• 04/10/2011, 06:02PM ET

Top 5 NASCAR drivers that never won a championship

CuntryBlumpkin (305-247-64) vs Schad - Notorious Deadbeat (54-39-9)

Order counts

1. Mark Martin

He's came so close so many times, he's had a great career, with 40 career wins, and has finished second in points 5 times, once a questionable point deduction kept him from taking the championship trophy home.

2. Junior Johnson

Strong consideration for the number 1 spot, but Martin's 5 second place finishes gave him the edge IMO. Johnson is the only member of the 50 win club to have never won a championship. The main reason he never won the championship was because he rarely raced the entire schedule.

3. Fireball Roberts

He died young, but still had 33 career wins, and finished second in points in 1950. He's one of the most famous drivers from his era, and deserves a spot on this list.

4. Fred Lorenzen

He raced for a long time and never got his championship. He won 26 career races, and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers. Was the first driver to make 6 figures in a season.

5. Kyle Busch

He's only 25 years old, but this is his 6th season, and he already has 20 career wins. The Chase is the only reason he doesn't have a championship.

Alright, I'm a bit out of my element, but I'll make a go of this:

1. Mark Martin. Constantly the bridesmaid, never the bride. 5 #2 in championship, 40 wins and 428 top tens.

2. Junior Johnson, 50 wins, 148 top tens, but wasn't ever higher than 5th in the season championship race.

3. Fireball Roberts. Tragically, career cut short, would have likely have won a championship, but didn't.

4. Ricky Rudd. 23 wins, 374 top 10's and finished 2nd in 1991 for the championship, won the ROY in 1977, and won the IROC championship in 1992. I know that the IROC championship isn't a NASCAR sponsored event, but these drivers were all in identical cars, yet Rudd was the one who won the championship that year. Tells me that with a better car, would have likely won a championship. These are the guys he beat, in identical equipment:

Dale Earnhardt
Al Unser Jr.
Rusty Wallace
Harry Gant
Geoff Brabham
Davey Allison
Davy Jones
Scott Pruett
Hurley Haywood
Pete Halsmer
Arie Luyendyk

5. Carl Edwards. 2 2nd place finishes in the Championship and has only been racing 1 year longer than Busch. Also only has 1 fewer win, 4 more top 5's and 15 more top 10's. Much more consistent.

You said yourself, IROC is not NASCAR. There are were not near as many drivers in IROC as there are/were in NASCAR. That's like using Mark Martin's Busch Series and ASA dominance in this debate.

Also with IROC, NASCAR drivers have an advantage over the other drivers because the cars and tracks were more similar to those used in NASCAR.

Rudd had a solid career, but to he's not better than Fred Lorenzen.

Rudd raced full time for 30 years, and got 22 wins.

Lorenzen raced only 12 full seasons and got 26 wins, and the IROC series wasn't around back when he was racing.

And don't say Rudd had bad rides. He raced for Richard Childress Racing, who Dale Earnhardt won 6 of his championships with, he started his own team, and then raced for Robert Yates when Yates was a premiere team in NASCAR. He's always driven for well funded teams that never had sponsorship issues.

Lorenzen raced in a day when very few cars got sponsorship dollars.

To me, this really isn't close.

Ricky Rudd was a solid driver with a good career, but to compare him to Fred Lorenzen is just silly.

Kyle Busch over Carl Edwards next.

Yes, IROC isn't NASCAR, but at the same time, the cars are identical and he beat several NASCAR drivers. Allison, Earhardt, Gant and Wallace. In identical cars. Yeah, that means something. Shows how good a driver he is.

Lorenzen: 12 years and had 84 top tens. That's 7 a year.
Rudd: 32 years and had 374 top tens. That's almost 12 a year.

Much more consistent. Lorenzen never finished 2nd in the championship, Rudd did in 1991.
I never said he had a "bad ride". Just saying with a better ride he would have won a championship.


First off, Edwards has already finished 2nd in championship points twice. He has only been racing 1 year longer. Edwards 1 fewer win, almost 20 more top tens and is currently 4th in points.

Busch? 8th.

Edwards is 2nd in the Nationwide series, Busch 3rd.

Edwards has already shown that he can have the consistency over a full year to win a championship, as shown by his multiple 2nd place finishes. The highest that Busch has ever had was 5th. He doesn't have the consistency.

