List of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions

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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]

SeasonDriverOwner(s)No.(s)Man.(s)RacesPl.WTop
10s
Pts.MarginRef(s)
1949Red ByronRaymond Parks22Oldsmobile6 of 8124842.5117.5[8][9]
1950Bill RexfordJulian Buesink8
20
59
60
62
80
Oldsmobile17 of 1901111,959110.5[10][11]
1951Herb ThomasHerb Thomas92Plymouth
Hudson
Oldsmobile
34 of 4147184,208.45146.2[12][13]
Marshall Teague6
Leonard Tippett99
Hubert Westmoreland2
1952Tim FlockTed Chester91Hudson33 of 3448256,858.5106[14][15]
1953Herb Thomas92Hudson37 of 371212318,460646[16][17]
1954Lee PettyPetty Enterprises42Chrysler
Dodge
34 of 3737328,649283[18][19]
Gary Drake100Oldsmobile
1955Tim FlockCarl Kiekhaefer300
301
Chrysler39 of 451818339,5961,508[20][21]
Hubert Westmoreland2Chevrolet
1956Buck BakerCarl Kiekhaefer00
87
300
300C
301
500B
502
Chrysler
Dodge
48 of 561214399,272704[22][23]
James Satcher87Ford
John Whitford31
1957Buck BakerBuck Baker87Chevrolet40 of 536103810,716760[24][25]
Hugh Babb
1958Lee PettyPetty Enterprises42Oldsmobile50 of 51474312,232644[26][27]
1959Lee PettyPetty Enterprises42
43
Oldsmobile
Plymouth
42 of 442113511,7921,830[28][29]
1960Rex WhiteRex White4Chevrolet40 of 44363521,1643,936[30][31]
L.D. Austin74
Beau Morgan15Ford
Scotty Cain41
1961Ned JarrettNed Jarrett11Ford
Chevrolet
46 of 52413427,272830[32][33]
B.G. Holloway
1962Joe WeatherlyBud Moore8Pontiac52 of 53794530,8362,396[34][35]
Fred Harb17Ford
1963Joe WeatherlyBud Moore8Mercury
Pontiac
53 of 55633533,3982,228[36][37]
Pontiac
Floyd Powell17
Pete Stewart57
Cliff Stewart2
Possum Jones05
Worth McMillion83
Major Melton88Chrysler
Petty Enterprises41Plymouth
Wade Younts36
361
Dodge
1964Richard PettyPetty Enterprises41
42
43
Plymouth61 of 62894340,2525,302[38][39]
1965Ned JarrettBondy Long11Ford54 of 559134538,8243,034[40][41]
Jabe Thomas25
1966David PearsonCotton Owens6Dodge42 of 497153335,6381,950[42][43]
1967Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Plymouth48 of 4918274042,4726,028[44][45]
1968David PearsonHolman Moody17Ford48 of 491216383,499126[46][47]
Roy Trantham84
1969David PearsonHolman Moody17Ford51 of 541311444,170357[48][49]
1970Bobby IsaacNord Krauskopf71Dodge47 of 481311383,91151[50][51]
1971Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Plymouth46 of 48921414,435364[52][53]
1972Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Dodge
Plymouth
31 of 3138288,701.4127.9[54][55]
1973Benny ParsonsL.G. DeWitt72Chevrolet
Mercury
28 of 2801217,173.867.15[56][57]
1974Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Dodge30 of 30710235,037.75567.45[58][59]
1975Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Dodge30 of 30313244,783722[60][61]
1976Cale YarboroughJunior Johnson11Chevrolet30 of 3029234,644195[62][63]
1977Cale YarboroughJunior Johnson11Chevrolet30 of 3039275,000386[64][65]
1978Cale YarboroughJunior Johnson11Oldsmobile30 of 30810244,841474[66][67]
1979Richard PettyPetty Enterprises43Chevrolet
Oldsmobile
31 of 3115274,83011[68][69]
1980Dale EarnhardtRod Osterlund2Chevrolet
Oldsmobile
31 of 3105244,66119[70][71]
1981Darrell WaltripJunior Johnson11Chevrolet
Buick
31 of 311112254,88053[72][73]
1982Darrell WaltripJunior Johnson11Buick30 of 30712204,48972[74][75]
1983Bobby AllisonBill Gardner22Chevrolet
Buick
30 of 3006254,66747[76][77]
1984Terry LabonteBilly Hagan44Chevrolet30 of 3022244,50865[78][79]
1985Darrell WaltripJunior Johnson11Chevrolet28 of 2843214,292101[80][81]
1986Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet29 of 2915234,468288[82][83]
1987Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet29 of 29111244,696489[84][85]
1988Bill ElliottHarry Melling9Ford29 of 2966224,48824[86][87]
1989Rusty WallaceRaymond Beadle27Pontiac29 of 2946204,17612[88][89]
1990Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet29 of 2949234,43026[90][91]
1991Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet29 of 2904214,287195[92][93]
1992Alan Kulwicki7Ford29 of 2962174,07810[94][95]
1993Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet30 of 3026214,52680[96][97]
1994Dale EarnhardtRichard Childress3Chevrolet31 of 3124254,694444[98][99]
1995Jeff GordonRick Hendrick24Chevrolet31 of 3187234,61434[100][101]
1996Terry LabonteRick Hendrick5Chevrolet31 of 3142244,65737[102][103]
1997Jeff GordonRick Hendrick24Chevrolet32 of 32110234,71014[104][105]
1998Jeff GordonRick Hendrick24Chevrolet33 of 33713285,328364[106][107]
1999Dale JarrettRobert Yates88Ford34 of 3404295,262201[108][109]
2000Bobby LabonteJoe Gibbs18Pontiac34 of 3424245,130265[110][111]
2001Jeff GordonRick Hendrick24Chevrolet36 of 3666245,112349[112][113]
2002Tony StewartJoe Gibbs20Pontiac36 of 3623214,80038[114][115]
2003Matt KensethJack Roush17Ford36 of 3601255,02290[116][117]
2004Kurt BuschJack Roush97Ford36 of 3613216,5068[118][119]
2005Tony StewartJoe Gibbs20Chevrolet36 of 3635256,53335[120][121]
2006Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 3615246,47556[122][123]
2007Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 36410246,72377[124][125]
2008Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 3667226,68469[126][127]
2009Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 3647246,652141[128][129]
2010Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 3626236,62239[130][131]
2011Tony StewartStewart-Haas Racing14Chevrolet36 of 3615192,40301[132][133]
2012Brad KeselowskiRoger Penske2Dodge36 of 3605232,40039[134][135]
2013Jimmie JohnsonRick Hendrick48Chevrolet36 of 3646242,41919
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).[136]

