NASCAR: These Seven-Time Champions All Faced the Same Struggle

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

It is hard for NASCAR champions to win one or two titles, much less seven. But that’s what three drivers in the motorsports world did. It was as a part of NASCAR. They are Richard Petty, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt. That’s a powerful three right there. Yet they all reached a point where the struggle became mighty real. All three won seven NASCAR Cup Series crowns on the ovals. Do you know what they could not accomplish? Winning No. 8.

Three NASCAR Champions Could Not Secure Title No. 8 At All

That’s right. As great as “The King,” “The Intimidator,” and Johnson were on the tracks, winning an eighth title just did not work out. Talk about facing the challenges of driving every week against the best of the best. They did it all the time. But trying to get that eighth NASCAR Cup Series crown just didn’t work out. Richard Petty captured his seventh championship in 1979. But he lucked out on 13 attempts at winning an eighth.

What about Dale Earnhardt? He won title No. 7 in 1994 but was killed on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001. That was his seventh attempt at winning NASCAR gold. Then we come to Jimmie Johnson, who joined these two legends as a seven-time champion in 2016. He tried four times to nab that eighth crown. But he could not do it and retired from the active racing world after four attempts We find out more about this from Beyond The Flag.

If you have followed NASCAR forever, then you know that Petty dominated the tracks in his day. He became a six-time champion the year in 1975 and got No. 7 in 1979. Earnhardt won No. 6 in 1993 and No. 7 in 1994. Johnson scored No. 6 in 2013 and joined the seven-champ group in 2016.

Up-and-Coming Drivers Could Learn A Lot From Watching These Drivers

Well, these guys all were tough competitors in NASCAR. Not a race went by when they did not give their all. Many up-and-coming drivers grew up watching them race neck-and-neck a lot of times. A couple of years ago, Petty shared some thoughts about racing dirt tracks. Let’s just say that he was not a big fan of it. He talked about it in an interview with Autoweek. Petty said that racing on the dirt was a forgettable experience.

“That was a different time, and I think we all knew that after Raleigh that night, there weren’t going to be any more dirt-track races,” Petty said. “We knew it was the last one that [48-race] season and we sort of already knew there wouldn’t be anymore the next season.”