The best of the 2000s

The best of the 2000s

With the Cup Series inactive last weekend, the regular weekly edition of NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings remained frozen.

However, the ranking never rests, which is why this week we present a bypass – the top 10 drivers of the 2000s.

There are many ways to rank athletes, of course. Numbers sometimes tell the story. As former NFL coach Bill Parcells put it: “You are what your record says you are.”

But along with the numbers there are other metrics – ability, perseverance, reliability, endurance and, for the drivers, what they have in the final lap that separates victory from second place.

Here’s a look at our top 10 for the 2000s (so far):

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings, 2000s

1. Jimmy Johnson – Boy, does he have numbers? Eighty-three wins and seven championships (five in a row) since he first won in 2002. He has missed the No. 1 spot and would be in the top five of all time.

2. Tony Stewart – Stewart won three championships and 46 races during the 2000s and visited the winning lane at least once from 2000-13. A runner runner, especially with a chip on his shoulder.

3. Kyle Busch Often described as one of the best wheelers to pass through these places, his younger brother Busch has eliminated two championships and 60 wins.

4. Kevin Harvik – Harvik made himself “Happy” for most of the 2000s, recording 58 wins and one title. He should have won more championships, but the cards often fell the wrong way when he was hunting.

5. Jeff Gordon Many of Gordon’s highlights came in the 1990s (33 wins from 1996-98, for example), but the new century found him still a top threat. He won six races and the fourth title of his career in 2001 and had 10 more seasons of multiple wins in the 2000s.

6. Matt Kenseth – Kenseth won the last “points-system” championship (in 2003). The absolute point runner, he remained a threat to the title for most of the rest of his career, counting a total of 39 wins in the 2000s.

7. Brad Keselowski – When Keselowski took his shot in the Cup, he was not shy, crushing Carl Edwards in a frantic final lap at Talladega in 2009 to claim his first win. A championship followed in 2012 and Keselowski continued to record victories for Team Penske.

8. Kyle Larson – Once Larson found his footing, it was a rocket. A driver who would rather run short distances across the country, has brought success to this landscape in the old days.

9. Danny Hamlin – He dances dangerously close to joining this group of drivers (see: Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Junior Johnson) who excel but can not win a championship. But 48 victories speak loudly.

10. Joey Logano – Few expected Logano to be slow at the beginning (he was nicknamed “Sliced ​​Bread”, eventually), but as soon as he reached the Penske team, he started stacking victories and added a championship in 2018.

At the top of the list: Chase Elliott, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr.

Watch some of the drivers on this list add to their CVs at Sunday Nashville Superspeedway Cup (5pm ET, NBC).

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