50. Carey Loftin
Don’t let the photo fool you. Carey Loftin was one of the most dangerous drivers of all time. However, he stuck to taking out road rage aggressions on film. That’s right, he was one of the most prolific stunt car drivers to grace the movie industry. Some of his roles include driving for Steve McQueen in the hit movie Bullitt (1968 390 V8 Mustang), as well as playing truck driver for Steven Spielberg’s Duel. You may remember him from other films like, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Vanishing Point, and Disney’s The French Connection and Love Bug. Also Carey was the driver of the truck which killed Edith Keeler in the famous Star Trek episode, The City on the Edge of Forever. To top it off, when he was 68, he was the driver of the black Ferrari in the car chase scene for the movie Against All Odds. Our grandparents will never be this cool.
49. Chris Forsberg
Seems like maybe the Fast and Furious movie franchise got a few of their ideas from Chris Forsberg. He’s the two-time winning Formula Drift Champion. Of course, to see him you might have to travel all the way to Australia. That’s where his latest competition will be. He’s heading there to compete in the Just Car Insurance International Drift Challenge. All of his traveling makes sense, too. He’s considered to be one of the elite Iron Men of drift car racing. How do you do this? Easy, just attend every event drift racing has ever had since 2004. That’s when he started. Three years later he launched his own team and earned title after title with 2014 placing him as the formula drift driver with the most podium finishes in sports history. If we ever get to meet him, we call shotgun!
48. Ken Block
Seems like everyone has a death wish for our next dangerous driver. Ken Block routinely receives suggestions for where he should perform his next death-defying drift for racing films like Gymkhana or Terrakhana. It’s nothing for him to hop in a 1977 souped-up Ford pick up truck and wear out all four tires, or his 1965 Mustang (courtesy of his own company Hoonigan Racing Team). There’s more to him than fast drifts and squealing tires, though. He’s been known to compete in other action-packed sports like snowboarding, motocross and skateboarding. He’s business savvy, too. He held ownership in DC shoes for many years. However, he has since sold that to focus on his racing team, Hoonigan Industries.
47. Jeremy Fry
When you want stunt driving done right, who do you turn to? Well, if you are Hollywood the answer is Jeremy Fry. He was the puppet master behind the controls of the car driven by Ansel Elgort in the movie Baby. For the stunt scenes the actor sat inside the car while Jeremy controlled the vehicle from the rig mounted on top. That’s just another crazy thing that stunt drivers do every day. Also many of the shots were done in one take without any special effects. The camera rig for the car made the scene look like the drivers were really driving. Multiple points of view caught every stick shift and turn of the wheel. The cast complimented Jeremy, while he was very complimentary of their performance. Seems like professionals always recognize each other’s expertise.
46. Greg Tracy
So Greg Tracy is not your average stunt car driver. Seems like he has an elite life among stunt drivers. For instance, he’s a seven-time Pikes Peak Race winner (one of the oldest races in the US by the way). If you’re not familiar with the race, it begins at just under 10,000 feet and ends at an altitude of more than 14,000 feet. Also, he has a side hustle. He just happens to be one of those guys behind the Hot Wheels cars on their life size track. That’s right, they scream down massive orange tracks completing stunts like the vertical loop. Greg made history when he and another driver went through the loop together. It was the first time two cars completed the vertical loop simultaneously. That stunt snagged him a world record.
45. A.J. Foyt
Our next driver, A. J. Foyt has a new exhibit in his honor. That’s right, the Gilmore Car Museum installed a permanent exhibit honoring the four-time legendary Indianapolis 500 winner. His career spanned 40 years involving both Indy Car, USAC Stock-Car and Sprint Car competition. His win record is impressive, too. He’s had victories at the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Lemans and the Indy 500. He has seen 67 victories alone throughout his Indy Car years, including his initial 1964 victory at the 500. Even more impressive? He’s 83 and still going hard. He’s active in the Verizon Indy Car Series as part of a two car team.
