Most underrated/overrated driver(s) of the decade

AndyMarquisLive

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Let's have some more fun.

Underrated - Chris Buescher and Ryan Newman. Buescher's never really gotten a shot, and Newman joined RCR right as that team quit being competitive, then joined Roush well after they quit being competitive, and still has had respectable seasons.

Overrated - aside from the obvious (Danica), I have to say Kasey Kahne. When Kahne went to Hendrick, the prevailing wisdom was that he was going to win championships, yet he only won a handful of races. Also Natalie Decker. She finished 5th in an ARCA race and people actually believed she would be the great hope.

Honorable mention in both categories - Aric Almirola.

How can one be underrated and overrated? I say he's underrated because, look at what he's done in that 10 car. And I think this guy's just destined for a breakout season where he wins 4-5 races. I also say overrated because he's only ever won at Daytona and Talladega in Cup or XFINITY (Milwaukee doesn't count), and when he got in the 10 car, he was in position to win multiple races and ultimately (usually on his own) floundered them.
 

Efisher131

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Overrated: Ryan Blaney, and I like the kid for his personality and his podcast, but people think he's so fantastic yet he consistently gets outrun by his teammates and has a plate win where everybody crashed, and a Roval win he lucked into at Penske.

Underrated: Chris Buescher. I'm so excited to see what he can do in the 17 car. That team has shown speed at times with Stenhouse, and now with a more consistent driver in it he may have a Newman-like year.
 

AuzGrams

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I agree with most of Andy's post actually.

Overrated - I'm gonna go Denny Hamlin, I'll fully admit I'm a biased Denny hater, but he always manages to flap his gums about other drivers and never manages to capture a title when he really should in comparison to the other upper tier drivers Also he's bad some bad seasons (2013, 2018) to be particular.
 

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OK

yes,no,yes,whatever...

yes,meh,whatever,yes,yes

interesting

yes,no,yes,yes
 

Joker

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Overrated - Ricky Stenhouse. Dude almost never gets a Top 10 yet all we hear about is how supposedly great he is at superspeedways and how he won two Xfinity championships and blah blah blah.

Underrated - Kurt Busch. To be as solid as he's been with the personal and team problems he's had? Lesser drivers would wash out, not win 11 races.
 

Greg

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Overrated: Kurt Busch yes he is a wheelman but I think he owns the missed opportunities. It was his own behavior that put him in a James Finch car.
He was never a threat to Harvick at SHR. The guy was good enough to win more championships and a lot more races. And it wasn't bad luck that limited him, it was poor decisions and immaturity on his part.

Everyone knows Buescher is an excellent driver. His opportunities have been limited or he hasn't had top equipment but that is different than being underrated in my opinion.

People will not agree with my choice and there is a good chance that I will doubt myself later.
But I think the next unexpected dark horse or underrated that could break through and demonstrate some good results is: Randy Lajoie. I expect some giggles and I may laugh at myself again in time over the choice. But I do think he has improved and could do something with with opportunities when presented.

Honorable mention for underrated is Martin Truax Jr.
 

Greg

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Kurt Busch has all the talent his brother has, just had worse attitude problems and spent a lot of time in middling equipment.
Maturity and the problems created by a lack of it is a part of considering or evaluating a driver.
 

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Overrated (dodges tomatoes)....Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Had two good seasons in the decade (‘14 and ‘15), but the attention the guy got didn’t match the performance. I understand why though.

Underrated....gotta echo a few others here and go with Chris Buescher.
 

AuzGrams

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Overrated (dodges tomatoes)....Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Had two good seasons in the decade (‘14 and ‘15), but the attention the guy got didn’t match the performance. I understand why though.

Underrated....gotta echo a few others here and go with Chris Buescher.
I think you're fair to say he was overrated based on his 2010, 2017 seasons and maybe more than 8 wins, but I think it's pretty unfair to say he wasn't highly competitive in 2012 and 2013 in addition to '14 & '15. 5 2nd places in 2016 before the concussion issues.
 

