Famous American F1 Drivers

Find out more about the greatest American F1 Drivers, including Kyle Busch, Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Carroll Shelby and Kyle Petty.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American F1 Drivers

 1 Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby
8
Famous As: Designer of high-performance versions of the Ford Mustang
Birthdate: January 11, 1923
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leesburg, Texas, United States
Died: May 10, 2012

An automobile designer known for his involvement with the AC Shelby Cobra and Ford Mustang, Carroll Shelby was also a well-known racing driver, and a successful entrepreneur, who established Shelby American after a heart ailment put an end to his racing career.  Meanwhile, he also ran a a high-performance driving school and published a memoir entitled The Carroll Shelby Story.

 2 Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Arie Luyendyk Jr.
6
Famous As: Auto Racing Driver
Birthdate: September 18, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 's-Hertogenbosch, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

Born in the Netherlands, to 2-time Indianapolis 500 champion Arie Luyendyk, Arie Luyendyk Jr. moved to the US with his family at age 3. He followed in his father’s footsteps to enter the arena of auto racing. He later gained fame with his appearance on The Bachelorette and his romance with Lauren Burnham.

 3 Ryan Newman

Ryan Newman
8
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: December 8, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: South Bend

Racing driver Ryan Newman, or Rocket Man, is best known for his association with the NASCAR Cup Series. Apart from being honored with awards such as the Sunoco Rookie of the Year, he has had seven wins in the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series.

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 4 Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott
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Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: November 28, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dawsonville

Racing driver Chase Elliott made history when he became the third-youngest driver to secure a NASCAR Cup Series win. His non-profit Chase Elliott Foundation offers financial help to charities. One of Elliott’s first odd jobs was washing dishes at a restaurant, and he began racing at age 8.

 5 Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin
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Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: November 18, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tampa

Part of the Joe Gibbs Racing team of the NASCAR Cup Series, Denny Hamlin boasts of 17 wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and two in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. While he began racing go-karts at age 7, he began racing mini stocks by age 16.

 6 Austin Dillon

Austin Dillon
5
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: April 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lewisville

Apart from being a popular racing car driver, Austin Dillon is also known as the grandson of the legendary NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Richard Childress. The three-time NASCAR Cup Series winner also holds the record for the most number of back-to-back poles in the Nationwide Series.

 7 Roger Penske

Roger Penske
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Famous As: Formula One driver, NASCAR team owner
Birthdate: February 20, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shaker Heights

The founder-chairman of the transportation company Penske Corporation, Roger Penske, apart from being an entrepreneur, is also a former race-car driver. The self-made auto magnate was also named to the Forbes Billionaires 2021 list and owns auto-racing companies such as Team Penske, IndyCar, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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 8 Brad Keselowski

Brad Keselowski
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Famous As: NASCAR team owner, Racecar driver
Birthdate: February 12, 1984
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rochester Hills

NASCAR Cup Series racing driver Brad Keselowski, the son of former race driver Bob Keselowski, once also owned Brad Keselowski Racing. His non-profit Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation, which he runs with his wife, funds organization to help with the treatments of war veterans and first responders.

 9 Michael Waltrip

Michael Waltrip
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Famous As: NASCAR team owner, Racecar driver
Birthdate: April 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Owensboro

Born to NASCAR champion and commentator Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip was destined to be part of the racing world. The NASCAR Cup Series driver is a two-time DAYTONA 500 champion and has also been a broadcaster with Speedvision and FOX Sports. He also penned the bestseller In the Blink of an Eye.

 10 Kyle Petty

Kyle Petty
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Famous As: Racecar driver, NASCAR team owner
Birthdate: June 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Level Cross, Randolph County, North Carolina

Apart from being the son of NASCAR racer Richard Petty, third-generation Petty family member racer Kyle Petty made his major league debut at age 18. He has also had a brief stint as a country musician. He lost his son, racer Adam Petty, in a race car practice accident.

 11 A. J. Foyt

A. J. Foyt
3
Famous As: Race car driver
Birthdate: January 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

The first racing driver to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, A.J Foytm appeared in the event for 35 consecutive years, winning the race in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977. Inheriting his love for racing from his auto mechanic father, he dropped out of  school to become professional racing driver, eventually founding a successful racing team, A. J. Foyt Enterprises.

 12 Michael Andretti

Michael Andretti
3
Famous As: Formula One driver
Birthdate: October 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

One of the most sought-after names in the open-wheel car racing circuit, Michael Andretti is the son of former Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti. He owns Andretti Green Racing and the Indianapolis-based team Andretti Autosport, which has been represented in series such as IndyCar and Australian V8 Supercars.