44. Ben Collins
Ben Collins has a secret. While he’s a world-renowned stunt car driver, he actually failed his driving test. And, he didn’t just fail it once. Nope, this James Bond and former Stig driver from Top Gear failed his test four times! However, you wouldn’t know it now. Take his Mustang acquisition in 2015. A ride along from a Daily Mail staffer found themselves beside Ben while he performed a seamless J turn. If you’re unfamiliar that’s the maneuver where you accelerate in reverse, then flip the car forward, shift into drive and take off. If done correctly you flip the car 180° then continue on your way. Ben does this and makes it look easy. Not bad for a guy who failed his drivers test four times.
43. Debbie Evans
So maybe you’re not familiar with our next incredibly dangerous stunt driver. She’s 60 years old, but has appeared in hundreds of films. The shortlist involves Terminator Two, Batman and Robin, The Matrix Reloaded and Fast and Furious 8. In the last film, she served as Michelle Rodriguez’s stunt double. In the Matrix Reloaded, film makers did not even try to hide her face during the iconic motorcycle chase scene because she looked so much like the female lead character, Trinity. It’s what happens when you have a stellar career. Debbie has been stunt driving since 1978. At the time she was only 19 years old. The film? Death Sport.
42. Rémy Julienne
When Disney wanted the best for their live action Paris park stunt show they called in French stuntman spectacular Remy Julienne. Remy has been thrilling crowds since the 1960s. His movie credits include the original Italian Job in 1969 and The Da Vinci Code in 2006. However, his best-known work involves James Bond films like The Living Daylights, For Your Eyes Only and Goldeneye. In fact, if things were not so contentious between Disney and Bond franchise movie parent MGM, the Paris Disneyland Park might have hosted a James Bond stunt show instead of the one under their current name, Moteurs…Action!
41. Ryan Tuerck
Ryan likes to go big or go home. Take his most recent build out with the help of Gumout. The premise was simple. Take an engine from a Ferrari (562 hp V8) and make it the heart of a Toyota 86? If you are Ryan Tuerck the best answer is, “Just because.” The project is known is the JDM+Italian Supercar. And now it’s complete. The car pays homage to Ferrari with its red color, but the car is decidedly drift. The Toyota 86 is well liked for its lightweight body and rear wheel drive. Drift racers refer to it as one of the easiest cars you can buy and turn sideways. Don’t be under any illusions, though, Ryan still drives his Scion FR-S for competition and does really well. The Ferrari/Toyota mashup was a dream project. Looks like he made his dream come true.
40. Samuel Hubinette
Samuel comes from Sweden but has taken the United States by storm. When he’s not busy racking up first-place trophies for winning races on the drift circuit, you can find him in future films and auto commercials as a stunt driver. And with a size 10 1/2 shoe, he’s got what it takes to put the pedal to the metal. His wild antics have given rise to a nickname befitting his blond hair and blue eyes. He’s known as “The crazy Swede.” Yet before he was crazy, he served as a test driver for Volvo automobiles. Once he mastered the wheel, the sport of drifting made him famous. He was the formula D Series Championship winner in 2004 and 2006. And judging from the photos, it seems like he knows how to get a car sideways, especially if it’s his signature red Dodge Challenger.
39. Mike Ryan
Mike Ryan is no stranger to stunts. He holds a few records for launching semi trucks distances that seem impossible. His 1st feet involved launching a Freightliner over an Indy Car. Next, he jumped several Fiats in a line. Keep in mind, the truck doing the jumping is a 5 ton big rig with a Detroit diesel engine. Of course, the engine is both supercharged and turbocharged with straight shot methanol injection. That gives it the power needed to do things other semi trucks can’t. Essentially what Mike and his team do with semi trucks is take the laws of physics and disregard them. So far it’s worked out rather well. Check out the full stunt on their video series Size Matters 2.
38. Guerlain Chicherit
Guerlain debuted on the French Rally Cup Circuit in a Citroën Saxo in 2003. Once he proved his worthiness, he became an official Citroën Saxo driver on the circuit. It was the Dakar Challenge that made Guerlain a household name. He won the 2005 Dakar Challenge driving a BMW X3. Before this, he was a skier (which makes sense because he comes from the French Alps). However, after excelling at skiing and rally driving (he won the FIA Cross Country Rally National Title in 2009), he took up stunt driving. In 2013, he performed the first successful unassisted backflip in a car. Today he advises for Slope Angel, a company who makes a device by the same name. It apprises skiers and mountain goers of mountain avalanche and other slope conditions to help keep them safe.
