By Zane Miller
On Sunday, December 12th, 1971, the 1971 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Richard Petty defeating James Hylton by 364 points to win the 24th championship in Cup Series history. It was the third Cup Series championship for Petty. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1971 Daytona 500 was won by Richard Petty, who also led the most laps with 69.
5. #64 Elmo Langley (-1,079 points)
Langley grabbed fifth place in points, as he got 11 top-fives and 23 top-10s, getting an average finish of 13.9.
4. #22 Bobby Allison (-799)
Allison earned fourth in points with 11 wins, 27 top-fives and 31 top-10s, taking an average finish of 8.3 while leading the most laps in 12 races.
3. #24 Cecil Gordon (-758)
Gordon claimed third place, as he had six top-fives and 21 top-10s to score an average finish of 11.9.
2. #48 James Hylton (-364)
Hylton earned the second spot with 14 top-fives and 37 top-10s, taking an average finish of 8.3.
1. #43 Richard Petty
Petty got his third championship on the strength of 21 victories, 38 top-fives and 41 top-10s, getting an average finish of 4.2. Petty also led the most laps in 14 races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1971/W
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