The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

Competition often promotes antagonism and success breeds arrogance. But there are exceptions. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the ten most all-around decent, fan-friendly, and agreeable good guys in racing.

Quick notes: Yes, we know; ten is not nearly enough. Twenty isn't. There are plenty of other guys and at least one entire racing organization worthy of serious praise. And putting the results in anything that hints of an order of significance is a disservice. Still, we're obliged to stick with the standard format. Just know the good guys are out there.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

10.) Bill Caswell

Suggested By: Shannador

Why he's an official Good Guy: The quixotic rally racer and his endlessly abused BMW have developed a fervent fan following by all but inviting us along for the ride. He's in it for the raw fun, it shows, and he probably knows what it means to the rest of us who watch him battle against the big guys. An inspiration, both as a racer and as a public face.

Photo Credit: Caswell

9.) Petter Solberg

Suggested By: TTA579

Why he's an official Good Guy: Rally drivers are their own breed, banging it out along rough roads at blinding speeds for hours at a time. It takes a certain mix of skill, patience, good humor and enthusiasm to pull it off, and Petter Solberg personifies all of it both in and out of the car. Proof that not all drivers are money-grubbing ego cases. This is heart.

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

8.) Jim Clark

Suggested By: Crossdrilled

Why he's an official Good Guy: Clark raced cars like most humans drink water; he was just naturally, instinctively fast in anything. Maybe as a result of that his success never went to his head, and he remained a cheerful, modest (in his passport he listed his occupation as "farmer," which he was during the off-season), wonderfully personable racer.

His death at Hockenheim in 1968 remains one of the blackest days in the sport's history; we lost not only an extraordinary driver but also an extraordinary human being.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

7.) Peter Sauber

Suggested By: ∞Gîmmî∞

Why he's an official Good Guy: Being a racing team head is no easy thing. Especially in the cutthroat world of Formula One where being cold and calculating is almost a job requirement. Thankfully, we have the genial and fair-minded Peter Sauber to show everyone that you don't have to be a Machiavellian monster to hold your own at the top levels.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

6.) John Force

Suggested By: Altemus Prime

Why he's an official Good Guy: The big, talkative, endlessly upbeat Californian has remained one of racing's endearing treasures through a very long and successful career. Nice guys definitely do not finish last; Force has flat owned Funny Car for two decades, and has never been less than a great guy the entire time.

Photo Credit: Associated Presss

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

5.) Mark Martin

Suggested By: $kaycog

Why he's an official Good Guy: He lifts weights, he loves hip-hop, he's 53 and still very much in the thick of it all, and he's one of the most pleasant and good-humored drivers anywhere. Martin earns nothing but absolute respect and goodwill from his fellow drivers and endless appreciation from fans — which he is happy to return in spades.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

4.) Jackie Stewart

Suggested By: dean_acheson

Why he's an official Good Guy: Stewart's vibrant personality and ceaseless good humor are second only to his absolute concern for his fellow drivers. His efforts to make racing safer and more professional in the Sixties earned him no shortage of unfair enmity, but place him in the top ranks of genuine heroes. His ability to dominate F1 while being probably its most agreeable figure is even more remarkable.

And anyone who is this much of a Beatles fan has to have a serious good side.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

3.) Rubens Barrichello

Suggested By: Gary Yogurt

Why he's an official Good Guy: Can you be too nice in a racing car? The sensitive Brazilian was the perfect teammate during Schumacher's reign in the 2000s, always supporting but never challenging. While he may have deferred his own grab for glory, he was consistently one of the most personable and pure-hearted drivers through an exceedingly long F1 career. IndyCar is the better for his presence now.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

2.) Richard Petty

Suggested By: 2Clutch

Why he's an official Good Guy: Long live the King. Petty truly loves his fans, and they adore him back. The rail-thin stock car demigod has never been known to refuse to sign an autograph, smile for a picture, shake a hand, or in any other way shirk what he sees as a significant responsibility to those who hold him in high esteem. The friendly attitude belies the fact that he is forever one of the ultimate all-time racing badasses.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Ten Nicest Guys In Racing History

1.) Sir Stirling Moss, OBE

Suggested By: SennaMP4

Why he's an official Good Guy: All-time great driver, British patriot, outspoken driver's advocate, gentleman. Stirling Moss is still the consummate enthusiast and ambassador. He considered it a professional duty to be well-mannered and gracious, and he still is so well into his eighties. The nicest man to ever represent the sport, Moss should be an example to all of us.

Photo Credit: Associated Press