With one of the biggest fanbases in all of American professional sports, it's no shock that a majority of NASCAR drivers are beloved by hordes of passionate fans. These fans are just as devoted to their drivers and teams as fans of any stick-and-ball sport, dropping hundreds of dollars a year to deck themselves out in their colors of choice and willfully starting all over when drivers change teams or sponsors.
Part of the reason that many of these drivers are so well-loved is because their off-track personalities are so interesting. Carl Edwards runs a record label, Elliott Sadler is friends with Blake Shelton and Mark Martin's love of rap music is widely known, even outside of the NASCAR garage.
It's hard to come up with a formula for popularity, given that merchandise sales, comprehensive Q ratings and Most Popular Driver voting figures aren't easy to come by. This list relies on a lot of subjectivity; most of the big names you would expect to see are on here, plus some older drivers who have earned respect over lengthy careers and a few new faces from the lower levels that have brought over large fanbases from other series.
There are sure to be notable omissions (Kurt Busch didn't make it due to his public relations issues of late), and of course, each driver's ranking is open to debate. But enjoy.