RacerrecaR

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Overrated - Patrick, Stenhouse, Earnhardt Jr

Underrated - Buescher, DiBinedetto, Wise
 

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Imagine saying Kurt Busch is overrated. Guy can absolutely wheel it and continually wins a race or two a year
 

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Overrated - I do not like to call drivers overrated, but two come to mind.

Austin Dillon and Paul Menard.

Dillon was supposed to be the guy for RCR. To help his grandfather turn RCR around and he hasn't done that at all. Austin Dillon should not be the lead driver of RCR in the 3 car. He's been wildly mediocre and he's constantly forgotten about. Richard Childress has been trying to get the most out of grandson and its not working. He's won the Daytona 500 and Coke 600, cool. He's just not the answer in a team that is honestly desperate for results.

Menard kills me, I was expecting him to perform better in the 21 car. It was anything but that, that car was damn near invisible most of last season. I respect him a ton as a driver, but I wanted to see more from him.
 

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I wouldn't call Kahne overrated. He has 18 wins and he's won with 4 or 5 different teams.
 

Kiante

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I think you're fair to say he was overrated based on his 2010, 2017 seasons and maybe more than 8 wins, but I think it's pretty unfair to say he wasn't highly competitive in 2012 and 2013 in addition to '14 & '15. 5 2nd places in 2016 before the concussion issues.
Jr is more of a case of a the hype machine.

He was a very good driver in the 10s. Outside of 2010, Jr was pretty good. Injuries derailed him though because in 2016, he had a pretty good start. Just goes to show how serious concussion injuries are. He was a top 10 driver throughout his time with HMS, just didn't win at the clip of Gordon and Johnson.
 

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Overrated: Chase Elliott
Underrated: Jimmie Johnson

Let's keep this thread in perspective.....We are not talking about how good a driver was (Chase Elliott has been a good driver for example), but has the given driver lived up to the expectations? Jimmie Johnson is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, and we as fans of NASCAR took him for granted. He far exceeded expectations IMO.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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I wouldn't call Kahne overrated. He has 18 wins and he's won with 4 or 5 different teams.
I'm talking about this past decade. He had one great season in his career and that wasn't in this past decade.

Kahne was supposed to be the next Jeff Gordon. And when he went to the #5 car, people thought he was going to win multiple championships. Six wins in six years in that car is underwhelming.

In contrast, Chase Elliott, who @Revman considers overrated, has won six races in the last two years with a Hendrick team that's nowhere near as competitive as it was when Kahne ran for them.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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We are not talking about how good a driver was (Chase Elliott has been a good driver for example), but has the given driver lived up to the expectations?
The expectations were set way too high for Chase Elliott, and I've said that for years. He's an elite talent, but the media really set their expectations too high, which is a thing they do. They also said Joey Logano was the greatest driver of all time when he entered NASCAR. In 2003, Brian Vickers was "The Real Deal" and was going to win multiple championships in NASCAR.

Truth is, Hendrick's not on par with Gibbs, Stewart-Haas and Penske right now. And Chase Elliott has still won six races.

Jimmie Johnson is one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, and we as fans of NASCAR took him for granted. He far exceeded expectations IMO.
The dude won 7 championships in 11 years. The Jimmie Johnson/Chad Knaus dynasty is the most underrated sports dynasty of all time. Seriously, when ESPN and Fox talk about sports dynasties, they talk about the Patriots, Alabama, the Yankees, and so on. Super Jimmie's reign of terror is never even in the discussion.

Six consecutive championships in a sport that has only had five other repeat champions in the last 30 years (Dale, Jeff, Kyle, Smoke, Terry Labonte) and only two others go back-to-back (Dale and Jeff).
 

AndyMarquisLive

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This gentleman is a journalist.
What's wrong with what I said?

Kahne's background was similar to Gordon's background, and the first few years of his career were very reminiscent of Gordon's early years. After that, he just never lived up to his potential. Part of that was because of the turmoil at Evernham, then going to Red Bull. However, he consistently underachieved at Hendrick, yet at the same time, he always found a way to win when his career faced a "must win" scenario. It was just so frustrating to watch, especially since I really liked Kasey Kahne in the first part of his career.

