NASCAR Sprint Cup: Carl Edwards and the 20 'Dirtiest' Drivers of All Time

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NASCAR Sprint Cup: Carl Edwards and the 20 'Dirtiest' Drivers of All Time
Nick Laham/Getty Images

It can be a fine line between the move that gets a driver penalized or in Victory Lane. Dirty driving in NASCAR is frowned upon, but in reality it is the aggressiveness that a hard-charging driver has that makes him a contender for race wins.

Many of the sport's most recognized drivers throughout NASCAR history have the attitude that winning is all that matters and second is the first loser.

As a result, there were intense drivers behind the wheel who often made moves that proved unpopular with their fellow drivers and fans.

It has often been the case that a talent with great ability to drive a stock car, bursts upon the scene and begins snatching wins from the top drivers who are fan favorites.

Dale Earnhardt was a wild man who could tear up equipment like a novice racer. He was the new, hot driver who came into NASCAR when Richard Petty was considered a racing icon along with those we now call legends.

Earnhardt was booed by fans. Now in retrospect, he is considered to be possibly the greatest driver in NASCAR history and the most respected.

Names we see as inductees and nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame were extremely aggressive behind the wheel of a race car. Their moves on the track would certainly be considered dirty driving by many.

A few of the drivers we might consider "dirty drivers" carefully calculate retaliation for something another driver did to them. NASCAR drivers have very long memories when they feel they have been wronged.

Some drivers just have a hot temper and impulsively spin or wreck another car. Often this type of interaction carries over to personal attacks outside the race car. This sometimes can prove costly with fines and penalties, yet it is part of racing.

Dirty driving may temporarily affect the respect a driver garners from his peers and the fans, but it is part of the sport.

In this slideshow you will see names of drivers who are or will be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Many are drivers with one or more NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.

You will also see drivers who could win races, but for a variety of reasons they have not won the series title. A few names were winners and champions in other series, but found Cup wins difficult to attain.

Let's scroll through a ranking of 20 drivers who despite popularity, titles and their impressive statistics were actually some of the sport's "dirtiest" drivers.

The list is the opinion of the writer, feel free to comment on those you would add or delete from the list.

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