By drivers[edit]

Richard Petty (1983 car shown) was the first to reach seven Drivers' Championships.
Dale Earnhardt (1994 car shown) is the other driver to have won seven Drivers' Championships.
DriverTotalSeasons
Petty, RichardRichard Petty71964, 1967, 19711972, 19741975, 1979
Earnhardt, DaleDale Earnhardt1980, 19861987, 19901991, 19931994
Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson620062010, 2013
Gordon, JeffJeff Gordon41995, 19971998, 2001
Petty, LeeLee Petty31954, 1958–1959
Pearson, DavidDavid Pearson1966, 1968–1969
Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough1976–1978
Waltrip, DarrellDarrell Waltrip1981–1982, 1985
Stewart, TonyTony Stewart2002, 2005, 2011
Thomas, HerbHerb Thomas21951, 1953
Flock, TimTim Flock1952, 1955
Baker, BuckBuck Baker1956-1957
Weatherly, JoeJoe Weatherly1962–1963
Jarrett, NedNed Jarrett1961, 1965
Labonte, TerryTerry Labonte1984, 1996
Byron, RedRed Byron11949
Rexford, BillBill Rexford1950
White, RexRex White1960
Isaac, BobbyBobby Isaac1970
Parsons, BennyBenny Parsons1973
Allison, BobbyBobby Allison1983
Elliott, BillBill Elliott1988
Wallace, RustyRusty Wallace1989
Kulwicki, AlanAlan Kulwicki1992
Jarrett, DaleDale Jarrett1999
Labonte, BobbyBobby Labonte2000
Kenseth, MattMatt Kenseth2003
Busch, KurtKurt Busch2004
Keselowski, BradBrad Keselowski2012

Records[edit]

Consecutive Drivers' Championships[edit]

Jimmie Johnson (2008 car shown) 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.

ChampionshipsDriverSeasons
5Johnson, JimmieJimmie Johnson20062010
3Yarborough, CaleCale Yarborough19761978
2Baker, BuckBuck Baker19561957
Petty, LeeLee Petty19581959
Weatherly, JoeJoe Weatherly19621963
Petty, RichardRichard Petty19711972,
1974-1975
Waltrip, DarrellDarrell Waltrip19811982
Pearson, DavidDavid Pearson19681969
Earnhardt, DaleDale Earnhardt19861987,
19901991,
19931994
Gordon, JeffJeff Gordon19971998

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
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