By Zane Miller
On Saturday, November 15th, 1980, the 1980 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Dale Earnhardt defeating Cale Yarborough by 19 points to win the 32nd championship in Cup Series history. It was the first Cup Series championship for Earnhardt. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1980 Daytona 500 was won by Buddy Baker, who also led the most laps with 143.
5. #88 Darrell Waltrip (-422 points)
Waltrip claimed fifth in points with five wins, 16 top-fives and 17 top-10s, for an average finish of 12.8. Waltrip also led the most laps in nine races.
4. #43 Richard Petty (-406)
Petty took the fourth spot with two wins, 15 top-fives and 19 top-10s, taking an average finish of 11.7. Petty led the most laps in one race.
3. #27 Benny Parsons (-383)
Parsons claimed third as he scored three victories, 16 top-fives and 21 top-10s for an average finish of 11.4. Parsons also led the most laps in one race.
2. #11 Cale Yarborough (-19)
Yarborough got second as he had six wins, 19 top-fives and 22 top-10s, getting an average finish of 9.0. Yarborough led the most laps in nine starts.
1. #2 Dale Earnhardt
Earnhardt picked up the championship on the strength of five victories, 19 top-fives and 24 top-10s for an average finish of 8.2, while leading the most laps in three races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1980/W
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