37. Tanner Grant
Take a look at the following list of world records. Tanner Grant has stunned audiences all over the world for several decades. His most memorable stunts involve pulling off the fastest mile in reverse and tightest parallel parking achievement (considering most people we know don’t know how to parallel park, that says a lot). In total, Tanner has racked up 19 World Records for his stunt driving. Our favorite is most donuts ever in a car… while standing on top of the roof! The number is 25 by the way, and he set it in 2012 at the Race Champions of Bangkok. He has attempted other records too, like most people in a car on two wheels. He tried to cram 14 people inside. A regular stunt feature at racing events worldwide, Tanner is one of the most unique dangerous drivers on our list!
36. Tanner Faust
Perhaps you best know Tanner from Top Gear. The 37-year-old stunt driver is no stranger to danger. He pulled off one of the greatest stunts ever for team Hot Wheels (right before the start of the Indy 500). He launched a truck 332 feet to break the former record of 301 feet set by Johnny Greaves. Of course, the track was painted bright orange to look just like real Hot Wheels track. Tanner jokes that it was essentially like going down a poorly designed roller coaster since there were no guard rails. Yet safety was paramount. With a stunt like that, you have to account for everything, even the weather. The best part? Hot Wheels did not reveal who was driving the truck until after the completion of the death-defying feat.
35. Tom Meents
What does it take to flip a 10,500-pound monster truck? Just ask Tom Meents. His 2015 attempt fell just shy of setting a new Guinness world record for front flipping a monster truck. By the way, Tom is no stranger to monster trucks either. He is an 11-time Monster Jam winner, so it made sense for him to attempt the record. As 50,000 fans looked on with anticipation, he approached the ramp in MetLife Stadium and gave it his all. The attempt was unsuccessful because his truck, Maximum Destruction, over rotated. Yet Tom remains undeterred. After all, he was the first person ever to perform a backflip with a monster truck. Next time, all he’s got to do is stick the landing.
34. BJ Baldwin
It takes a lot of moxie to own the desert. Just ask BJ Baldwin. He started racing in 1997 with a Chenoweth classic 12 car. It had a VW engine and a measly 110 horses under the hood. Early on, he broke the vehicle many times trying to do things his own way. As a result, he did not finish very many races. However, his first legitimate win came in 2005. He won Rampage in Laughlin and was kind of surprised. What most people didn’t know was he had just finished building and tuning up his truck. He only had four hours or so of test time, yet that race made him a somebody. He gave a repeat performance the next year. Yet if you ask him, he will tell you Ragland is his favorite event. You have 100-foot cliff drops on one side with a rock wall on the other. Beyond that, the entire surface is dome-like so if you miscalculate you could find yourself upside down in a fiery blaze. It requires perfect rotation, braking, and exhilaration. In other words, it takes BJ Baldwin.
33. Ivan Stewart
You may know him as Ivan Stewart, yet most people know him as “Iron Man.” And to be honest, he knows everything you could want to know about off-road racing or winning the Baja 1000. He’s not a fan of GPS saying it spoils the fun. Ivan would not need it anyway. His family traveled to Mexico often, so he is very familiar with the area and terrain. He got his start in go-kart racing, but soon graduated to longer offroad events in the early 1970s. His valiant steed was a humble 1983 Toyota (he still drives a Toyota for racing the Baja 1000 today). Ivan says half of what it takes to navigate the 47-hour long drive (more than a work week, yikes!) is controlling your emotions and mental state. Ivan says if you can learn to manage those two things, and drive with limited energy, you have it in the bag.
32. Laura Lee Connery
So our next dangerous stunt driver happens to be a woman. And, she does more than just drive. Laura Lee is known for making a name herself without compromising who she is. For one, she’s a go-getter. While representing Canada at the 1995 Extreme Games, Lee placed 3rd overall on Halfpipe Rollerblading. Second, she won the World Stunt Award for her Water Work on the set of Jurassic Park 3. That put her on the map. The success is especially relevant since her agent told the Pink Power Ranger stunt driver she would never make it because she did not “flirt enough.” Yet in addition to being a Hollywood staple, Lee has added competitive drift racing to her resume too! Seems like she could give Lee Majors a run for his money, what do you think?
