CHARLOTTE, N.C. – AJ Foyt could win a race in a wheel barrel. Tony Stewart could win in anything that has a steering wheel. At least that is Red Farmer’s reasoning behind why he considers Foyt and Stewart to be two of the best racers he has ever seen. And Farmer is 89 years old, racing for at least 75 of those trips around the sun.
After being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night and reminiscing on his still-active career, Farmer’s status and experience make him worthy of the question: Who is the best race-car driver – ever?
“I’d put Tony Stewart and AJ Foyt up there,” Farmer said Friday at the Charlotte Convention Center. “Now you’ve got this kid, Kyle Larson, coming up who looks like he’s in the same class. He can drive anything and win races in it. Road course. Dirt. Superspeedway. Asphalt. Mile-and-a-half.”
Not an exaggeration. Last season alone in the NASCAR Cup Series, Larson won 10 races, including at road courses, superspeedways, asphalt and mile-and-a-halves as well as the title race at Phoenix. He didn’t win a dirt race on the NASCAR schedule – there was only one – but he did win in multiple other dirt-specific circuits, including the oh-so-popular Chili Bowl.
“That’s kind of a hard decision, you know, to pick one that’s the best driver,” Farmer said. “I think you got to pick a driver that can drive anything on any type of track.”