2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Previous: 2000 Next: 2002
Champions | Seasons
Jeff Gordon, the 2001 Cup Champion
Tony Stewart finished second behind Gordon by 349 points
Sterling Marlin finished third in the championship

The 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season began on February 11, 2001, at the Daytona International Speedway and ended on November 23, 2001, at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports was crowned series champion for the fourth time in seven years. The season was marked by tragedy with the death of seven-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500, which would result in safety upgrades being instituted. It also was the first year of a unified television contract that had FOX/FX and NBC Sports/TNT broadcasting the season's races; previous seasons saw each racetrack negotiate their own TV coverage, creating a patchwork of broadcast companies covering races throughout the season. Dodge returned to the sport for the first time since 1985. Chevrolet captured the NASCAR Manufacturers' Championship with 16 wins and 248 points.[1]

2001 Team chart[edit]

List of full-time teams at the start of 2001.

Team Car(s) # Driver(s) Primary
Sponsor(s)
Listed Owner(s) Crew Chief
A. J. Foyt Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 14 Ron Hornaday, Jr. (R) Conseco A. J. Foyt Phillipe Lopez
41 Mark Green1
Andy Petree Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 33 Joe Nemechek31 Oakwood Homes Andy Petree Chris Carrier
Bobby Hamilton, Jr.3
Wally Dallenbach, Jr.1
Scott Pruett1
55 Bobby Hamilton Square D Jimmy Elledge
BAM Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 49 Andy Hillenburg4 BAM Racing Beth Ann Morgenthau n/a
Bill Davis Racing Dodge Intrepid 22 Ward Burton Caterpillar, Inc. Bill Davis
Gail Davis
Tommy Baldwin, Jr.
23 Hut Stricklin1 Hills Bros Coffee
93 Dave Blaney Amoco Doug Randolph
Brett Bodine Racing Ford Taurus 11 Brett Bodine Ralphs Brett Bodine
Diane Bodine
Mike Hillman
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid 01 Dorsey Schroeder1 Cingular Wireless Chip Ganassi
Felix Sabates
Kevin Cram
Scott Pruett1
Jason Leffler (R)34
04
40 Sterling Marlin Coors Light Lee McCall
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1 Steve Park24 Pennzoil Dale Earnhardt
Teresa Earnhardt
Paul Andrews
Kenny Wallace12
8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Budweiser Tony Eury, Sr.
15 Michael Waltrip NAPA Auto Parts Scott Eggleston
Donlavey Racing Ford Taurus 90 Hut Stricklin27 Hills Brothers Junie Donlavey Bobby King
Brian Simo2
Rick Mast5
Eel River Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 27 Kenny Wallace16 Duke's Mayonnaise Jack Birmingham Barry Dodson
Rick Mast9
Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid 9 Bill Elliott Dodge Dealers Ray Evernham Mike Ford
19 Casey Atwood (R) Patrick Donahue
Haas-Carter Motorsports Ford Taurus 26 Jimmy Spencer Big Kmart Travis Carter
Carl Haas
Donnie Wingo
66 Todd Bodine Larry Carter
Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 5 Terry Labonte Kellogg's Rick Hendrick
Joe Hendrick
Gary DeHart
24 Jeff Gordon DuPont Robbie Loomis
25 Jerry Nadeau UAW-Delphi Tony Furr
48 Jimmie Johnson3 Lowe's
Power of Pride
Ken Howes
Jasper Motorsports Ford Taurus 77 Robert Pressley34 Jasper Engines Doug Bawel Ryan Pemberton
Boris Said2
Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 18 Bobby Labonte Interstate Batteries Joe Gibbs Jimmy Makar
20 Tony Stewart The Home Depot Greg Zipadelli
MBV Motorsports Pontiac Grand Prix 10 Johnny Benson Valvoline Nelson Bowers
James Rocco
James Ince
36 Ken Schrader M&M's Sammy Johns
Melling Racing Dodge Intrepid 92 Stacy Compton Kodiak/Cougar Mark Melling Chad Knaus
Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 50 Rick Mast
Rich Bickle1
Midwest Transit Hal Hicks Greg Connors
Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4 Robby Gordon5 Eastman Kodak Larry McClure David Ifft
Kevin Lepage23
Bobby Hamilton, Jr.7
Rich Bickle1
Penske Racing Ford Taurus 02 Ryan Newman (R)7 Alltel Roger Penske
Walter Czarnecki
Matt Borland
2 Rusty Wallace Miller Lite Robin Pemberton
12 Jeremy Mayfield28 Mobil 1 Peter Sospenzo
Mike Wallace8
Petty Enterprises Dodge Intrepid 43 John Andretti Cheerios Richard Petty
Kyle Petty
Pattie Petty
Greg Steadman
44 Buckshot Jones35 Georgia-Pacific Mark Tutor
Wally Dallenbach, Jr.1
45 Kyle Petty Sprint Chris Hussey
PPI Motorsports Ford Taurus 32 Ricky Craven Tide Cal Wells Mike Beam
96 Andy Houston (R) McDonald's Joe Garone
Qwest Motor Racing Pontiac Grand Prix 37 Derrike Cope n/a Derrike Cope Joey Knuckles
Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 3 Dale Earnhardt1 GM Goodwrench Richard Childress Kevin Hamlin
29 Kevin Harvick (R)35
30 Jeff Green10 Lowes Todd Berrier
31 America Online
Mike Skinner23 Lowe's Royce McGee
Robby Gordon12
Robert Yates Racing Ford Taurus 28 Ricky Rudd Texaco
Havoline
Robert Yates Michael McSwain
88 Dale Jarrett UPS Todd Parrott
Roush Racing Ford Taurus 6 Mark Martin Pfizer
Viagra
Jack Roush
Mark Martin
Georgetta Roush
Robert Corn
Jimmy Fennig
17 Matt Kenseth DeWalt Robbie Reiser
97 Kurt Busch (R) Sharpie
Rubbermaid
Matt Chambers
99 Jeff Burton Citgo Frank Stoddard
Ultra Motorsports Ford Taurus 7 Mike Wallace25 NationsRent Jim Smith Jim Long
Ted Musgrave1
Robby Gordon2
Kevin Lepage8
Wood Brothers Racing Ford Taurus 21 Elliott Sadler Motorcraft Glen Wood Pat Tryson

