteen Sixties cup races. He received 26 instances between 1961 and 1967 and by no means ran a full schedule (though he completed third in factors in 1963).
6. Fireball Roberts – The primary celebrity athlete within the sport to by no means have participated in a full Cup season. He received 33 races, together with no less than one yearly between 1956 and 1964, when he died of accidents sustained at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He completed within the prime 10 six instances.
7. Ricky Rudd Rudd has captained a number of groups, together with his personal, successful 23 instances. Fierce competitor (ask Kevin Harvick About that), Rudd has received no less than as soon as each season for 16 straight years. He scored his greatest factors with a second place in 1991.
8. Carl Edwards Edwards has been constantly strong all through his 28-win profession and had a shot on the title in 2011, when he tied Tony Stewart however misplaced the championship on a tiebreaker. It’s seemingly that he could be racing in additional championship races within the coming years However she determined to retire early.
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior, who received the cup 26 instances, repeated a lot of his father’s successes On the most important sports activities arenas However he failed to affix him in scoring tournaments.
10. Tim Richmond Richmond’s profession was brief however stellar, successful 13 instances in seven seasons. In 1986, he received seven races and completed third in factors. Quick, gritty and controversial, he died of AIDS in 1989, two years after his final race.
Honorable Point out: Jeff Burton, Jim Paschal, Curtis Turner, Geoffrey Bowden, Buddy Baker, Greg BiffleNeil Bonet and Harry Gantt.