By Zane Miller
On Sunday, October 29th, 1961, the 1961 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Ned Jarrett defeating Rex White by 830 points to win the 13th championship in Cup Series history. It was the first Cup Series championship for Jarrett. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1961 Daytona 500 was won by Marvin Panch, who had 13 laps led in the race, while Fireball Roberts led the most laps with 170. Roberts was leading with 13 laps to go before suffering a blown engine, allowing Panch to take over the lead.
5. #22 Fireball Roberts (-9,672 points)
Roberts claimed fifth in points as he won two races and had 13 top-fives and 14 top-10s for an average finish of 11.0 while making just 22 starts during the season. Roberts also led the most laps in seven races.
4. #8 Joe Weatherly (-9,378)
Weatherly got fourth, scoring nine wins, 14 top-fives and 18 top-10s in just 25 starts for an average finish of 7.4. Weatherly had the most laps led in one race.
3. #85 Emanuel Zervakis (-4,960)
Zervakis claimed third place, winning two races with 19 top-fives and 28 top-10s with an average finish of 7.8. Zervakis led the most laps in one race.
2. #4 Rex White (-830)
White took the second spot as he scored seven victories, 29 top-fives and 38 top-10s for an average finish of 7.0, while leading the most laps six times.
1. #11 Ned Jarrett
Jarrett got his first championship with one victory, 23 top-fives and 34 top-10s, getting an average finish of 7.6. Jarrett had the most laps led in four races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1961/W
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