Budweiser Shootout[edit]

The Budweiser Shootout, an invitational event for all recent Bud Pole winners, was held February 11 at Daytona International Speedway. Ken Schrader drew the pole. This was the first race broadcast on FOX.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 3 - Dale Earnhardt
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 6 - Mark Martin
  9. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  10. 31 - Mike Skinner

Gatorade 125s[edit]

The Gatorade 125s, qualifying races for the Daytona 500, were held February 15 at Daytona International Speedway. Bill Elliott and Stacy Compton started on pole for both races, respectively. The qualifying races were broadcast live for the first time; races prior to 2001 were broadcast on tape delay.

Race One Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  3. 3 - Dale Earnhardt
  4. 96 - Andy Houston
  5. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 01 - Jason Leffler
  8. 51 - Jeff Purvis
  9. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  10. 19 - Casey Atwood

Race Two Top Ten Results

  1. 31 - Mike Skinner
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 22 - Ward Burton
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 36 - Ken Schrader
  7. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  8. 32 - Ricky Craven
  9. 93 - Dave Blaney
  10. 6 - Mark Martin

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 2001 Daytona 500

The 2001 Daytona 500 was held February 18, 2001, at Daytona International Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. This was the first race that featured cars from Chrysler Motors (in this case, the Dodge manufacturing family) since 1985.[2] On turn 4 of the final lap, Dale Earnhardt crashed and died as a result of his injuries. Earnhardt finished 12th despite not crossing the finish line.[3]

Top Ten Results

  1. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 9 - Bill Elliott
  6. 7 - Mike Wallace
  7. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  8. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  9. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 92 - Stacy Compton

