Friday 5: Will any other Cup drivers surpass Dale Earnhardt’s 76 career wins?

Will anyone surpass Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s record of 76 Cup victories? Is 60 career wins the new milestone for today’s drivers? NASCAR aims for competitive balance in the Next Gen car era, potentially altering the sport’s defining marks. Jeff Gordon made 100 career victories seem feasible, but no one has come close since. What sets the standards for Cup drivers now?

Eighth on the all-time Cup wins list, Earnhardt may remain unchallenged as Kyle Busch, 2nd with 63 wins, struggles to surpass him. Busch’s 1.75 victories annually suggest he won’t reach Earnhardt’s level until 2031. Newer drivers like Joey Logano, who has an average of 2.9 wins per season in the last 10 years, could achieve around 61 wins by age 43.

Chase Elliott, with significant wins in the past six years, would need 48 more wins to reach 66 by 2039, still short of Earnhardt’s total. William Byron could achieve 2030 and beyond with an average of 2.5 wins per year. Larson, with 2.6 wins per year, could meet the milestone by 2030.

Reducing the likelihood of these victories and reaching Earnhardt’s record is the balance imposed by NASCAR and the significant gap between the current top winners and their predecessors. The implications of COVID-19 on the sport haven’t been far-reaching, as demonstrated by Phelps in Phoenix.

Regarding records of consecutive starts, Harvick has 826 career starts, Busch has 678, and Logano has 507. Busch may surpass Pettys record of 1,184 starts with his 4.1 seasons left in his career. Logano won’t top Busch’s record until 2034.

Busch and Harvick dominate current lists for consecutive years with a win, with Busch’s 19 consecutive season wins leading the pack. Achieving their level would take Logano 12, Blaney 18, and Bell 16 more seasons.

Finally, Buscha and Hamlin sit close to Gordon’s 477 record of top-10 finishes, with 372 and 340 finishes. Logano has 274. It will take Busch five full seasons to surpass Gordon, Hamlin, and Logano will take longer.


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