What makes a driver one of the greatest in NASCAR history? Championships come to mind, but that doesn’t tell the whole story when there were only a handful of drivers running full-time schedules in the early years. Race wins? Still incomplete, but perhaps a better gauge even than championships. And winning percentage may be better still.
Cultural impact for a sport that relies on personality more than any other? Absolutely important. And while the equipment used in all sports has been improved and refined over the years, no stick and ball sport can compare to NASCAR, where finding an engineering edge isn’t just necessary. It’s an art.
But someone has to be the best at working with the materials given to them, and someone has to be the best all-time. The only near certainty is that all of these drivers likely will be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame someday.