Failed to qualify: Dave Marcis (#71), Todd Bodine (#66), Hut Stricklin (#90), Rick Mast (#50), Derrike Cope (#37), Norm Benning (#84), Carl Long (#85), Morgan Shepherd (#80), Dwayne Leik (#72)

Dura Lube 400[edit]

The Dura Lube 400 started on February 25 but finished on February 26 due to a rain delay, making it a two-day race at the North Carolina Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. This race was won by DEI driver Steve Park in an emotional victory just one week after the death of Earnhardt. Richard Childress placed Busch Grand National driver Kevin Harvick into the car formerly driven by Earnhardt, changed the car's number from #3 to #29, and changed the paint scheme from primarily black to primarily white. Dale Earnhardt, Jr suffered a crash on the first lap of the race, and hit the outside wall in eerily similar fashion to his father's fatal wreck a week earlier, but Jr was not seriously hurt.

Top Ten Results

  1. 1 - Steve Park
  2. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 32 - Ricky Craven
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  9. 93 - Dave Blaney
  10. 88 - Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Kyle Petty (#45)

UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400[edit]

The UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 was held March 4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  4. 10 - Johnny Benson
  5. 66 - Todd Bodine
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 14 - Ron Hornaday
  10. 26 - Jimmy Spencer

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (#45), Brendan Gaughan (#62), Andy Houston (#96), Rick Mast (#50)

  • Jeff Gordon won the No Bull $5 Million Bonus.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500[edit]

The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 was held March 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. This race is best remembered for the exciting finish between rookie Kevin Harvick and three-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon. Harvick would outduel the champion in a spectacular finish, winning by only .006 seconds, being the second closest finish in NASCAR history at the time. Harvick performed a burnout on the frontstretch with three fingers aloft. It was his first victory in only his third start in the Cup Series, a then-record for fewest starts to first win in the Modern Era of Cup racing.

Top Ten Results

  1. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 5 - Terry Labonte
  6. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 36 - Ken Schrader
  9. 31 - Mike Skinner
  10. 97 - Kurt Busch

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#50), Carl Long (#85), Casey Atwood (#19)

Carolina Dodge Dealers 400[edit]

The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 was held March 18 at Darlington Raceway. Jeff Gordon started on pole after qualifying was rained out.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 43 - John Andretti
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  9. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  10. 2 - Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Rick Mast (#50), Dave Marcis (#71)

Food City 500[edit]

The Food City 500 was held March 25 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 21 - Elliott Sadler*
  2. 43 - John Andretti
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  5. 22 - Ward Burton
  6. 5 - Terry Labonte
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  9. 1 - Steve Park
  10. 28 - Ricky Rudd

Failed to qualify: Hut Stricklin (#90), Jason Leffler (#01), Carl Long (#85)

  • This was Elliott Sadler's first career win, and the first for the Wood Brothers Racing team since 1993 with Morgan Shepherd.
  • It was also the first time cars #21 and #43 took the top two finishing positions since 1977, but the first time since the 1976 Southern 500 that the #21 finished on top when David Pearson beat Richard Petty. As of 2014 it is the most recent time those two cars have finished in the top two spots.[4]

Harrah's 500[edit]

The Harrah's 500 was held April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 97 - Kurt Busch
  5. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (#45), Rick Mast (#50)

Virginia 500[edit]

The Virginia 500 was held April 8 at Martinsville Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  10. 25 - Jerry Nadeau

Failed to qualify: Jason Leffler (#01), Hermie Sadler (#13), Hut Stricklin (#90)

Talladega 500[edit]

Main article: 2001 Talladega 500

The Talladega 500 was held April 22 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stacy Compton won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 55 - Bobby Hamilton*
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 97 - Kurt Busch
  4. 6 - Mark Martin
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  9. 7 - Mike Wallace
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Kenny Wallace (#27), Kyle Petty (#45), Rick Mast (#50), Hut Stricklin (#90), Andy Hillenburg (#49)

  • This was Bobby Hamilton's fourth and last win in the Cup Series.
  • This was the second caution-free race in the history of Talladega Superspeedway, but the aerodynamics package was vastly different than the first caution-free race, which in turn made the average speed (184.003 mph) slower than the track record.