 13 Kasey Kahne

Kasey Kahne
3
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: April 10, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Enumclaw

Apart from winning 18 NASCAR Cup Series titles, Kasey Kahne also owns a racing team and is associated with significant charity work, too. He once granted a wish to a 12-year-old fan with Noonan syndrome. A health enthusiast, too, he has often been featured on health magazines.

 14 Mickey Thompson

Mickey Thompson
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Famous As: Inventor, Racing driver
Birthdate: December 7, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alhambra
Died: March 16, 1988

The first American racing driver to exceed 400 mph, Mickey Thompson was also an important auto racing builder and promoter, known for forming sanctioning bodies like SCORE International and Mickey Thompson Entertainment Group. A hot rodder from the very beginning, he won many track and dragster championships, later establishing Mickey Thompson Equipment Co. to manufacture high performance equipment for racers.

 15 Dick Trickle

Dick Trickle
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Birthdate: October 27, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wisconsin Rapids
Died: May 16, 2013

Billed as the winningest short track driver in history of American car racing, Dick Trickle is believed to have won 1,200 events out of an estimated appearance of 2,200 featured races.  Considered a legend in short track racing community and nicknamed the White Knight, he competed in most major races including ASA, ARTGO, ARCA, All Pro, IMCA, NASCAR, and USAC.

 16 Dan Gurney

Dan Gurney
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Famous As: Formula One driver, Engineer, Racecar driver
Birthdate: April 13, 1931
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Jefferson

An amateur drag racer in his youth, American racing driver Dan Gurney began his professional career in 1959, quickly becoming one of the most popular international racing stars of his era. Also a prominent race car constructor and the founder of All American Racers, he is known as much for his engineering acumen as for his quest for innovative solutions.

 17 Wendell Scott

Wendell Scott
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Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: August 29, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Danville
Died: December 23, 1990

One of the pioneering Black drivers of NASCAR, Wendell Scott rose to be a NASCAR Cup Series winner. He has been named to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, too. Initially an auto mechanic, he also owned his own auto repair shop. He had also been a cab driver.

 18 Kerry Earnhardt

Kerry Earnhardt
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Birthdate: December 8, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kannapolis

The eldest son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, race car driver Kerry Earnhardt had begun his career driving street stocks against his half-brother, Dale Jr. A high-school drop-out, he initially also took up multiple odd jobs to tend to his family, including that of a Pizza Hut worker.

 19 Clint Bowyer

Clint Bowyer
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Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: May 30, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Emporia

Racing driver and NASCAR on Fox commentator Clint Bowyer also has a successful racing career with 10 NASCAR Cup Series wins, eight Xfinity wins, and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. He also owns a car dealership in his hometown, Emporia, where even a street has been named after him.

 20 Ricky Carmichael

Ricky Carmichael
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Famous As: Motocross rider, Racecar driver
Birthdate: November 27, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Clearwater

Former legendary race-car driver Ricky Carmichael, known in the racing circuit as GOAT, or the greatest of all time, had his first bike at age 15. He has more wins in AMA, SX, and MX races combined and has broken more records than any other racer in history of the series.

 21 Phil Hill

Phil Hill
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Famous As: Race car driver
Birthdate: April 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Died: August 28, 2008

The first USA-born race car driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, Phil Hill began racing as a mechanic before becoming a professional racer. A disciplined perfectionist in car preparation, he achieved several career victories including two Italian Grand Prix (1960 and 1961) and one Belgium Grand Prix (1961)

 22 Marco Andretti

Marco Andretti
3
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: March 13, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nazareth

The son of IndyCar champion Michael Andretti, Marco Andretti too followed in his father’s footsteps and stepped into the racing arena. He has been winning races even before passing high school and scored his first SRX Series victory in 2021. He has also raced in Formula One and the American Le Mans series.

 23 Greg Biffle

Greg Biffle
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Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: December 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vancouver

Currently a semi-retired professional stock car racing driver, Greg Biffle gained his first recognition as a racer during the 1995–1996 Winter Heat Series. Shortly, he began his NASCAR career with Roush Fenway Racing, winning 19 races in the NASCAR Cup Series, 20 races in Xfinity Series and 17 in Camping World Truck Series, concurrently competing in numerous other series.

 24 Ricky Hendrick

Ricky Hendrick
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Famous As: NASCAR team owner, Racing driver
Birthdate: April 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charlotte
Died: October 24, 2004

Born to Rick Hendrick, the founder of the NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, Ricky Hendrick had begun racing at age 15. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner died in a horrific plane crash that killed all 10 people aboard the plane at the tender age of 24.