31. Evil Knievel
Which one of us didn’t grow up in awe of motorcycle stuntman Evil Knievel? We’ve seen him jump buses, break bones and come back from what should have been career-ending crashes. It seems like Evil just had a way of hanging around. However, in a twist of irony, his motorcycle got the last laugh. In 2015, the San Bernardino Fire Department was called to respond. Apparently, a two-alarm blaze engulfed Passo’s Italian and Pizza Restaurant, as well as The Rim of the World Sports Bar. The bar was completely destroyed, along with evil Knievel’s Harley-Davidson XR-750. Evidently, it was mounted on the wall so people could view it from their seats. Evil always did like going out in a blaze of glory!
30. Bill Hickman
Bill Hickman helped make movie history. The car chase, from the movie Bullitt, was groundbreaking. Up until that time, car chase scenes were filmed slower and sped up later. With Bill Hickman behind the wheel, you can blaze across the streets of San Francisco at more than 110 mph. As such, no film doctoring was necessary for Bullitt. He was also part of the iconic French Connection chase scene. To make it great, director William Friedkin antagonized Bill for weeks. He knew Bill’s handiwork in Bullitt and was impressed. Friedkin wanted his performance to be over-the-top, so he kept telling Bill he had no guts, was a lousy driver and not very masculine. As a result, Bill asked Friedkin to get in the car with him, so he did, (with a film camera of course). With only a siren mounted to the top to warn other drivers and passersby, Bill sped up to 90 mph over 26 blocks. No one was hurt (a small miracle), and most of the footage for the chase scene came from that one take. Translation, never make a stunt driver mad!
29. Buddy Joe Hooker
What made the Quentin Tarantino movie Death Proof famous was his attention to authenticity and detail? For instance, 1970s car chases were long and involved. Also, they lacked CGI, so expect nothing less from a Tarantino period flick. But to make it he needed stuntmen with balls. That’s where Buddy Joe Hooker came into play. He would drive the iconic 1970 Chevy Nova rolling headlong into a Honda Civic at 75 mph. The idea was for the Nova to roll over the top of the car, ripping off the limbs and heads of the pretty singing beauties inside. Buddy pulled off the perfect flip, sending the Nova rolling multiple times down the road as it came to rest in front of cameras, upside down, as planned. It seems like that’s the kind of thing that would make a stuntman famous. Well, that already happened. In 1978 Burt Reynolds played Buddy Joe himself In the film Hooker.
28. Don Garlits
27. John Force
So if you’re John Force, you get things like lifelong partnerships. That’s the case between him and Peak Oil. They just announced an extension of their 2017 partnership to remain together for the rest of his career. Also, Peak Motor Oil and Antifreeze will be his official choice and who can blame him. After using the oil and antifreeze from Peak, Force won four races the next season with his Chevy Camaro SS funny car. These races gave him a career total of 147 NHRA wins. Now in his 42nd NHRA season, John is at the helm of the team with all of his other records intact. These include 16 championships and 1,263 round wins. It doesn’t seem like oil and antifreeze are the sole factors here, Just sayin’.
26. Rob MacCachren
This is the best story on our list. Baja 250 driver Rob MacCachren tells of a run-in with Mexican law enforcement after winning a race. For the full scoop, you have to travel back to 2007. At the time he was teammates with Mark Post. Rob had just completed his section of the race and was safely inside the helicopter chase team. That’s when they noticed Mexican Federales lining up behind Mark (who had just taken the wheel) with lights and sirens blaring. Mark started freaking out asking what he had done to which Rob replied, “Do what you want, but we’re 50 miles from the finish line in close second.” So, Mark kept going with cops in tow. Just short of the finish line they surrounded the truck and stopped Mark while the rest of the team was screaming for him to drive across. So he did, then got arrested. However, after getting the vehicle from impound and paying off the Federales, the helicopter team realized they had a lot of footage. After letting the race committee review it, they were awarded first place for time lost due to the altercation. How’s that for a story?
25. Sebastien Loeb
Driving for Red Bull is a kick in the head. Just ask Sebastian Loeb. While recently racing the Rallye du Maroc, he and his co-driver had a bout of bad luck. It seems like the car landed heavy, which thrashed out the front suspension causing it to lean toward the passenger side. The incident meant going easy on the gas which is not something Sebastian is accustomed to doing. So, they did what any self-suspecting drivers would do, hit the local gas station to access tools and make repairs on the vehicle themselves. After a half hour, they were able to get on the road again and eventually awarded a podium finish. Not bad for two guys thinking quick on their feet. What did they do exactly? Well, they removed the rear shock since it is less necessary, and moved it up front. How’s that for ingenuity?
