2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Previous: 2001 Next: 2003
Champions | Seasons

The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup began on Saturday, February 10, and ended on Sunday, November 17. Tony Stewart with Joe Gibbs Racing was crowned the Winston Cup champion. The NASCAR Manufacturers' Championship was captured by Ford after winning 14 events, and gaining 245 points over second place Chevrolet who had 10 wins and 211 points.[1] This was the final season for the non-common template bodies. The following season would require all manufacturers to use the same roof line.

Teams and drivers[edit]

Complete schedule[edit]

Tony Stewart, the 2002 Cup champion
Mark Martin came in second behind Stewart by 38 points
Kurt Busch finished third in the championship
Make Team No. Driver Crew Chief
Chevrolet Andy Petree Racing 55 Bobby Hamilton31 Jimmy Elledge
Greg Biffle4
Ron Hornaday, Jr.1
Dale Earnhardt Incorporated 1 Kenny Wallace4 Paul Andrews
Steve Park32
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Eury
15 Michael Waltrip Slugger Labbe
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Terry Labonte Jim Long
24 Jeff Gordon Robbie Loomis
25 Jerry Nadeau11 Tony Furr
Joe Nemechek25
48 Jimmie Johnson (R) Chad Knaus
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Mike Skinner Chris Carrier
Richard Childress Racing 29 Kevin Harvick35 Gil Martin
Kenny Wallace1
30 Jeff Green Todd Berrier
31 Robby Gordon Kevin Hamlin
Dodge BAM Racing 49 Shawna Robinson (R)8 Scott Eggleston
Ron Hornaday, Jr.3
Derrike Cope5
Kevin Lepage1
Stuart Kirby1
Stacy Compton2
Bill Davis Racing 22 Ward Burton Frank Stoddard
23 Hut Stricklin23 Phillipe Lopez
Tom Hubert1
Kenny Wallace10
Scott Wimmer1
Geoffrey Bodine1
Chip Ganassi Racing 40 Sterling Marlin29 Lee McCall
Jamie McMurray6
Mike Bliss1
41 Jimmy Spencer35 Doug Randolph
Scott Pruett1
Evernham Motorsports 9 Bill Elliott Mike Ford
19 Jeremy Mayfield Sammy Johns
Petty Enterprises 43 John Andretti Brandon Thomas
44 Buckshot Jones8 Gary Putnam
Jerry Nadeau13
Steve Grissom11
Ted Musgrave1
Greg Biffle2
Christian Fittipaldi1
45 Kyle Petty Steven Lane
Ultra Motorsports 7 Casey Atwood34 Tony Furr
Jason Leffler2
Ford Brett Bodine Racing 11 Brett Bodine Jon Wolfe
Donlavey Racing 90 Rick Mast11 Bobby King
Hermie Sadler3
Gary Bradberry1
Lance Hooper1
Jason Hedlesky1
Haas-Carter Motorsports 26 Joe Nemechek7 Donnie Wingo
Frank Kimmel5
Geoffrey Bodine3
Todd Bodine24
66 Larry Carter
Geoffrey Bodine1
Hideo Fukuyama3
Frank Kimmel1
Jasper Motorsports 77 Dave Blaney Ryan Pemberton
Penske Racing 2 Rusty Wallace Bill Wilburn
12 Ryan Newman (R) Matt Borland
PPI Motorsports 32 Ricky Craven Mike Beam
Robert Yates Racing 28 Ricky Rudd Raymond Fox Jr.
88 Dale Jarrett Jimmy Elledge
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Ben Leslie
17 Matt Kenseth Robbie Reiser
97 Kurt Busch Jimmy Fennig
99 Jeff Burton Paul Andrews
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Elliott Sadler Pat Tryson
Pontiac A. J. Foyt Racing 14 Stacy Compton19 Mike Hillman
Mike Wallace16
PJ Jones1
Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Bobby Labonte Jimmy Makar
20 Tony Stewart Greg Zipadelli
MB2 Motorsports 10 Johnny Benson31 James Ince
Joe Nemechek1
Jerry Nadeau3
Mike Wallace1
36 Ken Schrader Newt Moore

Limited schedule[edit]

