NASCAR’s 5 Most Underrated Drivers

Posted by Genna | Posted in , , , , , , | Posted on 2/24/2009


Its a known fact that NASCAR commentators, fans, and media tend to focus on “certain” drivers that may or may not be good but they cause a lot of drama and talk. Now I’m pretty certain I don’t need to mention any names- we’re all pretty aware of those drivers I’m talking about.


You know the ones I mean too. The ones that are handsome, have famous last names, talk a lot of crap about a certain tire company, and cause a lot of talk when they take out other drivers *you know the ones with the famous last names*.


But what about those guys that finish well all the time, contend for championships, and don’t cause all the drama? What about guys that consistently finish in the top 10 and 5 and are all around drama free guys. But nobody wants to hear about those guys?


Well I’ve compiled a list here of the top 5 drivers that I think are the most underrated NASCAR Cup Series drivers.


5. Clint Bowyer

2007- 3rd in points
2008- 5th in points
46 career top 10’s
17 career top 5’s
2 career wins
15.8 average finish

In his short career in NASCAR, this driver from Emporia, Kansas has achieved a nice looking resume. On top of his cup stats, he currently stands as the defending Nationwide Series Champion. Look out for him in 2009, it could well his breakout year.


4. Jeff Burton

1993- ROTY
1997- 4th in points
1998- 5th in points
1999- 5th in points
2000- 3rd in points
2006- Victory at Dover in September was first victory since October 2001 at Phoenix. The Dover win vaulted Burton to the top of the Chase standings, a position he held for four weeks
212 career top 10’s
117 career top 5’s
21 career wins
15.9 average finish

Jeff’s come back year in 2006 was one for the books. He broke a nearly 5 year winless streak with a dominating win at Dover and finally found himself in the Chase for the Cup and back in contention for the championship. He’s never won one, but have no doubt that he will break the curse and go on to win at least one, maybe more, in his career.


3. Greg Biffle

2005- 2nd in points
2008- 3rd in points
79 career top 10’s
48 career top 5’s
14 career wins
17.1 average finish

Something that bugs me and undoubtedly many others is the way Greg is always referred to as a “dark horse”. Why is that? The media likes to pretend guys like Biffle are worse drivers than they actually are but this guy won the first two races of the Chase and went on to be a serious contender for the championship, finishing 3rd overall in the standings. Watch out for this guy- he will be a dark horse no more this 2009 season.


2. Mark Martin

Mark Martin
1989- 3rd in points
1990- 2nd in points
1993- 3rd in points
1994- 2nd in points
1995- 4th in points
1996- 5th in points
1997- 3rd in points
1998- 2nd in points
1999- 3rd in points
2002- 2nd in points
2004- 4th in points
2005- 4th in points
396 career top 10’s
243 career top 5’s
35 career wins
13.4 average finish

They call him “the Kid” but Mark Martin is far from it. He’s an old veteran to NASCAR but he’s lost none of his edge. In 2005, Martin ran his last full season and finished an impressive 4th place in points. Not bad for an old man who was pushing 50. Now he’s running full time in a Hendrick car with teammates like Dale Jr., Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson. With that kind of power under the hood and teammates that have the impressive resumes those guys have, how can he not be in position to win some races, even that elusive championship?


1. Matt Kenseth

2000- ROTY
2003- Won championship
2006- 2nd in points
2007- 4th in points
164 career top 10’s
90 career top 5’s
18 career wins
14.9 average finish

You could say Matt came out number 1 because that’s the only finish he’s known this year so far but there is far more to it than that. The boy can drive. I’ll be the first to say I hated to see him win Daytona on a rain call but given those extra 49 laps or so, I believe he could have won on his actual merits instead of the way he did win. It was all luck of the draw, that one was. But Sunday’s race at California was no luck. That was pure, raw talent. Watch for more of it this coming season.

Comments Posted (2)

I would disagree that Mark Martin is under rated. Won't say he's over rated either. But Mark has been in some good equipment in his career. He's been close, but no cigar.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a MM basher. I like Mark. He's probably one of the nicest most decent guys in Cup. I think he's too nice - and that's been his problem.

Can't remember the times he's been "taken out" and in the interview, he just says things happen, that's racing and he'll have to watch the tape to make sure of what really happened.

Very good driver; thoroughly decent guy; may lack "killer instinct."

As usual, good, interesting post.

At the end of the day Mark Martin can lie down and sleep well with the way he races, the way he beleives racing should be. Hard but clean. Mark would not wreck someone to win beacause to him thats not racing. So I say if Mark doesnt win a cup title because he is to nice then so be it. This MM fan sleeps well.

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