24. Juan Manuel Fangio
Many regard Juan Manuel Fangio to be the greatest Formula One driver of all time. Why? For seven full seasons, he was a 5-time world champion winner. Also, he gained a runner-up spot twice during that period. Even better, he only missed one full season because he was recovering from an injury that almost cost him his life. His records are equally impressive. For instance, he holds records for 23 fastest race laps resulting in 35 podium finishes containing 24 victories. His driving was said to be some of the most daring displays of skill ever witnessed. Despite his success, he garnered a reputation for his nobility, style, grace, and honor that Formula One has never seen since. His last title win was 1957. He retired after the ripe old age of 46. During that time, however, he raced the most impressive race cars ever built, including a Maserati.
23. Valentino Rossi
For Superbike racer Valentino Rossi, less is more. It seems like helmet design becomes a signature calling card for these athletes. In Valentino’s case, he always prefers something a bit more minimalistic. In his words, he loves the classics (think F1 helmets of the 70s and 80s). For fans of Valentino, they will recognize the idea at work on his helmet. His traditional sun and moon design this year was crafted to reflect early races where Formula One drivers adopted well-defined, but simple designs for their helmets. Don’t be fooled. Valentino does not get all caught up in the aesthetics of his uniform. He is participating in his 23rd world championship run, and fans can’t wait to see that black and yellow helmet race around the track. It means only one thing, the Rossi and Yamaha partnership is stronger than ever.
22. Giacomo Agostini
21. Jackie Stewart
Speaking of Nurburgring, look at this photo of Jackie Stewart in 1966. Right on his heels is Graham Hill. Often these drivers are asked who is the greatest of all time, and they generally respond that such a comparison is unfair. Most of them, like Jackie, tend to believe that certain drivers were great in certain eras. However, as racing technology evolves, so does the list. In the 60s Jackie Stewart was definitely a contender. He grew up in a village near Glasgow and struggled with dyslexia. He bought his own Austin A30 at 17 and shortly upgraded to an Austin Healey Sprite. However, after winning three Formula One world championships, The Flying Scot was on the map. When the head of public affairs for Ford of Britain approached him at a show and offered him a 500-pound contract, he signed on to race. Since then, he’s never looked back, and Formula One racing has never been the same.
20. Travis Pastrana
Travis Pastrana is probably best known for his motocross skills. He was the youngest freestyle motocross world champion at age 14 and has since won several other championships and competitions including the attainment of 11 gold medals from the X Games. Pastrana, however, does not drive motocross exclusively. He has participated in supercross, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, Monster Jam and many more. He has also built a reputation for his stunt driving such as becoming the first rider to perform a double backflip on a motocross bike as well as recreating three of Evel Knievel’s most iconic jumps and clearing them all in one night. Talk about daring!
19. Colin McRae
Travel to Finland, and you’ll see the only thing flying faster and farther than Finnair pilots are the rally drivers. After all, Finland is widely regarded to be the spiritual home place for rally racing. Jyvaskyla has held the World Championship for more than 62 years. Even more impressive, during that entire time only four non-Scandinavian drivers have ever had the privilege of winning the event. Yet to get that title you have to pass drivers like Colin McRae. He is a force. Initially, he made his mark at the 1000 Lakes Rally (AKA the Finnish Grand Prix) in 1992. Ultimately, the pink and green Subaru would become iconic as the star of the show even though it didn’t win. McCrae rolled and crashed the car several times. He came in 8th, but the crowd loved him because he kept putting the Subaru on the road after each magnificent crash.
18. Carlos Sainz
Known, as El Matador, this Spanish 2-time Rally Cup winner is regarded as a true competitor. Other accolades include 4-time Runner-Up, the previous WRC record holder (broken by Mikka Anttila) and finishing second place four times at the Swedish Rally in addition to placing third place twice. He has had the pleasure of driving for many great racing teams including Toyota, Citroën, Subaru, Ford, and Lancia. Most recently, he had the privilege of coaching advising his son for the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally. He let him know how the course is brutal and challenging. Sainz Jr. proved to be just like his dad and steered the course masterfully. This apple did not fall far from the tree at all.