Make Team No. Driver Crew Chief Rounds
Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports 60 Jack Sprague Dennis Conner 6
Marcis Auto Racing 71 Dave Marcis Bob Marcis 1
Dick Trickle 4
Andy Hillenburg 2
Jay Sauter 3
Tim Sauter 4
Dodge Chip Ganassi Racing 42 Jimmy Spencer 1
Melling Racing 92 Robert Pressley 1|1]]
Ford Jasper Motorsports 67 Boris Said Mark Harrah 3
Roush Racing 16 Greg Biffle Randy Goss 4

Budweiser Shootout[edit]

The exhibition Budweiser Shootout race, for drivers that won a pole position in the previous season or previously won the event, was held on February 10 at Daytona International Speedway.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 36- Ken Schrader
  5. 40- Sterling Marlin
  6. 88- Dale Jarrett
  7. 5- Terry Labonte
  8. 18- Bobby Labonte
  9. 1- Kenny Wallace
  10. 66- Todd Bodine

Gatorade Twin 125s[edit]

The Gatorade 125s qualifying for the Daytona 500 were held on February 14 at Daytona International Speedway.

Race One: Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  3. 36- Ken Schrader
  4. 21- Ricky Rudd
  5. 5- Terry Labonte
  6. 40- Sterling Marlin
  7. 97- Kurt Busch
  8. 33- Mike Wallace
  9. 22- Ward Burton
  10. 88- Dale Jarrett

Race Two: Top Ten Results

  1. 15- Michael Waltrip
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 25- Jerry Nadeau
  4. 29- Kevin Harvick
  5. 18- Bobby Labonte
  6. 31- Robby Gordon
  7. 71- Dave Marcis
  8. 43- John Andretti
  9. 1- Kenny Wallace
  10. 4- Mike Skinner

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 2002 Daytona 500

Rookie Jimmie Johnson won the pole, while Ward Burton won the race. This was the first Daytona 500 since the death of Dale Earnhardt.

Subway 400[edit]

The Subway 400 was held on February 24 at North Carolina Speedway. Ricky Craven won the pole.

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 40- Sterling Marlin
  3. 18- Bobby Labonte
  4. 20- Tony Stewart
  5. 32- Ricky Craven
  6. 99- Jeff Burton
  7. 24- Jeff Gordon
  8. 2- Rusty Wallace
  9. 55- Bobby Hamilton
  10. 1- Kenny Wallace

Failed to qualify: Dick Trickle (#71), Randy Renfrow (#59), Carl Long (#85)

UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400[edit]

The UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 was held on March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Todd Bodine won the pole in an unsponsored Travis Carter Motorsports entry; the #66 got a one race deal with CSK Auto after qualifying.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40- Sterling Marlin
  2. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  3. 6- Mark Martin
  4. 12- Ryan Newman
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 88- Dale Jarrett
  8. 9- Bill Elliott
  9. 99- Jeff Burton
  10. 41- Jimmy Spencer

Failed to qualify: Derrike Cope (#57)

MBNA America 500[edit]

The MBNA America 500 was held on March 10 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  4. 17- Matt Kenseth
  5. 32- Ricky Craven
  6. 2- Rusty Wallace
  7. 22- Ward Burton
  8. 6- Mark Martin
  9. 40- Sterling Marlin
  10. 12- Ryan Newman

Failed to qualify: Ron Hornaday (#57), Carl Long (#85)

An incident in the previous race with a spin by Sterling Marlin led to a new rule change. After 11 years, NASCAR changed pit road speeding penalties; if a driver was caught speeding on the approach to the pit stall, the penalty was no longer a 15-second penalty; rather, the penalty was a pit pass-through, which also became the penalty for speeding on the pit exit, instead of a stop-and-go. The stop-and-go was used only for repeat violations.

Carolina Dodge Dealers 400[edit]

The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 was held on March 17 at Darlington Raceway. Ricky Craven won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40- Sterling Marlin
  2. 21- Elliott Sadler
  3. 29- Kevin Harvick
  4. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 2- Rusty Wallace
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 24- Jeff Gordon
  10. 9- Bill Elliott

Failed to qualify: none

  • Marlin had to start at the back after changing an engine in happy hour. By the halfway point he was already in 3rd place.
  • Tony Stewart was shaken up after a grinding 11 car crash late in the race.
  • This race also marked the return of Steve Park after his injuries suffered in a NASCAR Busch Series event at Darlington in September 2001. Park crashed early.
  • This was Marlin's last career Cup Series victory.