The hype surrounding Chase Elliott, on the other hand, was literally unreal. People really thought this guy was going to come into Cup and be a 3-time champion by now. That was always unrealistic hyperbole, especially in this era. Everyone who's writing Elliott off these days forgot that they wrote Logano off at the same point in his career, and Elliott's had more success after five seasons in Cup than Logano (who has lived up to the non-hyperbolic hype) did. Elliott's won six races in the past two years and people really want to write the dude off as a "bust."
 

StandOnIt

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What's wrong with what I said?

Kahne's background was similar to Gordon's background, and the first few years of his career were very reminiscent of Gordon's early years. After that, he just never lived up to his potential. Part of that was because of the turmoil at Evernham, then going to Red Bull. However, he consistently underachieved at Hendrick, yet at the same time, he always found a way to win when his career faced a "must win" scenario. It was just so frustrating to watch, especially since I really liked Kasey Kahne in the first part of his career.

The hype surrounding Chase Elliott, on the other hand, was literally unreal. People really thought this guy was going to come into Cup and be a 3-time champion by now. That was always unrealistic hyperbole, especially in this era. Everyone who's writing Elliott off these days forgot that they wrote Logano off at the same point in his career, and Elliott's had more success after five seasons in Cup than Logano (who has lived up to the non-hyperbolic hype) did. Elliott's won six races in the past two years and people really want to write the dude off as a "bust."
I think you confuse popularity with winning races. Chase Elliott is Bill Elliott's son. Jr is Sr's son. You young sprouts have a misshapen view of history. Maybe in the years to come watching some of the younger guys who have kids who make it to Nascar like Larson, Harvick, and Busch you will figure it out.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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I think you confuse popularity with winning races. Chase Elliott is Bill Elliott's son. Jr is Sr's son. You young sprouts have a misshapen view of history. Maybe in the years to come watching some of the younger guys who have kids who make it to Nascar like Larson, Harvick, and Busch you will figure it out.
Well, this came out of left field.

I'm not talking about fan popularity, I'm talking about a large group of the NASCAR media. Every time they saw Elliott on track before he went to Cup, they were very hyperbolic and acted like "fanboys." For that reason, there was some unrealistic expectation that Chase is supposed to have 20 wins and 2 championships by now. And the media is honestly a lot of the reason a lot of people don't like Chase, who is otherwise a good, modest kid with a good head on his shoulders.

Elliott's having a very good career, he's young, he'll be around for a while, and he'll eventually meet the realistic expectations people have of him.
 

Greg

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The hauler drivers are underated, capable of winning races. I bet many here don't even know their names, the David Allan Coe song speaks volumes.
 

AndyMarquisLive

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Kahne was supposed to be the next Jeff Gordon. Meanwhile, the expectations for Elliott were far too high.
Did you actually read what I said or are you just looking to start a fight?

Kahne and Gordon had similar backgrounds, and Kahne's first three years in Cup were very similar to Gordon's first three years in Cup. There was no reason, by the end of the 2006 season, to believe that Kasey Kahne wasn't going to be a multi-time Cup Series champion.

The notion that he was going to win championships with Hendrick wasn't farfetched either. The dude was overachieving at Red Bull, won a race with them, and even Rick Hendrick expected championships from Kahne.

The expectations about Chase Elliott winning multiple championships and **** were made before he ever made his first start in Cup. They did the same thing with Logano as well. Before he ever ran an Xfinity race, he was "the future of NASCAR."
 

Kiante

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I think you confuse popularity with winning races. Chase Elliott is Bill Elliott's son. Jr is Sr's son. You young sprouts have a misshapen view of history. Maybe in the years to come watching some of the younger guys who have kids who make it to Nascar like Larson, Harvick, and Busch you will figure it out.
Agreed and that's in any form of motorsports.

See it in IndyCar with Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti.
Formula 1 with Mick Schumacher, its all media driven hype for no reason because of thier last name.