NAPA Auto Parts 500[edit]

The NAPA Auto Parts 500 was held April 29 at California Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  7. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  8. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 77 - Robert Pressley

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#4), Buckshot Jones (#44), Shawna Robinson (#84)

  • This race was on the same day as what would have been Dale Earnhardt's 50th birthday.

Pontiac Excitement 400[edit]

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held May 5 at Richmond International Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 1 - Steve Park
  5. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  8. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  9. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Buckshot Jones (#44), Hermie Sadler (#13), Hut Stricklin (#90)

The Winston[edit]

Main article: The Winston XVII

Coca-Cola 600[edit]

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 27 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole. This was the first career pole on his second start at Lowes on a limited schedule.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99 - Jeff Burton
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 20 - Tony Stewart
  4. 6 - Mark Martin
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  7. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  8. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  9. 22 - Ward Burton
  10. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield

Failed to qualify: John Andretti (#43), Kyle Petty (#45), Derrike Cope (#37), Mike Wallace (#7), Jeff Fultz (#54), Carl Long (#85)

  • Stewart successfully performed the Double Duty, also running the Indianapolis 500 the same day; Joe Gibbs Racing had Mike McLaughlin on standby if Stewart did not arrive on time. Stewart arrived less than half an hour before the start of the race. If Stewart did not arrive for the start of the Coca-Cola 600, McLaughlin would have been given credit for the start under NASCAR rules. Stewart had to start at the end of the field (43rd place) due to missing the mandatory drivers' meeting that is held 2 hours before any race. [5]
  • Dale Jarrett overcame a rib injury during Happy Hour to finish 8th. As a precaution, Jeff Green was on standby.
  • Even though Ryan Newman had won the pole, he finished in 43rd place after crashing while leading on lap 10

MBNA Platinum 400[edit]

The MBNA Platinum 400 was held June 3 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole due to a rainout.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  4. 32 - Ricky Craven
  5. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  6. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 28 - Ricky Rudd

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#50), Jeff Green (#30), Kyle Petty (#45), Lance Hooper (#47), Dave Marcis (#71)

  • Gordon led 381 of the 400 laps.

Kmart 400[edit]

The Kmart 400 was held June 10 at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon*
  2. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  4. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  5. 02 - Ryan Newman
  6. 90 - Hut Stricklin
  7. 99 - Jeff Burton
  8. 93 - Dave Blaney
  9. 9 - Bill Elliott
  10. 29 - Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Mike Wallace (#7), Rick Mast (#50), Andy Houston (#96), Stacy Compton (#92), Kenny Wallace (#27)

This race was the Winston Cup Series debut of Shawna Robinson, the first woman to successfully attempt a Cup Series race since Patty Moise in 1989.

  • This was Rick Hendrick's 100th career win in the Cup Series as an owner.

Pocono 500[edit]

The Pocono 500 was held June 17 at Pocono Raceway. Ricky Rudd won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  4. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  5. 6 - Mark Martin
  6. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 36 - Ken Schrader
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Kenny Wallace (#27)

Dodge/Save Mart 350[edit]

The Dodge/Save Mart 350 was held June 24 at Sears Point Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 7 - Robby Gordon
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 99 - Jeff Burton
  9. 9 - Bill Elliott
  10. 6 - Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Kenny Wallace (#27), Anthony Lazzaro (#68), Jason Leffler (#04)

Pepsi 400[edit]

Main article: 2001 Pepsi 400

The Pepsi 400 was held July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. Sterling Marlin won the pole. This was the first Cup race at Daytona since the death of Dale Earnhardt, as well as the first Cup Series race on NBC under the 2001-2006 contract.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s win, coupled with Waltrip pushing him to the victory (the reverse of the Daytona 500) made for an emotional moment. Earnhardt Jr, Waltrip, and the two drivers' crews, as well as Chocolate Myers, a longtime crew member for Dale Earnhardt, Sr., celebrated in the infield grass on the frontstretch, with Waltrip and Jr sharing a hug on top of Waltrip's #15 car (Earnhardt, Sr. used to celebrate by standing on his roof).

