While Mike Stefanik mainly competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, he made appearances in a number of other tours and series. He has quite the collection of victory hardware in total, with a full seven championships coming from the Modified Tour – he was even named the second-greatest NASCAR Modified driver of all time back in 2003.
He’s also added a further two championships from the Busch North Series, and his grand total of nine victories ties him for the most, alongside Richie Evans, in NASCAR history. He also ran 26 races for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, making it in the top 10 on 10 separate occasions. He’s a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Stefanik passed away in 2019.
Kyle Larson – The Dirt Track King
Kyle Larson attended his first race only a week after his birth. Thankfully, he wasn’t driving then. His first time driving was at the age of seven in outlaw karts in Northern California. In his teen years, he made a name for himself in open-wheel cars, earning him the nickname “Yung Money.”
He cashed in on his skill by joining NASCAR when he was only 20, quickly proving that he had what it takes to make it big. Since then, he’s been a big winner, with multiple Rookie of the Year awards and wins in all three NASCAR national series. Not only that, but he was the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champ. Even more, he’s also won the ARCA Menards Series! Truly prestigious.
Randy LaJoie – The Xfinity Champ
Beginning in go-karts when he was just 11 years old, Randy LaJoie couldn’t wait to get into the big leagues. He had to wait until he was 19, and then it was go time. He was the 1981 track champion in the sportsman division at the Danbury Fair RaceArena, and by 1983 he was part of the NASCAR North Tour, winning rookie of the year there.
He made a shot at the Daytona 500 that year but couldn’t qualify. The majority of LaJoie’s accolades have come out of the NASCAR Xfinity series. He’s won two championships in the series, 1996 and 1997, and three of his 15 career wins have come from the big season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Kasey Kahne – A Triple Engine Threat
Engines in racing and NASCAR are a particular thing. While plenty of drivers change makes and models, most of them will stick with what they know and like. Kasey Kahne isn’t like that. Since he started racing in 2002 for NASCAR, Kahne has not only driven but WON with three separate engine manufacturers – Toyota, Chevy, and Dodge.
It’s certainly rare, but what might be more rare is the success he’s raked up while doing so. He’s gained 18 career wins in the Cup Series, with three of them coming from the 600-lap Coca-Cola 600. He was the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2004. While Kahne has retired from racing due to health reasons, he still manages his own racing team, Kasey Kahne Racing.
Davey Allison – A Champ’s Career Tragically Cut Short
Despite only racing for about 10 years, Davey Allison still lands on this list with an astounding number of victories and accolades. He was the 1992 Daytona 500 winner, the 1991 Coca-Cola 600 winner, and a three-time winner of the Winston 500. He collected a grand total of 19 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series over nine years, with almost 100 top tens.
He got Rookie of the Year in 1987 thanks to two wins, five poles, and nine top fives, but we lost a perhaps legendary career in 1993 when the helicopter Allison was piloting, carrying fellow driver Red Farmer, crashed while landing at Talladega Superspeedway. Allison suffered a head injury and died the following day.