Food City 500[edit]

The Food City 500 was held on March 24 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 41- Jimmy Spencer
  3. 28- Ricky Rudd
  4. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 18- Bobby Labonte
  6. 17- Matt Kenseth
  7. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  8. 25- Jerry Nadeau
  9. 2- Rusty Wallace
  10. 29- Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: none

  • This was Busch's first career victory, and was the continuation (Spencer wrecked Busch in the 2001 Phoenix race) of what would later become a very heated rivalry between him and Spencer.

Samsung/Radio Shack 500[edit]

The Samsung/Radio Shack 500 was held at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8. Bill Elliott won the pole. The race was postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 24- Jeff Gordon
  3. 6- Mark Martin
  4. 28- Ricky Rudd
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 40- Sterling Marlin
  8. 41- Jimmy Spencer
  9. 9- Bill Elliott
  10. 5- Terry Labonte

Failed to qualify: Ron Hornaday (#57)

Virginia 500[edit]

The Virginia 500 was held at Martinsville Speedway on April 14, 2002. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 18- Bobby Labonte
  2. 17- Matt Kenseth
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 20- Tony Stewart
  5. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. 5- Terry Labonte
  7. 28- Ricky Rudd
  8. 6- Mark Martin
  9. 99- Jeff Burton
  10. 97- Kurt Busch

Kevin Harvick was banned from competing in the race due to rough driving in the Advance Auto Parts 250 Truck Series race the day before. Kenny Wallace drove the #29 in his place.

Failed to qualify: Randy Renfrow (#59)

Aaron's 499[edit]

Main article: 2002 Aaron's 499

The Aaron's 499 was held at Talladega Superspeedway on April 21, 2002. Jimmie Johnson won the pole. The "Big One" took out at least 24 cars on lap 164 when Kyle Petty got out of the draft and sent Tony Stewart in the wall and then mayhem erupted.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 15- Michael Waltrip
  3. 97- Kurt Busch
  4. 24- Jeff Gordon
  5. 40- Sterling Marlin
  6. 88- Dale Jarrett
  7. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  8. 2- Rusty Wallace
  9. 99- Jeff Burton
  10. 45- Kyle Petty

Failed to qualify: Shawna Robinson (#49), Rick Mast (#90), Bobby Gerhart (#59), Dick Trickle (#91)

NAPA Auto Parts 500[edit]

The NAPA Auto Parts 500 was held at California Speedway on April 28, 2002. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson*
  2. 97- Kurt Busch
  3. 28- Ricky Rudd
  4. 9- Bill Elliott
  5. 6- Mark Martin
  6. 88- Dale Jarrett
  7. 40- Sterling Marlin
  8. 2- Rusty Wallace
  9. 77- Dave Blaney
  10. 15- Michael Waltrip
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was involved in a hard crash when Kevin Harvick cut down a tire and hit Jr's car, sending him head-on into the outside wall. He suffered a severe concussion, but kept the injury a secret for several months and did not miss any races.
  • The win was Jimmie Johnson's first career Winston Cup victory.

Failed to qualify: Brendan Gaughan (#62), Chad Little (#74), Hermie Sadler (#02)

Pontiac Excitement 400[edit]

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was scheduled to be run at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, but rain ended up stopping the race after 66 laps, the remainder was run on Sunday, May 5, during the daytime. Ward Burton won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 99- Jeff Burton
  4. 6- Mark Martin
  5. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 17- Matt Kenseth
  7. 24- Jeff Gordon
  8. 44- Steve Grissom
  9. 32- Ricky Craven
  10. 41- Jimmy Spencer

Failed to qualify: Kevin Grubb (#54)

Johnny Benson was injured in an accident in the Busch Series race the night before and replaced by Joe Nemechek and subsequently Jerry Nadeau.

The Winston[edit]

Main article: 2002 The Winston

Ryan Newman held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win The Winston. He also won the No Bull 5 Sprint earlier that day.