 25 Ashley Force Hood

Ashley Force Hood
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Birthdate: November 29, 1982
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yorba Linda

Ashley Force Hood is a former Top Fuel Funny Car (TF/FC) drag racer associated with John Force Racing. She is the daughter of  John Force, who is a 16-time NHRA Top Fuel Funny Car national champion. She and her father raced together in April 2007. She became the president of John Force Entertainment in 2012. 

 26 Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal
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Famous As: Race car driver who participates in the IndyCar Series
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Albany, Ohio, United States

Graham Rahal is a race car driver currently associated with the IndyCar Series with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team. He is the son of Bobby Rahal, the winner of the 1986 Indianapolis 500. Graham began his career in 2005. He drove in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2007 and won the 2015 MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway. 

 27 Jamie McMurray

Jamie McMurray
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: June 3, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Joplin

Jamie McMurray is a former professional stock car racing driver. He is currently an analyst for Fox NASCAR. Beginning his career in the late 1990s, he raced in the NASCAR Cup Series on a full-time basis from 2003 to 2018. He won the 2010 Daytona 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing. He has an active interest in running and cycling. 

 28 Shirley Muldowney

Shirley Muldowney
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: June 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Burlington

The first woman to get an NHRA license to drive a Top Fuel dragster, Shirley Muldowney is known as The First Lady of Drag Racing. She was also the first woman to win three NHRA Top Fuel championships. She also owns a children’s charity and has had a biopic made on her life.

 29 Robby Gordon

Robby Gordon
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Famous As: Racecar driver, Rally driver, NASCAR team owner
Birthdate: January 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bellflower

Robby Gordon is an auto racing driver who has raced in NASCAR, CART, Trans-Am, IndyCar, IMSA, and Dakar Rally. He began his career in off-road racing and also participated in selected Traxxas TORC Series events. He owns the Stadium Super Trucks, a short course off-road racing series he launched in 2013. He also operates the Speed family of brands. 

 30 Erik Jones

Erik Jones
2
Birthdate: May 30, 1996
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Byron

A prominent stock car racing driver Erik Jones began racing at the age of seven, competing in several races before being picked up by Kyle Busch Motorsports to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Winner of several awards, he currently competes full time in the NASCAR Cup Series and part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

 31 A. J. Allmendinger

A. J. Allmendinger
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: December 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Gatos

A. J. Allmendinger is a professional racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and drives the no. 16 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing. He is also involved in the NASCAR Cup Series for Kaulig on a part-time basis. He has a TV career as well and is an analyst with Fox Sports' NASCAR Race Hub. 

 32 Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal
2
Famous As: Formula One driver, Racecar driver
Birthdate: January 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Medina

Bobby Rahal former auto racing driver. He won three championships and 24 races in the CART open-wheel series, including the 1986 Indianapolis 500, during his driving career. Following his retirement, he held managerial positions with the Jaguar Formula 1 team. At present, he runs the Bobby Rahal Automotive Group. Racecar driver Graham Rahal is his son. 

 33 Scott Speed

Scott Speed
2
Famous As: Formula One driver
Birthdate: January 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Manteca

Scott Speed is a race car driver who made his debut at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix for Scuderia Toro Rosso. He has competed in open-wheel, stock car, and rallycross racing. He has driven for Team Red Bull, Whitney Motorsports, and Leavine Family Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. He is currently associated with the Subaru Rally Team USA. 

 34 Paul Menard

Paul Menard
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: August 21, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Eau Claire

Paul Menard is a semi-retired professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and drives the No. 66 Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing. He was previously a full-time competitor in the  NASCAR Cup Series from 2007 to 2019. He was the winner of the 2011 Brickyard 400. 

 35 Bobby Unser

Bobby Unser
2
Famous As: Race car driver
Birthdate: February 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Died: May 2, 2021

Born into the First Family of American auto racing, Bobby Unser had begun racing at age 15. He, his brother Al, and his nephew Al Jr., made racing history by winning a record nine Indianapolis 500 races together. He was trapped in a blizzard in New Mexico once and was almost killed.

 36 Don Garlits

Don Garlits
2
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: January 14, 1932
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tampa

Known as the Big Daddy of drag racing, Don Garlits was not just a race-car driver but also a qualified automotive engineer. After his right foot was severed in a major car explosion, he perfected the safety standards of racing, creating the first fire-resistant bodysuit and the Top Fuel dragster rear engine.

 37 Willy T. Ribbs

Willy T. Ribbs
2
Famous As: Racing driver
Birthdate: January 3, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Jose, California, United States

Willy T. Ribbs is a retired race car driver and racing owner. He is known for being the first African-American man to have tested a Formula One car. Throughout his career, he competed in many forms of auto racing, including the Trans-Am Series, IMSA, IndyCar, Champ Car, and the NASCAR Cup Series. He has been featured in a Netflix documentary. 