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  2. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  3. 21 - Elliott Sadler
  4. 22 - Ward Burton
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 99 - Jeff Burton
  9. 11 - Brett Bodine
  10. 7 - Mike Wallace

Failed to qualify: Buckshot Jones (#44), Ron Hornaday (#14), Hut Stricklin (#90), Mike Bliss (#27), Andy Hillenburg (#49)

Tropicana 400[edit]

The inaugural Tropicana 400 was held July 15 at Chicagoland Speedway. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  2. 77 - Robert Pressley
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  8. 97 - Kurt Busch
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 9 - Bill Elliott

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (#45), Dave Marcis (#71), Mike Bliss (#27), Shawna Robinson (#84)

New England 300[edit]

The New England 300 was held July 22 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 1 - Steve Park
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  10. 7 - Mike Wallace

Failed to qualify: Mike Bliss (#27)

Pennsylvania 500[edit]

The Pennsylvania 500 was held July 29 at Pocono Raceway. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  3. 20 - Tony Stewart
  4. 9 - Bill Elliott
  5. 10 - Johnny Benson
  6. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  7. 6 - Mark Martin
  8. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  9. 77 - Robert Pressley
  10. 32 - Ricky Craven

Failed to qualify: Andy Hillenburg (#49), Carl Long (#85)

Brickyard 400[edit]

The Brickyard 400 was held August 5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  5. 97 - Kurt Busch
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 9 - Bill Elliott
  9. 32 - Ricky Craven
  10. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#4), Derrike Cope (#37), Mike Wallace (#7), Hermie Sadler (#13), Ed Berrier (#95), David Keith (#57), Rick Mast (#27), Dave Marcis (#71), Kyle Petty (#45), Shawna Robinson (#84), Andy Hillenburg (#49)

  • With the win, Jeff Gordon became the first three time winner of the Brickyard 400
  • Many came from the back to the front for finishing. Jeff Gordon started 27th, Johnny Benson started 26th, Rusty Wallace started 37th, Kurt Busch started 34th, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. started 36th.

Global Crossing at the Glen[edit]

The Global Crossing at the Glen was held August 12 at Watkins Glen International. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 99 - Jeff Burton
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 66 - Todd Bodine
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 77 - Boris Said
  9. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  10. 1 - Steve Park

Failed to qualify: Mike Wallace (#7), Wally Dallenbach, Jr. (#44)

Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer[edit]

The Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer was held August 19 at Michigan International Speedway. Ricky Craven won the pole. The race was shortened to 162 laps due to rain, and the race also marked Dodge's first trip to victory lane since its return to NASCAR.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 32 - Ricky Craven
  3. 9 - Bill Elliott
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 10 - Johnny Benson
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  8. 6 - Mark Martin
  9. 1 - Steve Park
  10. 19 - Casey Atwood

Failed to qualify: David Keith (#57), Buckshot Jones (#44)

Sharpie 500[edit]

The Sharpie 500 was held August 25 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jeff Green won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 5 - Terry Labonte

Failed to qualify: Stacy Compton (#92), Kyle Petty (#45), Hermie Sadler (#13), Dave Marcis (#71), Hut Stricklin (#90), Carl Long (#85)

Mountain Dew Southern 500[edit]

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held September 2 at Darlington Raceway. Kurt Busch won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 22 - Ward Burton
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 9 - Bill Elliott
  6. 99 - Jeff Burton
  7. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  10. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Dave Marcis (#71)

  • Steve Park did not race because of a bizarre accident in the South Carolina 200 (the Busch Grand National Series race) the day before that left him sidelined until early 2002.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400[edit]

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 was held September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  9. 99 - Jeff Burton
  10. 10 - Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (#96), Hermie Sadler (#13), Hut Stricklin (#90), Carl Long (#85)

  • This race is remembered for Kevin Harvick almost spinning Ricky Rudd off turn 2 and Rudd saving his car from wrecking and coming back to win after bumping Harvick.

MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400[edit]

The MBNA Cal Ripken, Jr. 400 was held September 23 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. This was the first race to be held after the September 11th attacks. Most cars sported patriotic decals and tributes.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  2. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  7. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  8. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  9. 19 - Casey Atwood
  10. 55 - Bobby Hamilton

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#27), Jason Leffler (#01), Lance Hooper (#47), Dave Marcis (#71)

Protection One 400[edit]

The inaugural Protection One 400 was held September 30 at Kansas Speedway. Jason Leffler won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 02 - Ryan Newman
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 77 - Robert Pressley
  8. 20 - Tony Stewart
  9. 97 - Kurt Busch
  10. 93 - Dave Blaney

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#27), Kyle Petty (#45), Ron Hornaday (#14)

UAW-GM Quality 500[edit]

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held October 7 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 22 - Ward Burton
  4. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 18 - Bobby Labonte

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (#45), Derrike Cope (#57), Jeff Green (#30), Robby Gordon (#31), Buckshot Jones (#44), Frank Kimmel (#46)

  • This was Jimmie Johnson's first career Cup Series start. Johnson started an excellent 15th position, but was finished only 39th due to an accident.

Old Dominion 500[edit]

The Old Dominion 500 was scheduled for October 14 at Martinsville Speedway, but was held October 15 due to rain. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 32 - Ricky Craven
  2. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  3. 22 - Ward Burton
  4. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 6 - Mark Martin
  8. 12 - Mike Wallace
  9. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  10. 40 - Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#85), Kyle Petty (#45), Frank Kimmel (#46)

EA Sports 500[edit]

The EA Sports 500 was held on October 21 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stacy Compton won the pole. This race would be remembered for the last lap. After Dale Earnhardt, Jr. passed Bobby Labonte for the lead, Labonte tried to block Bobby Hamilton, going up high in turn 2. Labonte got loose, making contact with Johnny Benson, causing Labonte to flip over and slide down the back straightaway on his roof, with an additional 14 cars being collected in the wreck. While that happened, Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton raced back to the start/finish line. Entering the tri-oval, Earnhardt, Jr. sailed away by three car lengths to take his third win of the season while Stewart and Burton battled for the runner-up spot.

Although he kept the win, Earnhardt, Jr. was docked 25 points after his car failed post race inspection, due to a shortened rear spoiler.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  6. 1 - Kenny Wallace
  7. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  8. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 7 - Kevin Lepage

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#91), Dave Marcis (#71)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. had also won the No Bull 5 Million Dollar Bonus for the first time, one year after his father had done in the same race.

Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil[edit]

The Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil was held October 28 at Phoenix International Raceway. Casey Atwood won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99 - Jeff Burton
  2. 12 - Mike Wallace
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 31 - Robby Gordon
  8. 32 - Ricky Craven
  9. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  10. 10 - Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: Rick Bogart (#70)

Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400[edit]

The Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 was held November 4 at North Carolina Speedway. Kenny Wallace won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  2. 1 - Kenny Wallace
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  9. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  10. 17 - Matt Kenseth

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (#90)

Pennzoil Freedom 400[edit]

The Pennzoil Freedom 400 was held November 11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. Casey Atwood nearly won the race, until a late race pass by Bill Elliott.

Top Ten Results

  1. 9 - Bill Elliott
  2. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  3. 19 - Casey Atwood
  4. 99 - Jeff Burton
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 30 - Jeff Green
  10. 01 - Jason Leffler

Failed to qualify: Rich Bickle (#49), Derrike Cope (#57), Ron Hornaday (#14), Hermie Sadler (#13), Carl Long (#85)

  • This was Bill Elliott's first Winston Cup win since 1994.
  • A pit road incident occurred on lap 112 when Ward Burton and Casey Atwood made contact, causing Ward to go into Ricky Rudd's pit stall, Seriously injuring 2 Crew Members.