Coca-Cola 600[edit]

The Coca-Cola 600 was held at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 26, 2002. Jimmie Johnson won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6- Mark Martin
  2. 17- Matt Kenseth
  3. 32- Ricky Craven
  4. 28- Ricky Rudd
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 20- Tony Stewart
  7. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  8. 15- Michael Waltrip
  9. 9- Bill Elliott
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Chad Little (#74), Carl Long (#85), Derrike Cope (#37), Randy Renfrow (#59)

  • This was Mark Martin's first win in 73 races since Martinsville back in April 2000. Not only Martin who snaps the winless drought, he also won the million dollar bonus because he wins the No Bull 5 race after finished in the top 5 at Las Vegas just two months ago and became the first and only driver to be named not Jeff or Dale to win the bonus.

MBNA Platinum 400[edit]

The MBNA Platinum 400 was held at Dover International Speedway on June 2. Matt Kenseth won the pole position.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 9- Bill Elliott
  3. 99- Jeff Burton
  4. 12- Ryan Newman
  5. 88- Dale Jarrett
  6. 24- Jeff Gordon
  7. 32- Ricky Craven
  8. 31- Robby Gordon
  9. 55- Bobby Hamilton
  10. 21- Elliott Sadler

Failed to qualify: Derrike Cope (#37), Hermie Sadler (#90), Randy Renfrow (#59)

Pocono 500[edit]

The Pocono 500 was held at Pocono Raceway on June 9. Qualifying was rained out, so points leader Sterling Marlin started on the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88- Dale Jarrett
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  4. 40- Sterling Marlin
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 99- Jeff Burton
  7. 20- Tony Stewart
  8. 15- Michael Waltrip
  9. 2- Rusty Wallace
  10. 77- Dave Blaney

Failed to qualify: none

Sirius 400[edit]

The Sirius 400 was held at Michigan International Speedway on June 16. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 88- Dale Jarrett
  3. 12- Ryan Newman
  4. 15- Michael Waltrip
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 10- Johnny Benson
  7. 2- Rusty Wallace
  8. 28- Ricky Rudd
  9. 6- Mark Martin
  10. 97- Kurt Busch

Failed to qualify: none

Dodge/Save Mart 350[edit]

The Dodge/Save Mart 350 was held at Infineon Raceway on June 23. Tony Stewart won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28- Ricky Rudd
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 5- Terry Labonte
  4. 97- Kurt Busch
  5. 30- Jeff Green
  6. 21- Elliott Sadler
  7. 6- Mark Martin
  8. 9- Bill Elliott
  9. 12- Ryan Newman
  10. 43- John Andretti

Failed to qualify: Brandon Ash (#46), Stacy Compton (#14)

  • Jerry Nadeau nearly won the race when his rear-end gear failed, causing him to stop his #44 car with less than 3 laps to go. The lead changed to Ricky Rudd, who held on to win.
  • This was Ricky Rudd's first win at Sonoma since winning the inaugural race in 1989. He almost won the 1991 race, but was black-flagged when he spun Davey Allison during the final lap to take the lead.
  • This was Rudd's last career Cup series victory.

Pepsi 400[edit]

The Pepsi 400 was held at Daytona International Speedway on July 6. Kevin Harvick won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 15- Michael Waltrip
  2. 2- Rusty Wallace
  3. 40- Sterling Marlin
  4. 41- Jimmy Spencer
  5. 6- Mark Martin
  6. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. 26- Todd Bodine
  8. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  9. 22- Ward Burton
  10. 09- Geoffrey Bodine

Failed to qualify: Ed Berrier (#90), Steve Grissom (#44)

  • A multi-car crash occurred with 25 laps remaining when Dale Jarrett got down low and turned back up into traffic, blocking the entire track. Joe Nemechek was sent head-on into the wall and Brett Bodine caught on fire.