Busch reminds me of a home run hitter who can't hit for average while Edwards won't hit as many dingers but will hit for a much higher average.

I don't know where you found your Nationwide stats, but neither Edwards nor Busch's points count in the Nationwide series this year with the recent rule change.

I also think it's not in your best interest to use Nationwide or Truck stats if you compare Busch to Edwards, because Busch has dominated both of the lower series of NASCAR the last few years.

Edwards might get a few more top 10s, but the fact that Kyle has ran fewer races and has more wins shows that Kyle goes for the win.

There have been many times in Kyle's career where he would go for broke to take the checkered flag. Sometimes he crashed.

Talent wise, this isn't even close, Busch blows Edwards out of the water.

Points positions for Busch and Edwards are misleading since the Chase has been installed, resetting the points after 26 races for the top 12 drivers.

Busch has been a more dominating driver. He's younger, yet only has one fewer season and has more wins.

Busch wouldn't be eligible for this if it wasn't for the Chase.


Well, as far as Edwards goes, he has a lot more top-10 finishes and only 1 fewer win. That shows that he is able to stay in contention and not screw himself out of a good finish.

There is a difference between being good and smart and good and stupid. Busch goes into the second category. When you drive in a manner that takes yourself out, you are stupid and aren't capable of winning a championship.

Age has nothing to do with this. Martin was contending into his 50's.

It isn't more wins, it's one more win. Just one. I'll take consistency over that. Just as you can screw yourself out of a win, you can fall into a win as well if something happens in front of you. Because Busch is too busy screwing himself, Edwards puts himself into a position to take advantage of this.

Busch knows the rules of the Chase. If he is too stupid to take that into account with his style, that's his problem, not the Chase. I find the idea of the Chase silly, but that's my opinion.

Right now, Edwards is ahead of Busch.

Oh, Rudd>Lorenzen. I really don't care if he was the first to $100,000. That is more a matter of timing than anything else.

Rudd is in the top-50 drivers as well.

April 10, 2011  06:13 PM ET

"He's came so close so many times."


April 10, 2011  06:19 PM ET

"He's came so close so many times."..............

5 second place finishes in the championship standings.

April 10, 2011  06:23 PM ET

5 second place finishes in the championship standings.

good game today, outlaw.

April 10, 2011  06:24 PM ET

good game today, outlaw.

Congrats on taking the series. Braves have always been a slow starting team.

April 10, 2011  06:26 PM ET

Congrats on taking the series. Braves have always been a slow starting team.

well, i tried to prove it but no one would listen. so glad people counted out hamels because of one bad game against ny.

April 10, 2011  06:29 PM ET

well, i tried to prove it but no one would listen. so glad people counted out hamels because of one bad game against ny.

Braves are still taking the East.

April 10, 2011  06:31 PM ET

Braves are still taking the East.

ok. and they are off to a great start.

April 10, 2011  06:33 PM ET

ok. and they are off to a great start.

Look at the April they had last season. They've started slow for as long as I can remember.

April 10, 2011  06:43 PM ET

Good list outlaw. Not sure I could make any changes. I might have one but I'll keep it locked up until someone takes it and puts up an argument.

April 10, 2011  06:52 PM ET

Look at the April they had last season. They've started slow for as long as I can remember.

i will not.

April 10, 2011  06:53 PM ET

i will not.

You're confusing me today.

April 10, 2011  06:56 PM ET

You're confusing me today.

i am not.

April 10, 2011  06:57 PM ET

Ricky Rudd ahead of Lorenzen. Rudd finished 2nd in the championship in 1991 and was ROY in 1977 and won the IROC in 1992.

April 10, 2011  07:16 PM ET

I'll make a go of this. Way out of my element.

April 10, 2011  07:20 PM ET

Good luck Schade. Thanks for finding two changes.

April 10, 2011  07:36 PM ET

Hmm. Don't like either #5 pick... will wait on args

April 10, 2011  07:48 PM ET

Hmm. Don't like either #5 pick... will wait on args

What would you have done, just curious.

April 10, 2011  07:55 PM ET

Page 2

April 10, 2011  08:02 PM ET

Would have put Harry Grant in...

April 10, 2011  08:05 PM ET

Would have put Harry Grant in...

Thought about it, but he just didn't make the cut. Tossed between he and Edwards but went Edwards.


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