NAPA 500[edit]

The NAPA 500 was held November 18 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was scheduled to be the finale to the 2001 season, but as the fall race in New Hampshire had been postponed due to the attacks of September 11, it became the penultimate race instead. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole. Jeff Gordon clinched the 2001 Winston Cup championship with his 6th place finish. Jerry Nadeau nearly won this race, but ran out of gas with half a lap to go, giving way to Bobby Labonte

Top Ten Results

  1. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  4. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  5. 22 - Ward Burton
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  8. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  9. 20 - Tony Stewart
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Mark Green (#41), Robby Gordon (#31), Jason Leffler (#01), Kurt Busch (#97), Rick Mast (#90), Ron Hornaday (#14), Dave Marcis (#71), Frank Kimmel (#46)

New Hampshire 300[edit]

The New Hampshire 300 was scheduled for September 16 but was moved to November 23 (the Friday after Thanksgiving) due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The starting order was set according to owner's points as of September 10.

The win was Robby Gordon's first career victory in the Cup Series and one of only 17 times he raced in 2001 due to having been unexpectedly fired from the Morgan-McClure team after just 5 races. This race was also notable for the battle between Robby and Jeff Gordon (no relation) that led to much bumping between the two and resulting in Jeff Gordon spinning out of the lead, causing the final caution. Jeff was black-flagged for retaliating and after being held a lap by officials, he ended up in 15th place. Robby Gordon held off Sterling Marlin for the win. It would be the #31 team's very first win in NASCAR and his first and, so far, only oval win in his motorsports career.

In victory lane Robby, when asked about the incident with Jeff, said that it was an accident and that he was not embarrassed about his win since he saw Jeff Gordon do something similar to win at a previous race. Robby also donated all his prize money to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and was emotional about getting his first oval win.

Top Ten Results

  1. 31 - Robby Gordon
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 77 - Robert Pressley
  8. 11 - Brett Bodine
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  • 42 cars were entered for this race instead of the traditional 43, as the Eel River Racing Team had folded. Until the 2014 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, which also only had 42 cars entered, this was the last time a NASCAR Sprint Cup race had less than 43 cars entered.

Final Points Standings[edit]

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon – 5112
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart – 4763
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin – 4741
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd – 4706
  5. 88 - Dale Jarrett – 4612
  6. 18 - Bobby Labonte – 4561
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace – 4481
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 4460
  9. 29 - Kevin Harvick – 4406
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton – 4394
  11. 10 - Johnny Benson Jr. – 4152
  12. 6 - Mark Martin – 4095
  13. 17 - Matt Kenseth – 3982
  14. 22 - Ward Burton – 3846
  15. 9 - Bill Elliott – 3824
  16. 26 - Jimmy Spencer – 3782
  17. 25 - Jerry Nadeau – 3675
  18. 55 - Bobby Hamilton – 3575
  19. 36 - Ken Schrader – 3480
  20. 21 - Elliott Sadler – 3471
  21. 32 - Ricky Craven – 3379
  22. 93 - Dave Blaney – 3303
  23. 5 - Terry Labonte – 3280
  24. 15 - Michael Waltrip −3159
  25. 77 - Robert Pressley – 3156
  26. 19 - Casey Atwood – 3132
  27. 97 - Kurt Busch – 3081
  28. 33 - Joe Nemechek – 2994
  29. 66 - Todd Bodine – 2960
  30. 11 - Brett Bodine – 2948
  31. 43 - John Andretti – 2943
  32. 1 - Steve Park – 2854
  33. 92 - Stacy Compton – 2752
  34. 7 - Mike Wallace – 2693
  35. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield – 2651
  36. 4 - Kevin Lepage – 2461
  37. 01 - Jason Leffler – 2413
  38. 14 - Ron Hornaday Jr. – 2305
  39. 1 - Kenny Wallace – 2054
  40. 31 - Mike Skinner – 2029
  41. 44 - Buckshot Jones – 1939
  42. 90 - Hut Stricklin – 1770
  43. 45 - Kyle Petty – 1673
  44. 31 - Robby Gordon – 1552
  45. 50 - Rick Mast – 1187
  46. 96 - Andy Houston – 1123
  47. 33 - Bobby Hamilton, Jr. – 748
  48. 30 - Jeff Green – 539
  49. 02 - Ryan Newman – 497
  50. 77 - Boris Said  – 272

