NASCAR: 10 future Hall of Famers among 2020 drivers

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, and Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, and Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR) /
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Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, and Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Among the NASCAR Cup Series drivers from 2020, who will end up being a Hall of Famer? Here are 10 competitors who should be voted in.

Last February, NASCAR changed the Hall of Fame voting process so that there are only three new inductees each year, beginning with the Class of 2021. The total had been five inductees per year prior to this change.

Two inductees are now selected from the 10-person Modern Era Ballot, which is for competitors who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years, have been retired for at least two years and whose careers started within the past 60 years.

The other inductee is selected from the five-person Pioneer Ballot, which is for competitors whose careers began more than 60 years ago or who have been on the Modern Era Ballot for at least 10 years.

The Class of 2021 was announced under this format back in June and included Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Stefanik from the Modern Era Ballot and Red Farmer from the Pioneer Ballot.

But who among the sport’s drivers from the 2020 season will end up in the NASCAR Hall of Fame?

Some of these drivers are nearing retirement. In fact, some retired after 2020. Others are in the peaks of their careers and probably have several good years left. One is probably still getting warmed up.

Without further ado, here are 10 NASCAR Cup Series drivers from last season who should be future Hall of Famers. We’ll start out with the obvious one, the one who won as many championships as eight of the other nine drivers combined and who confirmed late in 2019 that he would be retiring after 2020.

Future NASCAR Hall of Famers: #1 – Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Jimmie Johnson is not only a surefire Hall of Fame bet but a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer given the illustrious career he had.

Johnson is one of only three drivers to win more than four championships, and he is a seven-time champion along with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Johnson won five of his championships in consecutive seasons, and he won all seven in an 11-year span.

Petty and Earnhardt never won more than two in a row. Petty won his seven titles in a 16-year span while Earnhardt won his in a 15-year span. The only other driver in Cup Series history to win more than two titles in a row is Cale Yarborough, who won three straight from 1976 to 1978.

Unfortunately, Johnson’s career ended on a lengthy win drought that dates all the way back to June of 2017. But even with that factored in, he has 83 career wins to his name, tied for sixth place on the all-time list, and he won at least two races in 16 consecutive seasons.

Aside of Johnson, only Petty has ever pulled that off (18 from 1960 to 1977). Aside of Johnson and Petty, only David Pearson won at least one race per year for at least 16 years in a row (17 from 1964 to 1980).

Johnson spent his entire Cup Series career behind the wheel of one car, the #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, and he missed just one race after becoming a full-time driver in 2002, with that being last year’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway because he tested positive for COVID-19.