Tropicana 400[edit]

The Tropicana 400 was held at Chicagoland Speedway on July 14, 2002. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 29- Kevin Harvick
  2. 24- Jeff Gordon
  3. 20- Tony Stewart
  4. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 9- Bill Elliott
  8. 31- Robby Gordon
  9. 6- Mark Martin
  10. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Failed to qualify: Ron Hornaday (#49), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Tony Raines (#74), Scott Wimmer (#27)

  • One lap after the restart with 70 laps to go, Kevin Harvick steered the car to the apron and made a good pass but he lost it when passing on the apron and spun out into a grass in turn 1 that causing the other three cars to lose control and spun out including Jerry Nadeau, Elliott Sadler and Jimmy Spencer. He leads the race just 46 laps later to win the race for the second straight year and ends Harvick a 35-race winless streak which refers the nickname "Apron Dance Deron".

New England 300[edit]

The New England 300 was held at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 21. Bill Elliott won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 22- Ward Burton*
  2. 30- Jeff Green
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 2- Rusty Wallace
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 26- Todd Bodine
  7. 31- Robby Gordon
  8. 97- Kurt Busch
  9. 29- Kevin Harvick
  10. 21- Elliott Sadler
  • This was Ward Burton's final Cup victory.

Failed to qualify: none

Pennsylvania 500[edit]

The Pennsylvania 500 was held at Pocono Raceway on July 28. Bill Elliott swept both qualifying and the race. The race was shortened to 175 laps due to darkness, because of two lengthy red flags – one for rain, and one for fence repairs after Steve Park (who barrel-rolled multiple times) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wrecked on the first lap.

Top Ten Results

  1. 9- Bill Elliott
  2. 97- Kurt Busch
  3. 40- Sterling Marlin
  4. 88- Dale Jarrett
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 29- Kevin Harvick
  7. 20- Tony Stewart
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 5- Terry Labonte
  10. 28- Ricky Rudd

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#79)

Brickyard 400[edit]

The Brickyard 400 was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 4. Tony Stewart won the pole. This was the first race to feature Steel and Foam Reduction (SAFER) barrier at Indianapolis that will used to make racing accidents safer.

Top Ten Results

  1. 9- Bill Elliott
  2. 2- Rusty Wallace
  3. 17- Matt Kenseth
  4. 12- Ryan Newman
  5. 29- Kevin Harvick
  6. 24- Jeff Gordon
  7. 1- Steve Park
  8. 31- Robby Gordon
  9. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  10. 88- Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: Ron Hornaday (#49), Derrike Cope (#37), Scott Wimmer (#27), Tony Raines (#74), Jim Sauter (#71), Stuart Kirby (#57), P. J. Jones (#50)

Sirius at the Glen[edit]

The Sirius at the Glen was held at Watkins Glen International Raceway on August 11. Ricky Rudd won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 31- Robby Gordon
  4. 14- P. J. Jones
  5. 21- Ricky Rudd
  6. 41- Scott Pruett
  7. 99- Jeff Burton
  8. 26- Todd Bodine
  9. 15- Michael Waltrip
  10. 6- Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: Austin Cameron (#62), Shane Lewis (#09), Justin Bell (#46), Jimmy Spencer (#42)

Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack[edit]

The Pepsi 400 presented by Farmer Jack was held at Michigan International Speedway on August 18. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88- Dale Jarrett
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 29- Kevin Harvick
  4. 99- Jeff Burton
  5. 6- Mark Martin
  6. 40- Sterling Marlin
  7. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  8. 10- Johnny Benson
  9. 30- Jeff Green
  10. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Failed to qualify: Greg Biffle (#16)

Sharpie 500[edit]

The Sharpie 500 was held at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24. Jeff Gordon won the pole. This race is remembered for Jeff Gordon using the "Bump and Run" to get underneath and past Rusty Wallace to end a winless drought that dated back to the end of 2001. The race was also marred with on-track confrontations, including Ward Burton who threw heel pads at Dale Earnhardt, Jr. after Earnhardt wrecked him on lap 405, which caused Burton to be summoned to the Big Red Truck.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 2- Rusty Wallace
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  4. 29- Kevin Harvick
  5. 17- Matt Kenseth
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 40- Sterling Marlin
  8. 41- Jimmy Spencer
  9. 18- Bobby Labonte
  10. 14- Mike Wallace

Failed to qualify: Hermie Sadler (#02), Carl Long (#51), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Tim Sauter (#71)

Mountain Dew Southern 500[edit]