 38 Mark Donohue

Mark Donohue
2
Famous As: Formula One driver, Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver
Birthdate: March 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Summit
Died: August 19, 1975

Also known by monikers such as Captain Nice, Mark Donohue was not just a skilled race-car driver but also a qualified engineer. A major force behind the Penske Racing team during he 1960s and the 1970s, he is remembered for his win at the Indianapolis 500 event.

 39 Brian Vickers

Brian Vickers
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: October 24, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Thomasville

Brian Vickers is a professional stock car and sports car racing driver. He is the winner of the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series championship. He began his career running go-karts and won eighty races in the World Karting Association. He later began competing in stock car and sports car racing. His brilliant career has been marred by health issues. 

 40 Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler
2
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: April 30, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Emporia

Racing driver Elliott Sadler made history when he became one of the 36 drivers with a win in all top-three NASCAR series. Once voted the most popular driver of the NASCAR Xfinity Series by fans four times, he has now devoted himself to his farm in his hometown, Emporia, Virginia.

 41 Kevin Schwantz

Kevin Schwantz
2
Famous As: Former Motorcycle racer who was the world champion of the 1993 FIM Road Racing World Championship
Birthdate: June 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Former motorcycle road racer Kevin Schwantz began his competitive career as a trials rider, gradually progressing to motorcross before taking up road racing, eventually accumulating 25 wins in the Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. Naturally talented, but highly aggressive, he became second most successful American road racer; but was forced to early retirement due to accumulated injuries incurred throughout his career.

 42 Morgan Shepherd

Morgan Shepherd
2
Famous As: NASCAR team owner, Racecar driver
Birthdate: October 12, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ferguson, North Carolina

At 72, Morgan Shepherd became the oldest driver to be part of the NASCAR Cup Series and has four Cup Series and 15 Xfinity Series victories. A born-again Christian, he is also a lay minister and works for the specially abled. He was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2020.

 43 Randy Lanier

Randy Lanier
1
Famous As: Drug trafficker, Racecar driver
Birthdate: September 22, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Virginia

 44 Joe Nemechek

Joe Nemechek
2
Famous As: NASCAR team owner, Racecar driver
Birthdate: September 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lakeland

Also known as Front-Row Joe for his 28 pole awards, Joe Nemechek gained fame as the owner and driver of the NEMCO Motorsports team. Nemechek also became the first driver to earn the Rookie of the Year title and championship at the All-Pro Late Model Challenge Series.

 45 Peter Revson

Peter Revson
1
Famous As: Formula One driver, Motorcycle racer, Racecar driver
Birthdate: February 27, 1939
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
Died: March 22, 1974

Born into a family of entrepreneurs that established the cosmetic brand Revlon, Peter Revson surprisingly ditched the life of luxury and stepped into the world of racing instead. Popularly known as the American Racing Hero in Formula One, he died in a car testing accident at age 35.

 46 Ryan Hunter-Reay

Ryan Hunter-Reay
1
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: December 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dallas

Winner of 2014 Indianapolis 500 and 2012 IndyCar Series championship, Ryan Hunter-Reay is an American racing driver, who began his career with karting, winning several championships before turning to motor racing. Co-founder of Racing for Cancer, he currently drives the number 28 car in NTT IndyCar Series as a show of support for an estimated 28 million global cancer patients.

 47 Sarah Fisher

Sarah Fisher
1
Famous As: Racecar driver
Birthdate: October 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus

Retired race car driver, Sarah Fisher competed mainly in the Indy Racing League and Indianapolis 500. Born into a family with an interest in racing; she developed an aptitude for the sport, winning several awards before beginning her professional career in 1999. Cofounder of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, she was forced to retire in 2010 due to sponsorship problem.

 48 Eddie Cheever

Eddie Cheever
1
Famous As: Formula One driver, Racecar driver
Birthdate: January 10, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Phoenix

Eddie Cheever is known for his racing career of almost 3 decades that he spent in leagues such as Formula One and Indy Racing. He won the 1998 Indianapolis 500 with his own IRL team and had been part of 143 F1 World Championship races.

 49 Tony Schumacher

Tony Schumacher
1
Famous As: racing driver
Birthdate: December 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: California

Eight-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher is the son of iconic Funny Car driver and owner Don Schumacher. He made records in almost all racing categories and also teamed up with U.S. Army once. He also inspired his father to get back to racing after a 24-year break.

 50 Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Riverton

Justin Allgaier became the longest-tenured driver at JR Motorsports. He also has 16 NASCAR Xfinity Series victories in his kitty, apart from a top-10 finish at the NASCAR Cup Series. Also known as Little Gator to his fans, he had started racing at the tender age of 5.