NASCAR: 5 Drivers and Their Musician Counterparts

Joseph Shelton@@JosephShelton88Contributor IIIMarch 26, 2013

NASCAR: 5 Drivers and Their Musician Counterparts

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    The personality of the drivers is one thing that makes NASCAR such a widespread, appealing sport. It is more than likely that you would associate "temperamental" with Kyle Busch or "regal" with Richard Petty. You don't get that in any other motorsport.

    This can be compared to the world of music. We remember more songs than musicians, but the musicians we do remember happened to have larger-than-life personalities.

    Sure, we may know them right now because they grace the front page, but there may be a chance that that will change in 10 to 20 years.

    This is a list of drivers and their musician counterparts.

5. Kyle Busch

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    Kyle Busch is good, no question about it. As a matter of fact, he may be one of the greatest drivers to ever hold a steering wheel.

    It's a shame that his name is synonymous with "prima donna," according to several fans and fellow competitors.

    When things go good for Busch, he's the epitome of "Mr. Nice Guy." But when things don't go according to plan, he'll let you know. He's vocal, loud and brash.

    But at the same time his fans support him for a reason: He's entertaining to watch. On any given weekend, you can bet that he'll make the highlight reel in one way or another.

    You know who else was entertaining to watch?

David Lee Roth

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    That's right. Kyle Busch's musician counterpart is none other than Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth.

    The association actually makes sense. Both are colorful individuals with tumultuous histories in their respective trades, both are extremely talented, and they both know how to rock so hard your face melts off. 

    Granted, Busch is a little more family friendly. But there is no other driver like him in terms of personality as well as tenacity. Busch's name is going to be remembered for many years to come. 

4. Davey Allison

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    Davey Allison was the driver for every NASCAR fan. His magnetic smile and his easygoing demeanor made him one of the friendliest individuals to ever drive a stock car.

    His success came as no surprise to those around him. The Allison bloodline embodies greatness in NASCAR, so his meteoric rise was essentially par for the course.

    Unfortunately, he never had the chance the hoist the championship trophy. He lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash in 1993.

    Davey Allison's musician counterpart is...

Stevie Ray Vaughan

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    The parallels between Davey Allison and Stevie Ray Vaughan are very strong. Both men continue to have a mythic presence among their fans. Both men were successful in what they did. Plus, both men were cut short in their prime in tragic air accidents. 

    But they knew how to put on a show when they were around, didn't they?

3. Shane Hmiel

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    Shane Hmiel had talent along the lines of Tim Richmond. Unfortunately, he also had the partying habits of Richmond. Due to his partying, his career in NASCAR was ruined. 

    In January 2006, he became the only NASCAR driver to ever earn a lifetime suspension for drug usage after testing positive for drugs in three separate drug tests.

    He turned to USAC for a driving career but was paralyzed in a 2010 crash at Terre Haute where his roll cage collapsed when he impacted the wall roof-first. 

    At first the prognosis was grim, but since the accident he has slowly but surely been defying the odds. Originally faced with a 10 percent chance of survival and never being able to walk or breathe on his own again, Hmiel has risen from the brink of death and has slowly been able to use his arms to an extent. 

    In January 2013, Hmiel was able to drive a stock car at Rockingham Speedway in the "Race for the Rock," an event hosted by Accessible Racing, a company which provides race cars for disabled drivers.

    It's safe to say that Shane Hmiel has truly found a much-needed redemption.

Hank Williams Sr.

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    Like Shane Hmiel, Hank Williams Sr. had talent. To this day there are artists who continue to commemorate him by singing his songs and adopting his style. However, it was his excessive drinking and partying that ultimately brought his career to a premature end.

    Williams found redemption after his death, however, and he remains a legendary figure in the music industry.

2. Richard Petty

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    Richard Petty is widely regarding as "The King" in NASCAR, as his 200 wins and seven championships make him the most successful driver in history.

    Not only that, but the way he carried himself around the track as well as his relationship with his court (i.e., his fans and competitors) set him apart from the rest of the pack.

    Petty's nickname didn't just happen. There is a reason he is regarded as royalty in racing.

Elvis Presley

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    This association goes without saying. Like Petty, Elvis Presley was a regal individual. He was an innovator, a performer, and a man whose presence among his court was absolutely magnetic. 

    Presley was a widely admired individual whose lyrics, stage antics, and voice set the standard for all future acts to follow.

1. Tony Stewart

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    Look at that photo. Just look at it. The look on Tony Stewart's face says it all: This man-beast is metal. The Chuck Norris of the NASCAR garage, Stewart epitomizes all things metal. The man eats hipsters and drives a nuclear warhead to work during the week. Pretty sure he eats those as well. 

    Stewart is one of the elder statesmen of the garage. For a man at the top of his game, that has left many hapless victims in his wake: Jeff Gordon, Kenny Irwin Jr., Kyle Busch, Robby Gordon, and more recently Joey Logano.

    Add that to the fact that he is one of the best drivers not only in NASCAR but of all time. He has won championships in NASCAR and in IndyCar, and his outspoken behavior and volatile personality proves the fact that he has transcended legend status and into the realm of racing god.

James Hetfield

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    Now this is a comparison with potential. James Hetfield of Metallica is God among metalheads. Not a god, but God. His brutal vocals and hard lyrics make him one of the greatest rockers of all time. Now, I don't know if he eats hipsters like Stewart does, but I'm sure he eats kittens at least.

    I say this is a comparison with potential because Hetfield is a gearhead with an affinity for Chevrolets much like Stewart. Can you imagine if Hetfield gets involved with Stewart-Haas? Stewart's, Ryan Newman's and Danica Patrick's Chevrolets would all be painted black and their sponsor logos would be done in Metallica-style font. They would all have to destroy at least one car each on race weekends and at least seven competitor's cars.

    Why? Because they would be metal.

    Hetfield has been a rock icon since Metallica's inception. These days, he is about to cross the start/finish line into age 50. This makes him an elder statesman among rock musicians, but that doesn't take away from anything. Hetfield's leadership has made not only Metallica but rock music in general what it is today.

    Ah, yes...Stewart/Haas/Hetfield. Team motto? "Don't Tread on Me!"