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The 5 Greatest NASCAR Road Course Racers of All-Time

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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Even with the majority focus being on ovals, road course racing has been a part of NASCAR for most of its existence. Some drivers took to road course racing quickly, and they made some excellent road course legacies. Who are the five greatest NASCAR road course racers of all time?

5. Rusty Wallace

By the Numbers: 6 Wins; 15.3 Avg. Finish

Breakdown: Rusty Wallace was known for his incredible short-track talent, but his road-course talent should not be overlooked. From August 1987 through June of 1990, Wallace never finished outside of the top 2 on a road course including five wins. That went a decent way to get Wallace the 1989 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

4. Ricky Rudd

By the Numbers: 6 Wins; 13.5 Avg. Finish

Breakdown: Ricky Rudd was the man to beat on road courses throughout the 1980s. Not only did he win six road course races, but he won both his first and last career races on road courses. He won in 1983 at Riverside for his first career win, and he won at Sonoma in 2002 with Robert Yates Racing for his 23rd and final career win.

3. Chase Elliott

By the Numbers: 7 Wins; 7.6 Avg. Finish

Breakdown: Chase Elliott is arguably this generation’s best road course racer, and his stats at road courses are impeccable. The 7.6 average finish is incredible, and he also won four straight road course races between August 2019 and October 2020. He has not won a road course race in a while, but he has enough of a career left to jump the top guys on this list.

2. Tony Stewart

By the Numbers: 8 Wins; 10.9 Avg. Finish

Breakdown: The second all-time winningest road course racer, Tony Stewart’s prowess on road courses played a huge role in two of his first three Championship seasons. In 2005, he won both road course races while in 2002, he won at Watkins Glen while finishing second at Sonoma. His last career win also came appropriately on a road course at Sonoma in 2016.

1. Jeff Gordon

By the Numbers: 9 Wins; 13.0 Avg Finish

Breakdown: The end of Jeff Gordon’s career was not as kind to him on road courses, but between his first road course Top-10 in 1994 at Watkins Glen and his 2001 win at Watkins Glen, Gordon was impeccable. He won six races on road courses with an average finish of 4.0. Not only that, he finished outside of the top-3 only four times in those 15 races.

When NASCAR returns to road courses, the drivers are always compared to those who came before them, particularly these drivers. Which current NASCAR driver could find their way either on or further up the list in the coming years?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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