NHRA's Top 50 Drivers
If ever there was an ultimate endeavor that tested the limits of man and machine, the flat-out, hold-your-breath quarter-mile blast that we call drag racing is it. Whether the machine is an 8,000-horsepower, fire-breathing Top Fueler or Funny Car, a high-winding Pro Stock vehicle, or a Sportsman entry, it's the skill of the people behind and inside the machine that help create the magic.
Through NHRA's 50 years, many heroes have emerged from the motorized masses to stand ahead of their peers. To recognize these individuals, the staff of NHRA.com created a panel of experts to help determine, through a special voting process, the best of the best.
It was decided early that the spectrum of people involved in the drag racing -- from drivers and owners and crew chiefs to aftermarket suppliers and component manufacturers -- was too broad to gain a consensus, so the nominees were limited to those who had actually driven a race vehicle in competition, hence the creation of this section: NHRA's Top 50 Drivers.
The panel of drag racing experts, from diverse fields including print and television journalists and longtime historians of the sport, were asked to cast their votes based of the following criteria:
1. Ontrack success as a driver (and, if applicable, as team owner, crew chief, or combination of the three)
Each panel member supplied a ranked listing of drivers from 1-50. The votes were then tabulated using a weighted points formula (see below) and combined to arrive at the final list.
The top 50 drag racers will be unveiled, in reverse order, on NHRA.com, with a schedule leading up to the naming of top driver on Sunday of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in November. The Top 50 Racers section is dedicated in the memory of Steve Evans and Steve Collison, two members of the panel who passed away in late 2000 after casting their votes and their mark on history.