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The Oldest Winners in NASCAR History

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Kenny Schrader won a NASCAR Pinty’s Series race last week at the age of 68 years old. He just never seems to stop racing, and he is not the only NASCAR driver to drive at an older age than some would.

However, a select few drivers have seemed to get better with age. NASCAR is a sport where, sometimes, older drivers have a lot of success. Who are some of the oldest winners in NASCAR history?

Dale Earnhardt: 49 Years Old at His Last Win

Dale Earnhardt was great from when he entered the sport until the tragic end of his life at the 2001 Daytona 500. He won his seventh Championship in 1994 at the age of 43 years old, and he continued to win races even after that. He won his only Daytona 500 in 1998 at the age of 46.

In 2000, after a couple of struggling years, he had a resurgence with 13 top-5s, 24 top-10s and a second place points finish. It was his first top-2 points finish since 1999, and his final career win at the age of 49 was in the most Dale Earnhardt way possible. With four laps to go in the 2000 Winston 500 at Talladega, Earnhardt was in 18th, and he drove his way to the win.

Bobby Allison: 50 Years Old at his last Win

Bobby Allison was great in his younger years, but his two major accomplishments came after he turned 45. In 1983, after three second-place points finishes in five seasons, Allison finally broke through and won his first Cup Series Championships. He beat none other than his bitter rival Darrell Waltrip.

In 1988, at the age of 50, Allison became the oldest winner of the Daytona 500. He beat his son, Davey, to the line in one of the most incredible Daytona 500s in history. Unfortunately, Bobby’s career concluded later that season following a crash at Pocono, but that does not take away from his incredible accomplishments.

Mark Martin: 50 Years Old at His Last Win

When Mark Martin moved to a limited schedule following the 2006 season, he proved quickly that he was not washed up. He finished second in the 2007 Daytona 500, and he maintained a consistent average finish in 2007 and 2008. That was enough to impress Rick Hendrick, and Martin was driving the number 5 car in 2009.

At the age of 50, Mark Martin was nothing short of incredible. He won seven poles, and, most importantly, five races as he finished second in the standings. He would finish up his career after leaving Hendrick with two more part-time seasons.

Morgan Shepherd: 51 Years Old at His Last Win

Morgan Shepherd did not compete full-time in NASCAR until he was 39 years old. Even then, he would have some good success in NASCAR with a career-best points finish of fifth in 1990. In 1993, Shepherd nearly tied for the number one guy on this list as he won his final career race.

At the age of 51, Shepherd won the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after taking the lead with 12 laps to go. He would finish seventh in the standings that year before finishing in sixth in 1994 at the age of 52. He raced sporadically in NASCAR until the age of 77 in the Xfinity Series in 2019.

Harry Gant: 52 Yeard Old at his Last Win

“Handsome” Harry Gant drove the iconic green, number 33 Oldsmobile for Leo Jackson. Throughout his 40s, Gant continually won races and finished in the top-10 in points standings. However, the best years of his career came after he turned 50.

In 1991, at the age of 51, Gant won four races in a row at Darlington, Richmond, Dover, and Martinsville. He would finish fourth in the points, and he broke his own record for NASCAR’s oldest winner twice in 1992. Those were his final two career wins in the Cup Series, and to this day he is NASCAR’s oldest winner.

In NASCAR, plenty of older drivers have found a way to continue to have success despite their age. Who will be the next driver to sneak onto this list?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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