Every sport has them: the superstars, the best of the best and the greatest of the great.
And even though motorsports cuts a wide path in the American sporting fabric, including NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, Indy Car open-wheel racing, motorcycles, boat racing and more, certain names rise to the fore as the best ever behind the wheel, no matter what category of racing they're in.
Picking the 25 greatest American drivers of all time involved a lot of time, research and some hard calls on who made the list and who didn't. We had a vast number of drivers to go through, but finally whittled it down to the goal of the 25 best.
There may be some surprises on this list. Likewise, there may be some surprises about who didn't make the list as well.
In the end, any list like this is going to leave some fans upset that their favorite driver wasn't included. If yours is not on this list, it wasn't an intentional slight.
(Update) Also, it would be unfair to rank one driver over another, so we simply present drivers by sport and in order -- NASCAR, open-wheel, NHRA, Outlaws/sprint cars and Formula One. Because some readers were getting confused that we had utilized numbers -- even though that was strictly for categorizing, rather than any type of ranking -- we have removed the numbers. Hopefully, that way it is clearer that the 25 drivers chosen are not ranked numerically in any type of fashion.
We'd love to get your input on who did or didn't make the list. Feel free to leave your thoughts.
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