By Zane Miller
As of the 2021 racing season, there have been 365 drivers in the Cup Series with their hometown listed in North Carolina. So far, drivers representing the Tar Heel State have taken 778 wins spread amongst 32 different drivers.
Today, North Carolina is represented in the Cup Series by Austin Dillon (debut 2011), Ryan Blaney (2014), Ty Dillon (2014), Corey LaJoie (2014), Cody Ware (2017) and William Byron (2018).
5. Herb Thomas (Active 1949-62)
Thomas picked up 48 wins, 122 top-fives and 156 top-10s in 229 starts, getting the 1951 and 1953 championships in the process. In total, Thomas finished in the top three in points five times, as in 1994 he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, as well as entering the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013.
4. Ned Jarrett (Active 1953-66)
Jarrett scored 50 wins, 185 top-fives and 239 top-10s in 352 Cup Series starts, as he earned the 1961 and 1965 championships. Jarrett finished in the top three in points a total of four times over the course of his career, leading to him joining the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991 and, in 2011, entering the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
3. Lee Petty (Active 1949-64)
The inaugural Daytona 500 winner grabbed 54 wins, 231 top-fives and 332 top-10s in 427 starts, winning the 1954, 1958 and 1959 championships along the way. Petty finished in the top three in points a staggering nine times, as he was inducted into the IMHF in 1990 and the joined the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.
2. Dale Earnhardt (Active 1975-2001)
The 1998 Daytona 500 champ took 76 victories, 281 top-fives and 428 top-10s in 676 races with championships in 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994. Earnhardt claimed 11 top-three points finishes during his career. In 2006, Earnhardt was inducted into the IMHF, as well as the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
1. Richard Petty (Active 1958-92)
The seven-time Daytona 500 winner amassed 200 victories, 555 top-fives and 712 top-10s in 1,184 races, scoring seven championships as well in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979. Petty picked up 15 top-three points finishes as well. In 1997, Petty joined the IMFH and was also inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
List of Cup Series drivers (current drivers highlighted in yellow)
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