Why is Dale Earnhardt Sr. considered the greatest driver in NASCAR history?
The night that he died I'll never forget what the NASCAR commissioner said: "NASCAR has lost its greatest driver ever." Since his death, many others have echoed that statement. However, its hard for me to consider him the greatest ever when you compare his resume to Richard Petty's. Dale Sr. might be the most popular driver ever but he's probably not the greatest.
because he drove when nascar was a pure racing experience. men were men. big business, political correctness would have never been allowed. fast cars, rough men and yes i don,t smoke but having marlboro and winston on the cars gave them character.
The "greatest' at anything is a subjective matter. Your qualifications might not be mine. In sports the "greatest' usually depends on who you're a fan of or who you don't like. Earnhardt was ONE of the greatest. But I tend to think Petty was the greatest IMHO.
Right. King Richard is the best. Dale is certainly up there, but if he were still here, he would openly admit he doesn't compare to Richard Petty and his accomplishments.
It's all about the money. When Earnhart came along, NASCAR was starting to go mainstream. 1. He won. 2. He made money for himself. 3. He made money for the organization. 4. He energized the fans. 5. He gained publicity for both himself and the organization. 6/ He brought in new sponsors. (money) 7. He knew how to play the game.
Richard Petty also holds another record, getting caught
I never heard him being referred as the greatest. He wasn't and never will be. Petty is the greatest, and not even Gordon will beat that.
I AGREE. TO HIS FANS HE MAY BE THE GREATEST DRIVER IN NASCAR HISTORY BUT THERE ARE OTHERS WHO ARE MORE QUALIFIED FOR THE TITLE.
i consider richard petty the greatest driver ever but earnheart was a great driver and is a close 2nd along with gordon in my book
Richard Petty is NASCARS king and always will be.
I cannot add an answer any better than the ones already posted. good job guys.
^5 to ncjay08 on that one. Dale may not be THE greatest ever, but he is certainly way up there. If Richard Petty is the King, then Dale is the crown prince.
This is a tough and one their is no clear cut answer to, short of letting the two duke it out, which can never happen. They belonged to different eras, and I think Petty would have a tougher time pulling off 200 in this era.
Because he can come from outside the top ten to win a race in 3 laps like at Talladega. Plus, like he says in the new movie Dale, "I can win a race on Sunday, and feed the cows on Monday." He was one of us, so we all believed he was the greatest.
It's not just about wins, championships, or top finishes. It's about you the driver.
I don't know if he was the best, but he's one of em'
Your fact list is misleading. Although the numbers are correct you failed to list number of starts for each driver. If you do that and then break that down to a percentage for each category I think you will have answered your own question. Yes Petty has 200 wins but in the early days they may race as many as 48 races in a single season. Even David Pearson has a better winning percentage than Petty.
I think they mean he was the best crash driver in history. He was worse than #20 used to be. He never passed the opportunity to take out an opponent. It was win at any cost and not really about the race.
The number of champonships, the tenacious yet professional way he drove and how he almost single-handedly made the die-cast industry a monster with the marketing of his car paint schemes. He was the single figure who was the bridge to what became the global popularity of the sport.
Very good question,here's my take on why Helton said that and why in my mind it's true.While comparing different eras is hard if not impossible to do.What isn't hard to compare is the impact any one driver has had on the sport.Dale Sr. has had the single biggest impact on Nascar of any driver bar none,he was simply our sports greatest personality and advanced the sport like no other.When you talk about the greatest you are not always talking about the most talented,but instead the person who defines the sport.So to me there is no comparison,Dale sr. in life was the greatest and in death he continues on.
Because who better than NASCAR would know? They know that Petty's first Championship was won under a dubious points system where winnings were figured into a complicated formula to dertermine points payouts. It was possible to score more points than drivers ahead of him in the finish order of a race.
I couldn't add much to hemihead's comments. That's your best answer right there.
I would suggest to all of you reading these answers to go back and re-read Crunches answer. The man is write on the money he has done his home work check it out.
1. Petty hasn't died yet so we haven't lost him.
Well since most of you people never saw Petty in his prime , you would say Sr. but when Petty was younger he would have driven circles around Sr. In fact, Daytona 1979 he did. A far as a longer season, yes they raced more but is it harder to race 1 500 mile race a week or 2 or 3 500 mile races? Especially without Power Steering? Funny how early in Sr.'s career he didn't run into anyone, know why? Because early in his career the MEN he raced against would have pulled him out of the car and beat the snot out of him. He started his running into people later when there were younger drivers he could scare and NA$CAR let him get away with it. In Petty's day, you got Black flagged for the day and most likely suspended. Petty was a gentleman that could win by outdriving you.Not running into you.
After reading all the answers above mine, can you honestly still say that Dale Earnhardt was probably not the greatest? What is your definition of "greatest"? I think he made the greatest contribution to this sport over several decades and on many, many levels. Far above any other individual he was and still is the Greatest.
i don't think everyone says that but we who r Petty fans know who the King of Nascar is and always will b.
You really can't compare those figures to back your claim. Petty's wins came when there were many more races in a year. In 67 there were 48 he won 27 that year alone.
back when nascar started you could only race a car that was a stock car. chrysler had the best engines with the most H.P. that was SOLD to the public richard petty just happen to drive for them after nascar changed the body and engine rules richard did't win as much,, today all bodies look the same and weigh the same there is more SKILL today than before
7 cup championships..76 wins..and he never gave up..don't worry Richard Petty will be remembered as the all time greatest driver when he dies..that's when the drivers get their recognition
dale sr was the best driver there ever was.he had moves that no one can copy.he could come to the front with no problem at all.yes petty was good to but petty had a different style of driving then dale sr.it was a big lose we dale sr died.who knows what he would of done if he still was alive now.
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