17. Jagot Nanjappa
16. Geoff Duke
Duke was a six-time TT winner and six-time Formula One World Champion. He lived to be 92 years old but lived an entire lifetime after he retired from racing. You have to understand Duke retired from World Championship racing at the end of 1959; he was only 36 years old. In addition to what we mentioned previously, he also racked up 33 Grand Prix victories. To his credit, he’s known as the first racer to wear a one-piece leather outfit and received an OBE in 1953. He’s forever remembered for his amazing contribution to the fast-paced world of high-stakes Motorcycle racing.
15. Barry Sheene
Those who knew Barry understood he had two sides. He could be sweet and charming, but also downright rude and unpleasant. And while he indeed wasn’t the greatest motorcycle racer ever, he is noted for being one thing, brave! He loved to drive fast! Find video clips of him online, and you’ll see what we mean. Formula One racing would be a little dimmer without Barry to spice it up. By all accounts, he was a cool guy behind the scenes. And to his credit, he did win the 500cc world championship in 76 and 77. Tragically though, Barry passed away at a young age of 52. Yet he will always be remembered for his adrenaline-laced riding style. Just look at that smile!
14. Joey Dunlop
Motorcycle riders in the know who think, “risk taker “always think, “Joey Dunlop.” And while he was a man of few words, when he did speak, that’s all a conversation needed. And for guys like Joey, who spend their days riding motorcycles at speeds of more than 200 mph around blind curves, that’s enough. And to think, Joey got his start on a Triumph Tiger Cub he bought himself for 50 pounds. His first race was at Maghaberry in 1969, and he thinks he finished somewhere around 16th place. However, Joey began to take up Formula 1 racing, winning several world titles and charming us with his Irish heritage and outgoing personality. Perhaps the most special is his very first trophy, a battered metal cup with an engraving that reads “Mid Antrim 5th place 1970 to 200cc class”. That was the Temple 100 Race in 1970. And yes, he was riding his Triumph for that event.
13. Mike Hailwood
The impact Mike Hailwood has had on the sport of motorcycle, and car racing is nothing short of legendary. Of course, many would say he had a fast-track since he was a son of a millionaire who afforded him the best equipment money could buy. However, Mike very quickly threw aside the rich kid image and was ultimately admired for his enormous talent, strong personality, and outrageous antics. Mike would go on to win nine world championships(motorcycle racing) between 1961 in 1967. After those years, he traded two wheels for four and was well on his way to winning a Formula One World Championship until a wreck ended that (Mike crashed his McLaren in 1984 while racing the Nurburgring). The injuries disabled him, and Mike retired to New Zealand. However, after a few years of boredom, he returned to the Isle of Man where he not only took on but beat the entire field. Since then, the event has been described as one of the most emotional moments of 20th-century sports.
12. Michael Schumacher
Few racers have the luxury of having two careers. However, Michael Schumacher is one of those who did. After a storied career, he retired in 2006. However, four years later he returned to the sport again. It was the first half of his career, though, that people remember him for the most. Originally, hired to merely be a stand-in, Schumacher was brought in to help after the arrest of Bertrand Gachot. The then 22-year-old qualified 7th, four places ahead of the current teammate. This success marked the beginning of a run that would ultimately end with a win for Ferrari. They had worked with Schumacher for years, but the title eluded them until 2000. Michael recently had a neck injury which has since limited his involvement in racing.
11. Danica Patrick
10. Ayrton Senna
9. Stéphane Peterhansel
When the subject of record breakers is involved, the likes Stephane Peterhansel will surface at some point. He won the Dakar Rally 13 times. Currently, he races for Team Peugeot and is sponsored by Red Bull. However, he hailed from France and started racing in 1988 for Yamaha motorcycles of all people. After 1999, he joined Mitsubishi in 2003 to win the Japanese Marque for three years (04, 05, and 07). Afterward, he began racing the Dakar Rally. Oh yeah, and his only second-place win was by design. In 2014 he was leading the pack when he was ordered to let his teammate, Nina Roma, overtake him and win. He took a break after that. However, after joining Peugeot in 2015, he would go on to compete in the Dakar Rally again, his first appearance in more than 25 years. That’s where he scored his 12th and 13th winning titles (2016 and 2017).
