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The Top 10 Racers of All Time

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Mario Andretti

One of only two drivers to win Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, and World Sportscar Championship races, Andretti is one of the most successful drivers of all time. He has had 109 career wins on major circuits, and he is the only person to have been named the United States Driver of the Year in three different decades (1960s, 1970s, and 1980s).

Jim Clark

Jim Clark won two world championships before his death in a 1968 Formula Two racing accident. He won the British Touring Car Championship in 1964 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1965. Like the other greats, Clark could win in many different cars, including Formula One, IndyCars, and sports cars.

Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

One of the winningest NASCAR drivers of all time, Dale Earnhardt, Sr. won 76 races during his career, including the 1998 Daytona 500 and seven NASCAR Winston Cup Championships. He was one of the first drivers inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Juan Manuel Fangio

Nicknamed El Maestro (“The Master”), Argentinian legend Juan Manuel Fangio is generally considered to be one of the greatest F1 drivers who ever lived. He won five Formula One World Drivers’ Championships and has the highest winning percentage in Formula One. After he retired from racing, he served as the president of Mercedes-Benz until his death in 1995.

A.J. Foyt

A.J. Foyt is the only driver who has won the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Daytona 500, and the Indianapolis 500.  He also won the International Race of Champions, an all-star racing series, in both 1976 and 1977. The Associated Press named him Co-Driver of the Century (along with Mario Andretti). Foyt is also admirable because he has survived three major crashes, all of which caused serious injuries.

Dan Gurney

Dan Gurney was the first driver to win Formula One, Indy Car, NASCAR, and Sports Cars races, a feat only two other drivers (Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya) have accomplished. Gurney also started the tradition of spraying champagne instead of drinking it after the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

Sébastian Loeb

With 78 victories, Sébastian Loeb is the most successful World Rally Championship driver in history. Loeb has also won the world championship nine times in a row (2004-2012). He is also the only World Rally Championship driver to have a clean sweep of all stages in a rally, which he did during the 2005 Tour de Corse.

Junior Johnson

One of NASCAR’s earliest stars, Junior Johnson won 50 NASCAR races during the 1950s and 1960s. Johnson also invented “drafting,” where cars run closely behind each other, which allows them to maintain higher speeds and use less gas than if a a single car was running by itself.

Tazio Nuvolari

Nicknamed, “The Flying Mantuan,” Tazio Nuvolari had early successes racing motorcycles, but he switched exclusively to cars in 1931. Nuvolari raced with Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati, and he won six European Grand Prix races during his career.

Ayrton Senna

Even though he died in 1994 at the age of 34, Ayrton Senna is generally considered to be one of the greatest Formula One drivers who ever lived. He won three Formula One world championships, and he is one of only four drivers to win at least three titles in a four-year span. Senna also holds the all-time record for Grand Prix wins in which he was leading throughout a race. He’s particularly notable for his outstanding performances in wet conditions, with twelve wins in twenty races.

Byline

Raymond Scully is a freelance writer who focuses on ATV and Quad gadgetry, car mechanics, car news, racing, motorcycling and other kindred subjects.

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