9 Winningest NASCAR Drivers of the Modern Era

winningest NASCAR drivers modern era

Yesterday, Jeff Gordon won his fifth Brickyard 400, becoming the first person in NASCAR history to win five races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and tying him with Formula One’s Michael Schumacher as the only other person in any racing discipline to do so. However, the win in Indianapolis was more than just a somewhat arbitrary record. It was also the 90th win of Gordon’s prestigious career, which kind of makes you wonder: could he be the greatest driver in NASCAR history?

Now, I imagine a great many NASCAR fans out there will say, without thinking, absolutely not. And these are people will probably cite names like Earnhardt and Petty. But before we rush to any judgements, lets take a look at the winningest NASCAR drivers of the modern era.

What is the “modern era,” and why are we just looking at that? Well, the modern era of NASCAR started in 1972, when they eliminated short races from the schedule and drastically changed the Cup series. (Since 1972, no one has won more than 13 races in a season. Before 1972, it happened 10 times.) It’s basically like the “Open Era” in tennis, the “Live Ball Era” of baseball, or the “Shot Clock Era” of basketball—a period before which it’s very difficult to make statistical comparisons.

So like I said, take a look at the winningest NASCAR drivers of the modern era. Then start the debate about GOAT, okay?