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NASCAR is the favorite sport of many American gearheads. Unlike Formula 1, it involves cars similar to the ones many people can actually drive — though doing so on a daily basis would admittedly be rather difficult. But despite the diversity of options, one automaker has been making cars that have led the rest of the pack for a long time, allowing it to rack up the most NASCAR championships by a wide margin.

Looking at the three major series (Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Truck Series), Chevrolet has won the most titles across the board. Frankly, it’s not even close.

Chevrolet’s history in NASCAR

Cale Yarborough driving Junior Johnson’s Holly Farms Poultry Chevrolet | ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

Like the illegal origins of NASCAR, Chevy’s entry into stock car racing was also less than legal. Its drivers weren’t racing against prohibition, but rather an order from General Motors, its parent company, that banned racing.

This ban didn’t stop Chevy teams from competing in NASCAR events in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Supported by a love for the sport, diligent and skilled divers such as Cale Yarborough, and the talented engineering teams operating behind the scenes, the manufacturer quickly made a name for itself in the racing world.

Yarborough and other notable racers — Buck Baker, for example — won cups while driving iconic Chevys like the Bel Air, Malibu, and Monte Carlo. 

In the early ’80s, General Motors relaxed the ban on racing, allowing Chevy to fully embrace NASCAR. Not long after, the legendary Dale Earnhardt began to stack up wins in his Chevy. 

All said and done, Chevy has gone on to win, by far, the most championships of any automaker in the sport’s history. Even if it inexplicably removed itself from competition, it would take years for any other manufacturer to have a chance at the throne.

Chevy’s dominance

Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet | Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Chevrolet has dominated the NASCAR circuits for two main reasons: the drivers and the cars.

Some of the most skilled and famous NASCAR drivers of all time have gotten behind the wheel of a Chevy.

Not only did Dale Earnhardt Sr. thrive for the automaker, but his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., was a massive fan of the brand and went out of his way to only drive Chevys in formal competition. The list of success stories is interminable, including Chase Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Richard Petty, Herb Thomas, Michael Waltrip, and Cale Yarborough.

As for the cars, Chevy has also always featured engines that provide an advantage. The automaker has usually had an edge over the rest of the field in the power department.

That combination of driver-car superiority has yielded rather fruitful results:

ManufacturerNASCAR TitlesCup Series TitlesXfinity TitlesTruck Titles

If Chevrolet were to remove itself from competition, Ford would have to complete the trifecta every year through 2041 to take over first place on the leaderboard.

Again, it’s not even close.