5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From the Great State of Texas

By  | 


With a statewide census equaling greater than eight percent of the nation’s population, it stands to reason that the chances of some real “greats” coming out of Texas are pretty strong. Such is the case, thankfully, in the sport of NASCAR. We didn’t invent the sport (although there are days we wish we had) but we sure know how to give ‘em a run for their money! Here are only five of the famous NASCAR drivers coming from the great state of Texas…and trust us, we know there’s more!

1. AJ Foyt, Houston

5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From Texas

Photo: Pinterest/Luis Moreira

Some refer to Foyt as “The Driver of the Century.” Foyt’s career in racing netted him seven wins in NASCAR, although this wasn’t the only type of racing he excelled in. He’s the only driver in history to win the Daytona 500, the Indy 500, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

2. Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi

5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From Texas

Photo: Pinterest/Megan Barker

Bobby is recognized as the only driver to have won both the Busch Series championship (in 1991) as well as the Winston Cup (in 2000 – prior to being called the Sprint Cup). He was also the first driver to finish the NASCAR Triple Threat at the same track (Martinsville) and over a full-time, 25-year career he won 21 races.

3. Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi

5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From Texas

Photo: Pinterest/Anita Garrison

Older of the two Labontes, Terry is a two-time Winston Cup Series winner (back before it was called the Spring Cup Series). His career with NASCAR started in 1978 at Darlington Raceway, and he announced his retirement in the 2004 season. Going into semi-retirement, his part-time season was nicknamed “Shifting Gears: Lone Star Style”.

4. Johnny Rutherford, Fort Worth

5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From Texas

Photo: Pinterest/Kim E

A.k.a. “Lone Star JR”, Rutherford has a storied racing career, finally making the crossover into NASCAR in 1959. He made 35 Winston Cup (now called Spring Cup) Series starts from ’63 to ’88 and won in his first start at Daytona International Speedway, making him the youngest driver ever to win in a full-points paying NASCAR race.

5. Bobby Hillin Jr., Midland

5 Famous NASCAR Drivers From Texas

Photo: Pinterest/Roger De Guimera

Robert K. Hillin Jr. competed in both the Winston Cup and Busch Series races for NASCAR. He was a prior record-holder for youngest driver to win a Winston Cup, posting top-10 finishes at Daytona and Talladega in ’85, and the photo seen here is of a 22-year-old Hillin Jr. after his ‘86 win at the Talladega 500. On the last lap of the race, average speeds were said to be 202 mph.