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held at Darlington Speedway on September 1. Qualifying was rained out, so points leader Sterling Marlin started on the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 9- Bill Elliott
  4. 40- Sterling Marlin
  5. 88- Dale Jarrett
  6. 22- Ward Burton
  7. 97- Kurt Busch
  8. 20- Tony Stewart
  9. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  10. 99- Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#51)

Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400[edit]

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 was held at Richmond International Raceway on September 7. Jimmie Johnson won the pole. The race was billed as the Looney Tunes Rematch as 8 Chevrolet drivers drove special paint schemes of the Looney Tunes characters. The drivers were Jeff Green/Daffy Duck, Bobby Hamilton/Marvin the Martian, Jimmie Johnson/Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird, Mike Skinner/Yosemite Sam, and Joe Nemechek/Speedy Gonzales. Terry Labonte/Wile E. Coyote and The Roadrunner, Kevin Harvick/Tasmanian Devil, and Robby Gordon/Pepe Le Pew. Jeff Gordon planned to run a Bugs Bunny paint scheme but he crashed the car in practice, leaving Gordon to bring out his back-up car.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 30- Jeff Green
  4. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 26- Todd Bodine
  6. 6- Mark Martin
  7. 28- Ricky Rudd
  8. 22- Ward Burton
  9. 77- Dave Blaney
  10. 19- Jeremy Mayfield

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#51)

  • To the rear, #24 Jeff Gordon (back-up car)
  • Greg Biffle drove in place of Bobby Hamilton who suffered injuries in the Craftsman Truck Series race held the Thursday before.
  • There was a charity golf cart race sponsored by Students Against Violence which teamed the drivers with their respective Looney Tunes character, Jeff Green won the race paired with Daffy Duck.[2] Jeff Gordon fell out of his golf cart and suffered a bruised hand but was still participated in the race.
  • During the pre-race, a pace car blew an engine and laid oil down turns 3 and 4. On lap the first few laps, several drivers went sliding and Jeff Burton, Jimmy Spencer, and Sterling Marlin, the points leader and competing in the No Bull wrecked on lap 7. Marlin would suffer several injuries from that wreck but raced until Kansas when a more serious injury occurred.

New Hampshire 300[edit]

The New Hampshire 300 was held at New Hampshire International Speedway on September 15. Ryan Newman won the pole. The race was shortened to 207 laps due to rain.

Top Ten Results

  1. 12- Ryan Newman
  2. 97- Kurt Busch
  3. 20- Tony Stewart
  4. 10- Johnny Benson
  5. 18- Bobby Labonte
  6. 32- Ricky Craven
  7. 88- Dale Jarrett
  8. 15- Michael Waltrip
  9. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  10. 17- Matt Kenseth

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#51)

  • This was Ryan Newman's first career cup series points victory

MBNA All-American Heroes 400[edit]

The MBNA All-American Heroes 400 was held at Dover International Speedway on September 22. Rusty Wallace won the pole. . Hideo Fukuyama made his Cup series debut in this race, becoming the first Japanese driver to start a NASCAR points race.[3]

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 17- Matt Kenseth
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 99- Jeff Burton
  7. 97- Kurt Busch
  8. 12- Ryan Newman
  9. 32- Ricky Craven
  10. 10- Johnny Benson*

Failed to qualify: Scott Wimmer (#27), Brett Bodine (#11), Morgan Shepherd (#51)

Protection One 400[edit]

The Protection One 400 was held at Kansas Speedway on September 29. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 2- Rusty Wallace
  4. 25- Joe Nemechek
  5. 9- Bill Elliott
  6. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  7. 17- Matt Kenseth
  8. 20- Tony Stewart
  9. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  • Due to a neck injury suffered in a crash, Sterling Marlin did not race again for the rest of the season.
  • Jimmie Johnson is now the points leader, the first time that a Rookie driver has led the points standings in NASCAR history.

