The 2010’s are coming to a close, and what better way to start a new decade then to relive the top drivers of the 2010’s. Here’s our ten best drivers of the last decade!
10. Carl Edwards
Edwards is on the list not only for what he did during the decade, but what he could have done had he continued racing. Edwards finished the decade tied for 9th of the decade wins list with 12, but fans will forever wonder what Edwards could have achieved if he had continued to race. His second place finish in the 2011 championship standings behind Tony Stewart, which was lost on a tie-breaker, serves as the highlight of his decade.
9. Tony Stewart
“Smoke” is the lone driver on the list to win championships as a owner/driver and an owner during the decade. His 2011 championship season driving for Stewart-Haas Racing as well as Kevin Harvick’s 2014 championship winning season secured Stewart and his team two championships over the decade. His 12 wins across the decade rank him tied for 9th on the list of drivers with the most wins from 2010-2019.
8. Matt Kenseth
Another driver on the list without a championship, Matt Kenseth found victory lane a lot during the 2010’s. With 21 wins to his credit, Kenseth was a model of consistency throughout the decade while driving for two different teams. Suiting up for Roush Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2010’s, Kenseth proved the veterans can still race and win, even while dealing with some of the younger racers in the sport. (We’re looking at you Joey Logano!)
7. Denny Hamlin
Without a doubt, Denny Hamlin is the best driver in the decade to not win a championship. Good news for fans of his, Hamlin has plenty of time to win one during the next decade. With 28 wins and driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, the stars almost aligned in 2019 for Hamlin to reach the top. Hamlin enters 2020 in the prime of his career, so do not be surprised if Hamlin takes a championship sooner rather than later.
6. Joey Logano
Logano spent the entire decade in his 20’s, with his career surging over the last half of the decade after joining Penske Racing. Winner of the 2018 championship, Logano also tallied 22 wins throughout the 2010’s. With Logano being only 30 at the start of 2020 season, there is a lot more left for Logano to accomplish in NASCAR. To say he’s just getting started would be a great understatement.
5. Martin Truex Jr.
From 2010 to 2015, Martin Truex Jr. secured two Cup victories. Not exactly the statistics needed to get on a top ten decade list. However, over the past four seasons, Truex has claimed 23 victories driving for Furniture Row Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. A 2017 championship with Front Row Motorsports showcases just how far Truex has improved over the last five years. NASCAR fans can expect more of the same over the next decade as well.
4. Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski started his decade with a new team after driving for James Finch in 2009. His move to Penske Racing proved to all race fans how good of a driver he can be. Claiming 29 wins and the 2012 championship, Keselowski morphed into one of the most dominant and consistent drivers of the 2010’s. What will Keselowski accomplish in the next decade?
3. Kevin Harvick
The only reason Kevin Harvick is not at the top of this list is because he did not win multiple championships. Over the course of the last decade, Harvick has claimed one championship, 36 wins and holds the distinction of capturing the most top fives and top tens among all drivers. His consistency has been unmatched, but his ability to win when it counts to claim the championship has only happened on one occasion.
2. Jimmie Johnson
Johnson’s best decade was the 2000’s, but the driver of the No. 48 for Hendrick Motorsports still did what many drivers could not over the course of the decade. Johnson claimed his fifth title in a row to start out the 2010’s and claimed two more in 2013 and 2016 to give him seven total. However, the last few years have not been very kind to Johnson, with is last race victory coming at Dover in 2017. With 2020 being the final season in Johnson’s storied career, Johnson leaves behind a legacy that could never be matched in modern NASCAR racing.
1. Kyle Busch
While Kyle Busch certainly has his fans and his haters, there’s no doubt that he is the most dominant driver of the 2010’s. Let this number sink in for a moment: 146. Why is that number significant? 146 is the amount of NASCAR wins Kyle Busch has claimed since the start of the 2010 season. 40 of those wins came in NASCAR’s top series. Busch was also able to claim two championships as well, including the one to end the decade just a few short months ago. The scary part about all of this is that Busch is only 34 years with plenty left in the tank. Fans could be cheering and booing for Busch for the next decade as well.
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