Its important for fans to have their own realistic expectations and not be driven by what the media is putting out. I' not expecting of them to be like the father. The best thing to do is for them to be themselves and not buy into needing to be just like whomever came before them.

Its cool for them to be successful, its great for the sports they represent, but success is to me is measured differently. Dale Jr had a successful career, to win 26 races is not easy. May not be his Dad, but he can hang his hat on it. He did what he could with his own ability.
 

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Agreed and that's in any form of motorsports.

See it in IndyCar with Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti.
Formula 1 with Mick Schumacher, its all media driven hype for no reason because of thier last name.

Its important for fans to have their own realistic expectations and not be driven by what the media is putting out. I' not expecting of them to be like the father. The best thing to do is for them to be themselves and not buy into needing to be just like whomever came before them.

Its cool for them to be successful, its great for the sports they represent, but success is to me is measured differently. Dale Jr had a successful career, to win 26 races is not easy. May not be his Dad, but he can hang his hat on it. He did what he could with his own ability.
Yep long time fans were hopeful that the third generation of Andretti would do well, but if it was almost anybody else without the name of Andretti, Marco would have been gone years ago. In Chase Elliott's case Father Bill won one title in 38 years but was the all time most popular driver with the fans. Some of these drivers are above ratings or should be put in the extenuating circumstances category. Autosports are kind of unique in the way that sons and daughters of famous drivers get a shot because of their name popularity or family money. Really pisses off the stick n ballers :p
 

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Yep long time fans were hopeful that the third generation of Andretti would do well, but if it was almost anybody else without the name of Andretti, Marco would have been gone years ago. In Chase Elliott's case Father Bill won one title in 38 years but was the all time most popular driver with the fans.
Bill should of won 3
 

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I don't think Johnson is that underrated..doesn't belong here imo. I do think he is underappreciated. But that's more of a product of the time. Kyle Busch's second title season got more all-time rep and comparisons to Dale than Johnson's 5th consecutive title in only his 9th season. Johnson's greatness has been pushed aside for Kyle Busch Narrative and it's sad to witness.

As for this thread...

Instill don't understand the measuring stick. Overrated meaning they suck? Overrated compared to what? Chase Elliot is overrated given expectations, Kyle Busch is overrated amongst all time greats, but neither fit this.

Imo, Denny Hamlin and Truex are the most overrated drivers. But I'll stick with Hamlin. After 2010, the guy was going to be a champion.

Hadn't come too close aside from 2019.

Brad K is also overrated, as much as I enjoy him. Taking down the 48 in their prime, it was clear that Brad was a top 2-3 driver early on who was going to probably win 50+ races and a few titles..

He hasnt even competed for a title since.

Underrated..Buescher, Larson, Cole Custer imo

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StandOnIt

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I don't think Johnson is that underrated..doesn't belong here imo. I do think he is underappreciated. But that's more of a product of the time. Kyle Busch's second title season got more all-time rep and comparisons to Dale than Johnson's 5th consecutive title in only his 9th season. Johnson's greatness has been pushed aside for Kyle Busch Narrative and it's sad to witness.

As for this thread...

Instill don't understand the measuring stick. Overrated meaning they suck? Overrated compared to what? Chase Elliot is overrated given expectations, Kyle Busch is overrated amongst all time greats, but neither fit this.

Imo, Denny Hamlin and Truex are the most overrated drivers. But I'll stick with Hamlin. After 2010, the guy was going to be a champion.

Hadn't come too close aside from 2019.

Brad K is also overrated, as much as I enjoy him. Taking down the 48 in their prime, it was clear that Brad was a top 2-3 driver early on who was going to probably win 50+ races and a few titles..

He hasnt even competed for a title since.

Underrated..Buescher, Larson, Cole Custer imo

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Yeah I pretty much agree except I would flip Truex. He won the most races last year.
 

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Cole Custer is absolutely underrated. I didn't even think of him but good call.
I've seen a lot of people compare Custer to the Dillons because he has family ties to SHR. But he can drive. Ford 300 sold me. He had probably the 3rd best car overall. Fresh tires, he outdrove both Reddick and and Bell.

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