8. Robby Gordon
7. John McGuinness
So John McGuinness knows a thing or two about the Isle of Man TT. Imagine it to be something like the Monaco Grand Prix, except instead of four wheels everybody gets two. Coupled with heart-stopping speeds of 200+ miles per hour speeds on twisty, bumpy, narrow roads, it would make most people’s heart stop. Not John McGuinness though. He is one of the kings of this 37.73-mile course. In total, 250 racers have lost their lives since the race began more than 110 years ago. However, with 23 class wins since 1996, it seemed like McGuinness was unstoppable… until he wasn’t. A crash in a Northern Ireland road race left him with three broken ribs, a broken leg and four broken vertebrae (2017). He admits it will be a long road to recovery, but he does plan to return.
6. Steve McQueen
The year was 1974, and Steve McQueen was on top. Then he went dark… for four years. It seems like Hollywood producers had enough of his combative attitude. The guy who was a star and insisted on doing his own stunts was not finished just yet. Instead, he took a four-year hiatus to travel around the United States racing his vintage Indian motorcycles. And while we can’t fault him for doing so, we wonder what other hit movies we missed out on seeing. After all, Bullitt was epic, and his rival with Paul Newman was nothing short of legendary.
5. Carl Fogarty
When dangerous drivers admire other dangerous drivers, you know things are real. Such is the case with superbike racer Carl Fogarty (Brands Hatch Winner 1994). In a recent interview, he was asked which motorcyclist he admired most. His answer was Valentino Rossi because he always maintains an intense level. Carl is no shrinking violet either. His fastest recorded time is 190mph on track at Hockenheim. However, we know what scares him, and it is not crashing or anything to do with racing, it’s flying; he hates it. A recent trip with James Witham still has him a bit shaken!
4. Collette Davis
Collette Davis is a professional racecar driver and stunt driver who has participated in events such as the Red Bull Global Rallycross series. She has won multiple competitions in many forms of racing, but the most notable (so far) had to be winning her first overall championship with her Wonder Woman truck… in her debut week. Not only is Davis a dangerous driver, but she is also an academic too. She went to school at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for Mechanical Engineering and entrepreneurship when she was 16 as well as received mentorship by Tim Draper at Draper University when she was 18. She is a proponent for STEM education and hosted a TV show encouraging female entrepreneurs. Who says brains and life-endangering driving don’t go hand in hand?
3. Don Prudhomme
So what happens when you are an NHRA racing legend and rear end another driver in a race you first competed in 50 years ago? Evidently, smiles. That is precisely what happened when Don “The Snake” Prudhomme got lost in a cloud of dust during the Mexican 100 Off-Road race in Baja and slammed into another driver. At first, the driver was peeved, until he realized who hit him. Prudhomme was asked to sign the car. Also, he finished the race. Fifty years ago was another story. He didn’t get to compete due to pre-engine failure beforehand.
2. Alian Prost
Form 1987 – 2001 Alian held a record… most Grand Prix victories. Michael Schumacher beat his record, yet many widely regard Alian as one of the greatest in the sport (Formula 1). In 2001, he received the World Sports Award of the Century for the category of motorsports. Many from his time will remember the fierce rivalry he had with Ayrton Senna. The most notable year was 1988 where Prost and Senna had a few noteworthy clashes. Throw in a spat with Ferrari, a year-long sabbatical, then a subsequent rebound with Williams Racing and you have the makings of a phenomenal going-out-on-top career ending.
1. Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda is a former Formula One driver who is a three-time F1 World Drivers’ Champion for Ferrari and McLaren. Lauda started racing in his early 20s and joined Ferrari in 1974. Even after a setback where he suffered injuries from a fire after crashing in the 1976 German Grand Prix, he came back to racing six weeks later winning the championship in 1977. He retired briefly in 1979 but returned to racing in 1982. Today, Lauda is an advisor to Ferrari, a television commentator and runs Lauda Air (an airline he founded). He is regarded as one of the best F1 Drivers of all time. No wonder why Ron Howard wanted to make a movie about him (Rush, 2013).