In most sports, youth is the deciding factor when it comes to reflexes and skill. But, in NASCAR, age, wisdom and experience often rule the day. Still, there have been some young upstarts in the long history of America’s most popular spectator sport. Here are the Top 10 youngest drivers ever to get behind the wheel at a NASCAR championship race – and win it all.
10. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson took the first of six NASCAR Championships in 2006 when he was 31 years old.
9. Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt won the first of his NASCAR titles in 1980 at the age of 29.
8. Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR championship in 2012 at the age of 28.
7. Herb Thomas
Herb Thomas won his first NASCAR title in 1951 when he was 28 years old.
6. Tim Flock
Tim Flock won his first NASCAR championship in 1952 at age 28.
5. Terry LaBonte
Terry LaBonte won the first of two NASCAR Championships in 1986 when he was 28. He won again in 1996.
4. Richard Petty
Richard Petty won the first of his record 7 NASCAR championships in 1964 at the age of 27.
3. Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch won the NASCAR championship in 2004 at the age of 26.
2. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon shocked the racing world in 1995 by winning his first NASCAR championship when he was just 24.
1. Bill Rexford
Bill Rexford holds the current record for youngest driver to win the NASCAR championship in 1950 at the tender age of just 23.