The 2021 season has ended with a new champion crowned, but which driver has the most wins in NASCAR Cup Series history? Which family has held the record since 1959?
In the 72 seasons that the NASCAR Cup Series has been racing, a total of 198 drivers have taken race wins at stock car racing’s highest level.
Jim Roper was the first way back in 1949 at Charlotte, with Bubba Wallace the most recent new winner, at Talladega in 2021.
For this article, where the The Focus refers NASCAR wins it will be for the Cup Series only.
Who has the most NASCAR wins?
Just two drivers in NASCAR history have racked up over 100 wins in the Cup Series – and they were the series’ first big rivals.
Richard Petty and David Pearson were arguably NASCARs first two biggest stars.
Petty (below, right) , from 1,184 starts would claim 200 NASCAR race wins, and seven titles.
Pearson (left) would take 105 wins from 574 starts, and three titles.
The two won a combined eight Daytona 500s – Petty seven and Pearson, one.
Others have got close to matching their achievements and becoming members of the centurion club in the Cup Series wins-list.
A blanket can be thrown over the next six drivers on the list – some of NASCAR’s all-time greats.
The not-quite centurion on NASCAR’s win list
The third driver on NASCARs all-time win list is now Hendrick Motorsports vice-chairman, Jeff Gordon.
Gordon, who took his first win in 1994 and last in 2015 at the wheel of the iconic #24 won 93 times in the Cup Series.
Gordon’s most crushing season was 1998, where he won 13 times, including four in a row between Pocono and Michigan mid-season.
That year, from 33 races, Gordon’s average finishing position was 5.6.
From Talladega in the spring (race nine), he only finished outside the top five once – 37th at Richmond.
Gordon is the only driver besides Petty and Pearson to record over 90 NASCAR Cup wins.
Four drivers separated by one NASCAR win
Interestingly, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson and Cale Yarborough are separated by just one win.
That’s a mighty 334 wins and 14 Cup titles between them.
Allison and Waltrip (below) have 84 apiece, with Johnson and Yarborough 83.
Waltrip’s 84 make him the most successful driver in the Winston Cup era from 1971-2003.
Although Allison will tell you he should have 85 wins after one in 1971 was controversially taken away by series founder Bill France, Sr.
The back-end of the top 10
The Intimidator ranks eighth all-time in terms of NASCAR wins with 76.
Dale Earnhardt first won at Bristol in 1979, which set him on the way to seven Cup titles – alongside Petty and Johnson.
His final win came at Talladega in fall 2000.
It was the most exquisite display of restrictor plate driving as the #3 charged from mid-pack to win late on.
The top 10 of drivers on NASCAR’s all-time wins list are two current drivers.
Kyle Busch has 59 Cup wins, and Kevin Harvick 58 – with Busch overtaking Harvick in the 2021 season thanks to his two wins.
Harvick’s first at Atlanta in 2001 would come just three races after Earnhardt was killed at the Daytona 500 – Harvick taking over Earnhardt’s renumbered #29 machine.
- Richard Petty – 200 wins
- David Pearson – 105
- Jeff Gordon – 93
- Bobby Allison – 84
- Darrell Waltrip – 84
- Jimmie Johnson – 83
- Cale Yarborough – 83
- Dale Earnhardt – 76
- Kyle Busch – 59*
- Kevin Harvick – 58*
*Up to date as of the end of the 2021 Cup Series season.
What about Kyle Larson?
2021’s dominant driver Kyle Larson racked up 10 wins as he cruised to a maiden Cup title.
That’s the most of any driver since Johnson took 10 in 2007.
Coupled with the six wins he took at Ganassi, Larson has 16 NASCAR wins to his name.
That’s currently good enough for 54th on the wins list, although you can expect him to continue to rise up it.
Current NASCAR drivers Cup wins – top 10
- Kyle Busch – 59
- Kevin Harvick – 58
- Denny Hamlin – 46
- Brad Keselowski – 35
- Kurt Busch – 33
- Martin Truex Jr – 31
- Joey Logano – 27
- Ryan Newman – 18
- Kyle Larson – 16
- Chase Elliott – 13
Hamlin is the highest ranked driver in terms of wins without a title, slotting in in 18th place.
As for Kyle Busch, he does have over 100 wins in NASCAR.
As well as his 59 in Cup, he has 102 in the Xfinity Series and 61 in Trucks.
This gives him a total of 222 NASCAR wins, although he still has just over a quarter of Petty’s record of 200.