Failed to qualify: Brett Bodine (#11), Kirk Shelmerdine (#27), Carl Long (#51)

EA Sports 500[edit]

Main article: 2002 EA Sports 500

The EA Sports 500 was held at Talladega Superspeedway on October 6. Qualifying was rained out, so points leader Jimmie Johnson started on the pole. The race was caution-free for the third time in five years at Talladega.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 28- Ricky Rudd
  4. 97- Kurt Busch
  5. 30- Jeff Green
  6. 1- Steve Park
  7. 12- Ryan Newman
  8. 15- Michael Waltrip
  9. 88- Dale Jarrett
  10. 22- Ward Burton

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd (#51), Geoffrey Bodine (#09), Robert Pressley (#92), Kerry Earnhardt (#83)

  • In a bizarre event, during the pace laps, Mark Martin had a steering problem and crashed into Jimmie Johnson. Martin was black-flagged prior to the race start so NASCAR could verify his steering was working properly, while Johnson did not pit until the conclusion of the first green flag lap. Due to the caution free race, neither driver was able to recover from the incident.
  • Jamie McMurray began driving duties for Sterling Marlin in this race. This was his first career start. He finished in 26th
  • All Hendrick Motorsports engines failed during the race (Jeff Gordon, Joe Nemecheck, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte, as well as Johnny Benson and Ken Schrader)
  • This is the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to go flag to flag green as of 2014.

UAW-GM Quality 500[edit]

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 13. Qualifying was rained out, so points leader Tony Stewart started on the pole. Jamie McMurray, subbing for an injured Sterling Marlin, won his first race in his second career start, setting a new modern era NASCAR record for quickest win.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40- Jamie McMurray*
  2. 18- Bobby Labonte
  3. 20- Tony Stewart
  4. 24- Jeff Gordon
  5. 2- Rusty Wallace
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 99- Jeff Burton
  8. 12- Ryan Newman
  9. 8- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  10. 77- Dave Blaney

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#59), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Scott Wimmer (#27), Jack Sprague (#60), Kerry Earnhardt (#83), Ron Hornaday (#54)

  • Rain caused the start of the race to be delayed over 3 hours. After the rain stopped, NASCAR decided to start the race under yellow for the first 5 laps as the track continued to dry.
  • The race went green at 3:45 pm Charlotte time (Eastern). Sunset time was 6:51 pm, the race was completed at 7:17, The late finish contributed to a large jump in ratings for the NBC telecast. NASCAR decided to move the fall race at Charlotte from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night for 2003.

Subway 500[edit]

The Subway 500 was held at Martinsville Speedway on October 20. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 10- Johnny Benson
  3. 28- Ricky Rudd
  4. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 22- Ward Burton
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 32- Ricky Craven
  8. 88- Dale Jarrett
  9. 2- Rusty Wallace
  10. 6- Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: Brian Rose (#51), Carl Long (#59), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Ryan McGlynn (#80), Kirk Shelmerdine (#27)

NAPA 500[edit]

The NAPA 500 was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 27. Qualifying was rained out, so points leader Tony Stewart started on the pole. The race was shortened to 248 laps due to rain.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 25- Joe Nemechek
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 20- Tony Stewart
  5. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. 24- Jeff Gordon
  7. 40- Jamie McMurray
  8. 6- Mark Martin
  9. 17- Matt Kenseth
  10. 12- Ryan Newman

Failed to qualify: Geoffrey Bodine (#09), Frank Kimmel (#66), Scott Wimmer (#27), Greg Biffle (#16), Buckshot Jones (#00), Jack Sprague (#60), Kerry Earnhardt (#83), Ron Hornaday (#54)

Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400[edit]

The Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 was held at North Carolina Speedway on November 3. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 10- Johnny Benson*
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 97- Kurt Busch
  4. 99- Jeff Burton
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 31- Mike Skinner
  7. 18- Bobby Labonte
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 32- Ricky Craven
  10. 30- Jeff Green

Failed to qualify: Tony Raines (#74), Tim Sauter (#71), Carl Long (#59), Ron Hornaday (#54), Hideo Fukuyama (#66)

  • This would be Johnny Benson's first (and only) Cup Series win.
  • Mark Martin failed post-race inspection after an illegal left front spring was discovered. Martin was penalized 25 driver points.

