Top 10 Tuesday: American Racing Manufacturers

Spencer Neff

Michigan International Speedway, located 72 miles from Detroit, is often refered to as Ford and General Motors’ backyard. In honor of this weekend’s NASCAR races, here is a look at the top American manufacturers in racing history.

10. Miller: Harold Miller’s cars won the Indianapolis 500 nine time and engines built by Miller won another three times from 1923 to 1928, his cars made up more than 80 percent of the field.

9. Marmon: Marmon’s biggest taste of racing fame came in 1911, when engineer Ray Haroun came out of retirement and won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in the company’s Wasp. 22 years later, the company ceased operations.

8. Pontiac: The now-defunct manufacturer enjoyed its greatest success at the end of the 20th century. Pontiac won six straight NHRA Manufuacturers from 1996-2001 and won the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup title with Bobby Labonte. In 2003, the company left NASCAR and in 2010, ceased all production.

7. Plymouth: One of Dodge’s sister companies, Plymouth helped usher in one of the msot stunning cars in the 1970s. in order to lure Richard Petty from Ford in 1970, Plymouth created the Superbird. Petty won several races that year, before cars with its design would begin getting phased out by NASCAR due to safety concerns.

6. Oldsmobile: In addition to its 1955 NASCAR Manufacturers title, the former General Motors subsidiary also dominated the early years of the Indy Racing League. From 1997 to 2001, Oldsmobile won every Indianapolis 500 and all but one series championship. Oldsmobile’s racing history also boasts 12 straight NHRA Manufacturers Cups from 1984 to 1995.

5. Buick: Another General Motors team, Buick was famous for its fast cars during Indianapolis 500 time trials. In the 1980s, the team won multiple Manufacturers crowns in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In the 1990s, Buick’s racing program would become phased out in favor other GM makes.

4. Hudson: An early pioneer in NASCAR, Hudson won the first three manufacturers championships from 1952-54 with drivers such as Herb Thomas and Dick Rathmann. After the season, Hudson was merged into American Motors Corporation.

3. Dodge: In the 1970s, the third of the Big Three automakers reached its heyday. Dodge won two manufacturers championships in 1970 and 1975. A brief return from 2001 to 2012 ended with a championship via Brad Keselowski and Team Penske. Dodge still enjoys a great deal of success racing Pro Stock in the NHRA.

2. Ford: The manufacturer that started it all. From its win in the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans with Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt to Joey Logano’s Daytona 500 win in February, the blue oval has an impressive racing resume to match its production car history.

1. Chevrolet: Though Chevrolet may not have been around as long as Ford, it’s history and versatility in racing is impressive nonetheless. Chevrolet has won titles in everything from stock cars to funny car dragsters. In the -past year, the bowtie brigade has won the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar title, NASCAR Sprint Cup title, NHRA Pro Stock championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans GT class crown.


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