With its roots tracing back to the early 20th century, NASCAR has become one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the world. Over the years, a number of drivers have made their mark in the sport, but only a select few have managed to achieve the ultimate feat of winning the championship seven times.
In this article, we take a closer look at the seven drivers who have managed to etch their names in NASCAR history as 7x champions.
Richard Petty, famously known as “The King“, was a champion of NASCAR. He had an unstoppable talent for managing tires on tough tracks. He won a record-breaking 7 NASCAR Cup Series championships, and over 200 career wins. His signature blue car number 43 was driven by Maurice Petty, his brother, and powered by Chrysler engines.
Petty’s remarkable consistency saw him finish in the top 10 in 712 races out of 1,184 starts. His racing career spanned four decades, inspiring generations of young drivers who wanted to be like him. In 1971, he became the first driver to win a million dollars in prize money in one season. This feat was unmatched until Dale Earnhardt came along, proving that you don’t need a fancy nickname to be a racing legend.
The “Intimidator” was a force to be reckoned with. Dale Earnhardt won an impressive seven Cup Series championships, the same as both Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson. His driving style was aggressive and he was fiercely competitive, making him a fan favorite. Sadly, he passed away during the 2001 Daytona 500’s final lap. He is remembered as one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers of all time.
Fun Fact: Dale Earnhardt got his first Cup Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1979. Johnson’s NASCAR success is almost as impressive as his Tom Selleck-like mustache!
Jimmie Johnson is renowned for his astounding NASCAR record of seven championship titles, due to his incredible driving skills and knack for maneuvering through tight spaces. He made a splash in 2001, and won his first championship in 2006. Johnson has since won six more championships, making him the only driver in NASCAR history to earn five consecutive titles. His success is attributed to his intense focus and determination.
Aside from his championship wins, Johnson has also been applauded for his philanthropic efforts. Through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, he has raised millions of dollars to support US charities. These achievements have made him a role model for young racers everywhere. To emulate his success, drivers must strive to be excellent in both their driving and philanthropic endeavors. By following in Johnson’s footsteps, new generations can honor the legacy of NASCAR greatness.
Other NASCAR Champions
The following drivers didn’t quite make it to seven titles, but are legends of the sport never the less.
David Pearson was one of the most notorious NASCAR champions in the sport. He clinched three Cup Series titles and achieved 93 wins – third-most all-time. His driving abilities were unparalleled and his strategic approach to racing made him a formidable opponent.
At an early age, Jeff Gordon began karting and won several championships. He then moved up to sprint cars before entering NASCAR in 1993. His debut was remarkable and he was awarded Rookie of the Year. Throughout his career, Gordon accumulated many wins while setting multiple records.
Gordon stands out for his philanthropic work as well. He established the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation in honour of his stepbrother who passed away from cancer. The foundation is dedicated to supporting pediatric cancer research and treatment programs.
Pro Tip: Jeff Gordon sets an example of excellence both on and off track with his passion for racing and dedication towards serving humanity through charitable work.
The Silver Fox is one of the seven NASCAR champions. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, having won three championships. He holds 105 premier series victories – coming in second on the all-time win list.
Wood Brothers Racing and Holman-Moody teams were graced by his presence. His rivalry with Richard Petty made NASCAR popular. Pearson drove race cars that were underfunded, yet remained competitive due to his skills. He was known for his coolness under pressure and ability to read a race.
Though he had an impressive career, he only competed in few full seasons due to disagreements with team owners and sponsors. But when The Silver Fox got behind the wheel, he made it count.
One can learn from him on staying calm under pressure and adaptability to difficult situations. Sharpening instincts through practice and paying attention to small details could be key to success, like it was for Lee Petty – winning three NASCAR championships.
Lee Petty, the eldest NASCAR champ, was renowned for his tenacious speed and schemes. He won three Grand National titles, with a controversial finish to the 1959 Daytona 500. He was also notorious for a pit wall brawl with Jimmy Thompson. His legacy continues to be an inspiration for future champions.
Why was he so successful? His unique position in history as the ‘King’ of NASCAR with no previous example to follow. Plus, he was owner to Richard Petty who beat his father’s record of seven Cup Series championships.
Chevrolet cars helped Lee win his first two titles, while Chrysler gave him the edge for 1960. It’s still common for teams to switch car brands based on performance.
The Pettys are the only father-son duo to be crowned champs, sharing shrewdness and strategic planning skills. Cale Yarborough followed Lee’s footsteps, being the only one to win three consecutive championships, and giving turkey farming a run for its money.
Cale Yarborough, the 3-time NASCAR Grand National Champion, earned over 80 wins and secured a spot in the Hall of Fame. He was known for his aggressive driving style and competitive spirit. His achievements included becoming the first driver to win three consecutive Daytona 500s (77-79) and four Southern 500s. He was part of the “Alabama Gang” of drivers. Yarborough was also a car owner and team manager.
After retiring in 1988, he still made an impact in the sport. He mentored younger drivers and served as a commentator. Yarborough is remembered as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history. According to NASCAR.com, he is one of only seven drivers to have won three or more Cup Series championships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who are the 7x NASCAR champions?
A: The seven -time NASCAR champions are Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and Jimmie Johnson.
Q: How many championships did Richard Petty win?
A: Richard Petty won seven championships, tying him with Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson for the most championships in NASCAR history.
Q: When did Jimmie Johnson win his seven championships?
A: Jimmie Johnson won his seven championships between 2006 and 2016.
Q: Who won the first NASCAR championship?
A: The first NASCAR championship was won by Red Byron in 1949.
Q: How many championships did Dale Earnhardt win?
A: Dale Earnhardt also won seven championships, with his last one coming in 1994.