Checker Auto Parts 500[edit]

The Checker Auto Parts 500 was held at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 2- Rusty Wallace
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 6- Mark Martin
  5. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 77- Dave Blaney
  8. 20- Tony Stewart
  9. 88- Dale Jarrett
  10. 21- Elliott Sadler

Failed to qualify: Ted Musgrave (#07), Jack Sprague (#60), Brett Bodine (#11), Jerry Robertson (#51), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Jeff Jefferson (#37), Lance Hooper (#47), Mike Harmon (#93)

  • Tony Stewart finished 8th and Mark Martin finished 4th. Stewart needed to finish 22nd or better to clinch the first championship in 3 years next week at Homestead. However, Martin's appeal was denied during the qualifying at Homestead and didn't upheld that resulted the points margin reduced from 89 to 64 points.

Ford 400[edit]

The Ford 400 was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17. Kurt Busch won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 25- Joe Nemechek
  3. 99- Jeff Burton
  4. 6- Mark Martin
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 12- Ryan Newman
  7. 9- Bill Elliott
  8. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  9. 21- Elliott Sadler
  10. 55- Bobby Hamilton

Failed to qualify: David Green (#54), Brett Bodine (#11), Hermie Sadler (#02), Tony Raines (#74), Boris Said (#67), Carl Long (#59), Geoffrey Bodine (#09), Mike Harmon (#93)

  • Tony Stewart clinches the Championship. He would be the last driver who would clinch in the last race before the Chase.

Final Points Standings[edit]

  1. Tony Stewart – 4800
  2. Mark Martin – 4762
  3. Kurt Busch – 4641
  4. Jeff Gordon – 4607
  5. Jimmie Johnson – 4600
  6. Ryan Newman – 4593
  7. Rusty Wallace – 4574
  8. Matt Kenseth – 4432
  9. Dale Jarrett – 4415
  10. Ricky Rudd – 4323
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4270
  12. Jeff Burton – 4259
  13. Bill Elliott – 4158
  14. Michael Waltrip – 3985
  15. Ricky Craven – 3888
  16. Bobby Labonte – 3810
  17. Jeff Green – 3704
  18. Sterling Marlin – 3703
  19. Dave Blaney – 3670
  20. Robby Gordon – 3632
  21. Kevin Harvick – 3501
  22. Kyle Petty – 3501
  23. Elliott Sadler – 3418
  24. Terry Labonte – 3417
  25. Ward Burton – 3362
  26. Jeremy Mayfield – 3309
  27. Jimmy Spencer – 3187
  28. John Andretti – 3161
  29. Johnny Benson  – 3132
  30. Ken Schrader – 2954
  31. Mike Skinner – 2886
  32. Bobby Hamilton – 2832
  33. Steve Park – 2694
  34. Joe Nemechek – 2682
  35. Casey Atwood – 2621
  36. Brett Bodine – 2276
  37. Jerry Nadeau – 2250
  38. Todd Bodine – 1987
  39. Kenny Wallace – 1868
  40. Hut Stricklin – 1781
  41. Mike Wallace – 1551
  42. Stacy Compton – 1557
  43. Geoffrey Bodine – 803
  44. Steve Grissom - 769
  45. Hermie Sadler - 688
  46. Jamie McMurray - 679
  47. Rick Mast - 576
  48. Greg Biffle - 570
  49. Buckshot Jones - 559
  50. Ted Musgrave - 452
  51. Tony Raines - 382
  52. Derrike Cope - 361
  53. Shawna Robinson - 361

Source: ESPN.com

Rookie of the Year[edit]

Because he had more wins, a teammate/mentor in Jeff Gordon, and the higher position in points, Jimmie Johnson was the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. But in the end, his rival Ryan Newman was named the victor. Newman's one win seemed mild to Johnson's record-tying three victories and even leading the championship standings at one point, but Newman broke the record for pole positions. The rookie points system is separate from the championship system, and only a driver's 15 best finishes counted towards the award. Newman's 15 best finishes were better than Johnson's, despite Johnson having the better run in championship points. Shawna Robinson and Carl Long, the only other racers who declared for the award, did not run enough races to remain eligible.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Standings: 2002 Manufacturer Standings". NASCAR; Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Chevrolet Invites SAVE to Select NASCAR Events to Increase SAVE Awareness". Students Against Violence. 
  3. ^ Jenkins, Chris (2002-09-19). "Japanese driver gunning for first". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-06-05.