List of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions

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The Sprint Cup Series Drivers' Championship trophy, which is awarded to the driver who scores the most points in a season.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers' Championship is awarded by the chairman of NASCAR to the most successful Sprint Cup Series racing car driver over a season, as determined by a points system based on race results. The Drivers' Championship was first awarded in 1949 to Red Byron.[1] The first driver to win multiple Championships was Herb Thomas in 1951 and 1953. The current Drivers' Champion is Jimmie Johnson, who won his sixth championship in 2013.

The NASCAR points system has undergone several incarnations since its initial implementation. Originally, races awarded points by a complicated system based upon final positioning and weighted by prize money purses, such that higher-paying events gave more points. Soon after the advent of the modern era in 1972, the championship was decided by a more basic cumulative point total based solely upon a driver's finishing position in each race. In order to reduce the possibility of a driver clinching before the final event, NASCAR implemented the "Chase for the Cup" in 2004 which, with minor modification from 2004 to 2013[2] and more radical changes in 2014,[3] stands as the current format. Before the final ten races, 16 drivers, chosen primarily on race wins, are reset to an equal amount of points, with bonus points awarded to a driver for each win prior to the reset.[3]

Overall, twenty-nine different drivers have won the Championship, with Richard Petty[4] and Dale Earnhardt[5] holding the record for most titles at seven. Jimmie Johnson has the record for most consecutive Drivers' Championships, winning five from 2006 to 2010.[6] The last Drivers' Champion to clinch before the final race was Matt Kenseth in 2003.[7] Thus far, every champion has originated from the United States.

By season[edit]

