Who Are Some of the Most Famous Deceased NASCAR Drivers?

Who Are Some of the Most Famous Deceased NASCAR Drivers?

Some of the most famous deceased NASCAR drivers include Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Alan Kulwicki, Tim Richmond and Adam Petty. Earnhardt and Kulwicki were both former Winston Cup champions.

Earnhardt is one of the most famous drivers in NASCAR history. He won seven Winston Cup titles, which is tied with Richard Petty for the most in NASCAR history as of 2015, as well as 76 total races over a 27-year career. Nicknamed "The Intimidator" for his aggressive driving style, Earnhardt drove the #3 car for Richard Childress Racing from 1983 until his death in 2001 in a last-lap crash at Daytona International Speedway. Two of his sons, Kerry Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., also became NASCAR drivers.

Kulwicki was the Winston Cup champion in 1992 and won a total of five races. He died flying into Bristol, Tennessee for a race in April, 1993.

Richmond won 13 races in his career and was considered one of the most popular drivers of the 1980s. He was the inspiration for Tom Cruise's character Cole Trickle in the movie "Days of Thunder." Richmond died of AIDS in 1989.

Petty was the grandson of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and the son of former driver and current analyst Kyle Petty. Petty had four wins in the Busch Series, which was the level below the Winston Cup, the top circuit in NASCAR. Petty died of injuries sustained in a practice crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2000.