By Zane Miller
On Sunday, October 30th, 1966, the 1966 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with David Pearson defeating James Hylton by 1,950 points to win the 18th championship in Cup Series history. It was the first Cup Series championship for Pearson. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1966 Daytona 500 was won by Richard Petty, who also led the most laps with 108. The race was ended two laps early due to rain. Petty went two laps down early in the event due to tire failure, but fought his way back to get the win.
5. #99 Paul Goldsmith (-13,560 points)
Goldsmith took fifth with three wins, 11 top-fives and 11 top-10s for an average finish of 13.0, despite starting just 21 races.
4. #97 Henley Gray (-13,170)
Gray earned fourth in points, getting four top-fives and 18 top-10s for an average finish of 13.3.
3. #43 Richard Petty (-12,686)
Petty claimed the third spot as he had eight victories, 20 top-fives and 22 top-10s, getting an average finish of 11.0. Petty also led the most laps in 10 starts during the season.
2. #48 James Hylton (-1,950)
Hylton scored second in points, earning 20 top-fives and 25 top-10s for an average finish of 8.6, while also leading the most laps in one race.
1. #6 David Pearson
Pearson earned the championship on the strength of 15 wins, 26 top-fives and 33 top-10s for an average finish of 6.4. Pearson also led the most laps in 16 races during the season.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1966/W
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