Rookie of the Year[edit]

Kevin Harvick emerged as the victor of the Rookie of the Year battle[6] despite not declaring for the award until the second race of the season, as he took over for Dale Earnhardt following his fatal crash. Harvick won two races and finished ninth in season points. Kurt Busch finished second, despite only having one year of experience in a major NASCAR series. Third-place finisher Casey Atwood was pre-season favorite, but was held back due to a rough start and only finished 26th in points. Jason Leffler had a sub-par season that cost him his job with Chip Ganassi Racing, and Ron Hornaday was a disappointment after years of success in the Busch and Truck series. The last-place driver was Andy Houston, another pre-season favorite, had a tough season, suffering from several DNQs and DNFs that resulted in his team closing after Kansas.[7]

Facts[edit]

  • There were 19 different race winners, a new record for the series.
  • Five of the race winners won a Cup race for the first time: Michael Waltrip at the Daytona 500, Kevin Harvick at the spring Atlanta race, Elliott Sadler at the Spring Bristol race, Ricky Craven at the fall Martinsville race, and Robby Gordon at the season finale at New Hampshire.
  • There were six first time pole sitters in Cup in 2001. Stacy Compton, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Jason Leffler, Casey Atwood, and Jeff Green. Up until Atwoods lead lap finish at Phoenix. The best finish for a first time pole sitter was Leffler at Kansas with a 32nd place finish. He was on the lead lap with 9 to go at Kansas and wrecked. Compton finished last at Talladega and Newman finished last as well at Charlotte. Busch came in 42nd after a crash at Darlington, finally Green came in 39th after a crash in Bristol.
  • Mark Martin finished a season without a race win for the first time since 1996, and for the second time since 1989.
  • Bill Elliott won in the series for the first time since 1994, Sterling Marlin for the first time since 1996, and Ricky Rudd for the first time since 1998.
  • Jeff Gordon won his fourth Championship, a feat that only two other drivers (Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt) had accomplished at the time.
  • No rookies competed in all 36 races this year; the closest were Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Casey Atwood with 35. Harvick did not enter the Daytona 500, Atwood did not qualify for the spring Atlanta race, and Busch failed to qualify for the fall race in Atlanta.
  • This was supposed to be the last season finale to be held at Atlanta. However, due to the attacks on September 11, the fall race in New Hampshire was postponed until the first available date, which came after the Atlanta event.
  • Dale Earnhardt finished 52nd in the final points standings after losing his life in the season opening Daytona 500.
  • 2001 was the last full-time season in Cup for Ron Hornaday, Buckshot Jones, Andy Houston and Jason Leffler. Hornaday went to the Grand National Series in 2002 then in the Trucks again in 2005 and still races them today. Jones was fired after a few races in 2002 due to poor finishes. Houston went back to trucks and is currently Austin Dillon's spotter. Leffler attempted a full season in 2005 with Joe Gibbs Racing but was fired halfway into the season. He went back into Grand National from 2006 to 2011, then the Trucks for 2012. After being unemployed in 2013, he died in a sprint car racing accident.
  • 2001 was also the last year for sponsors Amoco, Kodiak, Ralph's and Nations Rent.
  • 2001 was the last year for teams Eel River Racing, and Melling Racing.
  • 2001 was the first year for teams Evernham Motorsports, and BAM Racing.
  • The 2001 New Hampshire 300 was the last race to have 42 starters as of 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Standings: 2001 Manufacturer Standings". NASCAR; Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  2. ^ "CNNSI.com - 2001 Daytona 500 - Chrysler's return conjures memories for veterans - Thursday February 15, 2001 12:42 AM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  3. ^ Dave Rodman, Turner Sports Interactive (2001-02-21). "Earnhardt dies following Daytona 500 accident - February 21, 2001". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site - Wins by Car Numbers". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  5. ^ =http://www.jayski.com/teams/nastuff.htm
  6. ^ "Rookie of the Year (1958-2010)". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  7. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site - 2001 Rookie of the Year". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

External links[edit]