Unlike many professional sports, race car drivers can have some very long careers. As a result, drivers can rack up a pretty long list of races; especially when they drive in more than one of the three NASCAR series.
Racers love to race and some drivers will get behind the wheel every chance they get.
This past year, current NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch set a record for the most wins in the Xfinity Series and has piled up an impressive number of race starts…and wins.
But in the 70 year history of NASCAR who has driven in the most races?
Compiled by NASCAR.com; below is a list of the top 25 drivers with the most starts in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Cup Series combined.
But many drivers also run in other racing series like Sprint Car and Outlaws; those starts are not included in the NASCAR totals.
Holding down position number 25 is Mike Wallace with 806 total starts.
When Dale Earnhardt lost his life on the last lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001, he had made 812 race starts and held the record for the most wins on the track in Daytona.
Sterling Marlin has the number 23 position with 825 race starts.
Greg Biffle has spot number 22 with 836 starts when he retired last year.
Also retiring last year, Elliott Sadler has the number 21 spot with 855 race starts.
Holding down the number 20 spot, the king of the Most Popular Driver vote, Awesome Bill from Dawsonville – Bill Elliott – had 874 NASCAR starts when he retired.
Entering the “modern era” of drivers, Jeff Gordon has spot number 20 with 878 race starts. Currently a television broadcaster, Gordon is working on matching his sportscasting starts with his race starts.
Also a television sportscaster, Kyle Petty has the number 18 spot with 885 race starts.
Still driving when most men his age had retired, Dave Marcis has spot number 17 with 888 race starts.
The second of three racing Wallace brothers, Kenny – also known as Herman – Wallace takes spot number 16 with 904 race starts.
Taking spot number 15 is Ricky Rudd with 909 starts.
And number 14 is held down by a driver who just retired from his second career as a sportscaster, Darrell Waltrip who had 921 race starts when he retired.
Number 13 is taken by Bobby Labonte with 942 race starts; many of which were with brother Terry in the race.
Another recently retired drivers has the number 12 spot with Matt Kenseth and 953 starts.
Kenny Schrader holds down the number eleven spot with 984 race starts, just a few short of the 1,000 mark.
Breaking into the top 10 is another driver turned sportscaster with Dale Jarrett and 997 race starts.
Often referred to as The Mayor and a major advocate for driver safety, Jeff Burton breaks the 1,000 mark with 1,005 in ninth place.
Bobby’s big brother Terry Labonte has the number eight spot with 1,017 race stars.
Still running the occasional race and in his seventies, Morgan Shepherd has made 1,027 race starts in his long racing career of over 50 years.
While he has set a number of racing records, Kyle Busch holds down the number six spot with 1,036 starts and counting. The current NASCAR champion is the first full time driver still racing to make the list and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
While he is several years younger than his big brother, Michael Waltrip holds down the number five spot with 1,072 race starts, some of which were in his own team’s race car.
A man who just loved to race, Mark Martin has the number four spot with 1,143 race starts.
Another current full time driver, Kevin Harvick has the number three spot with 1,151 race starts.
The number two spot is held by The King himself and the man who has won the most NASCAR Cup races at 200. Richard Petty started 1,182 races before he retired.
And the driver to sit at the top of the list for the most race starts is Joe Nemechek who continues to run a number of races each season. During the 2019 racing season, Joe and song John Hunter set the record for a father and son starting all three races together during a race weekend.