Season Driver Owner(s) No.(s) Man.(s) Races Poles Wins Top–10s Points Margin Ref(s)
1949 Red Byron Raymond Parks 22 Oldsmobile 6 of 8 1 2 4 842.5 117.5 [8][9]
1950 Bill Rexford Julian Buesink 8, 20, 59,
60, 62, 80
Oldsmobile 17 of 19 0 1 11 1,959 110.5 [10][11]
1951 Herb Thomas Herb Thomas 92 Plymouth
Hudson
Oldsmobile
34 of 41 4 7 18 4,208.45 146.2 [12][13]
Marshall Teague 6
Leonard Tippett 99
Hubert Westmoreland 2
1952 Tim Flock Ted Chester 91 Hudson 33 of 34 4 8 25 6,858.5 106 [14][15]
1953 Herb Thomas Herb Thomas 92 Hudson 37 of 37 12 12 31 8,460 646 [16][17]
1954 Lee Petty Petty Enterprises 42 Chrysler
Dodge
34 of 37 3 7 32 8,649 283 [18][19]
Gary Drake 100 Oldsmobile
1955 Tim Flock Carl Kiekhaefer 300, 301 Chrysler 39 of 45 18 18 33 9,596 1,508 [20][21]
Hubert Westmoreland 2 Chevrolet
1956 Buck Baker Carl Kiekhaefer 00, 87, 300,
300C,301,
500B, 502
Chrysler
Dodge
48 of 56 12 14 39 9,272 704 [22][23]
James Satcher 87 Ford
John Whitford 31
1957 Buck Baker Buck Baker 87 Chevrolet 40 of 53 6 10 38 10,716 760 [24][25]
Hugh Babb
1958 Lee Petty Petty Enterprises 42 Oldsmobile 50 of 51 4 7 43 12,232 644 [26][27]
1959 Lee Petty Petty Enterprises 42, 43 Oldsmobile
Plymouth
42 of 44 2 11 35 11,792 1,830 [28][29]
1960 Rex White Rex White 4 Chevrolet 40 of 44 3 6 35 21,164 3,936 [30][31]
L.D. Austin 74
Beau Morgan 15 Ford
Scotty Cain 41
1961 Ned Jarrett Ned Jarrett 11 Ford
Chevrolet
46 of 52 4 1 34 27,272 830 [32][33]
B.G. Holloway
1962 Joe Weatherly Bud Moore 8 Pontiac 52 of 53 7 9 45 30,836 2,396 [34][35]
Fred Harb 17 Ford
1963 Joe Weatherly Bud Moore 8 Mercury
Pontiac
53 of 55 6 3 35 33,398 2,228 [36][37]
Pontiac
Floyd Powell 17
Pete Stewart 57
Cliff Stewart 2
Possum Jones 05
Worth McMillion 83
Major Melton 88 Chrysler
Petty Enterprises 41 Plymouth
Wade Younts 36, 361 Dodge
1964 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 41, 42, 43 Plymouth 61 of 62 8 9 43 40,252 5,302 [38][39]
1965 Ned Jarrett Bondy Long 11 Ford 54 of 55 9 13 45 38,824 3,034 [40][41]
Jabe Thomas 25
1966 David Pearson Cotton Owens 6 Dodge 42 of 49 7 15 33 35,638 1,950 [42][43]
1967 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Plymouth 48 of 49 18 27 40 42,472 6,028 [44][45]
1968 David Pearson Holman Moody 17 Ford 48 of 49 12 16 38 3,499 126 [46][47]
Roy Trantham 84
1969 David Pearson Holman Moody 17 Ford 51 of 54 13 11 44 4,170 357 [48][49]
1970 Bobby Isaac Nord Krauskopf 71 Dodge 47 of 48 13 11 38 3,911 51 [50][51]
1971 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Plymouth 46 of 48 9 21 41 4,435 364 [52][53]
1972 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Dodge
Plymouth
31 of 31 3 8 28 8,701.4 127.9 [54][55]
1973 Benny Parsons L.G. DeWitt 72 Chevrolet
Mercury
28 of 28 0 1 21 7,173.8 67.15 [56][57]
1974 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Dodge 30 of 30 7 10 23 5,037.75 567.45 [58][59]
1975 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Dodge 30 of 30 3 13 24 4,783 722 [60][61]
1976 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson 11 Chevrolet 30 of 30 2 9 23 4,644 195 [62][63]
1977 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson 11 Chevrolet 30 of 30 3 9 27 5,000 386 [64][65]
1978 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson 11 Oldsmobile 30 of 30 8 10 24 4,841 474 [66][67]
1979 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises 43 Chevrolet
Oldsmobile
31 of 31 1 5 27 4,830 11 [68][69]
1980 Dale Earnhardt Rod Osterlund 2 Chevrolet
Oldsmobile
31 of 31 0 5 24 4,661 19 [70][71]
1981 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson 11 Chevrolet
Buick
31 of 31 11 12 25 4,880 53 [72][73]
1982 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson 11 Buick 30 of 30 7 12 20 4,489 72 [74][75]
1983 Bobby Allison Bill Gardner 22 Chevrolet
Buick
30 of 30 0 6 25 4,667 47 [76][77]
1984 Terry Labonte Billy Hagan 44 Chevrolet 30 of 30 2 2 24 4,508 65 [78][79]
1985 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson 11 Chevrolet 28 of 28 4 3 21 4,292 101 [80][81]
1986 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 29 of 29 1 5 23 4,468 288 [82][83]
1987 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 29 of 29 1 11 24 4,696 489 [84][85]
1988 Bill Elliott Harry Melling 9 Ford 29 of 29 6 6 22 4,488 24 [86][87]
1989 Rusty Wallace Raymond Beadle 27 Pontiac 29 of 29 4 6 20 4,176 12 [88][89]
1990 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 29 of 29 4 9 23 4,430 26 [90][91]
1991 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 29 of 29 0 4 21 4,287 195 [92][93]
1992 Alan Kulwicki Alan Kulwicki 7 Ford 29 of 29 6 2 17 4,078 10 [94][95]
1993 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 30 of 30 2 6 21 4,526 80 [96][97]
1994 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress 3 Chevrolet 31 of 31 2 4 25 4,694 444 [98][99]
1995 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick 24 Chevrolet 31 of 31 8 7 23 4,614 34 [100][101]
1996 Terry Labonte Rick Hendrick 5 Chevrolet 31 of 31 4 2 24 4,657 37 [102][103]
1997 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick 24 Chevrolet 32 of 32 1 10 23 4,710 14 [104][105]
1998 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick 24 Chevrolet 33 of 33 7 13 28 5,328 364 [106][107]
1999 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates 88 Ford 34 of 34 0 4 29 5,262 201 [108][109]
2000 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs 18 Pontiac 34 of 34 2 4 24 5,130 265 [110][111]
2001 Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick 24 Chevrolet 36 of 36 6 6 24 5,112 349 [112][113]
2002 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs 20 Pontiac 36 of 36 2 3 21 4,800 38 [114][115]
2003 Matt Kenseth Jack Roush 17 Ford 36 of 36 0 1 25 5,022 90 [116][117]
2004 Kurt Busch Jack Roush 97 Ford 36 of 36 1 3 21 6,506 8 [118][119]
2005 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs 20 Chevrolet 36 of 36 3 5 25 6,533 35 [120][121]
2006 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 1 5 24 6,475 56 [122][123]
2007 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 4 10 24 6,723 77 [124][125]
2008 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 6 7 22 6,684 69 [126][127]
2009 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 4 7 24 6,652 141 [128][129]
2010 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 2 6 23 6,622 39 [130][131]
2011 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing 14 Chevrolet 36 of 36 1 5 19 2,403 01 [132][133]
2012 Brad Keselowski Roger Penske 2 Dodge 36 of 36 0 5 23 2,400 39 [134][135]
2013 Jimmie Johnson Rick Hendrick 48 Chevrolet 36 of 36 4 6 24 2,419 19

!scope=col| 2012 | Brad Keselowski | Roger Penske | style="text-align:center;"| 2 | Dodge | style="text-align:center;"| 36 of 36 | style="text-align:center;"| 0 | style="text-align:center;"| 5 | style="text-align:center;"| 23 | style="text-align:center;"| 2,400 | style="text-align:center;"| 39 | style="text-align:center;"| [136][137]

Notes
^1  — Stewart and Carl Edwards tied in the final standings. The championship was awarded to Stewart based upon most wins (five to Edwards' one).[138]

Records[edit]

Consecutive Drivers' Championships[edit]

Jimmie Johnson (2008 car shown) has won the Drivers' Championship a record five consecutive times from 2006 to 2010.

Ten drivers have achieved consecutive wins in the Sprint Cup Series Drivers' Championship.

Championships Driver Seasons
5 Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson 20062010
3 Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough 1976–1978
2 Baker, BuckBuck Baker 1956–1957
Petty, LeeLee Petty 1958–1959
Weatherly, JoeJoe Weatherly 1962–1963
Petty, RichardRichard Petty 1971–1972,
1974-1975
Waltrip, DarrellDarrell Waltrip 1981–1982
Pearson, DavidDavid Pearson 19681969
Earnhardt, DaleDale Earnhardt 19861987,
19901991,
1993 – 1994
Gordon, JeffJeff Gordon 19971998

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
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