By Zane Miller
On Saturday, November 22nd, 1981, the 1981 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Darrell Waltrip defeating Bobby Allison by 53 points to win the 33rd championship in Cup Series history. It was the first Cup Series championship for Waltrip. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1981 Daytona 500 was won by Richard Petty, while Bobby Allison led the most laps with 117. It would be the seventh and final 500 victory for Petty.
5. #90 Jody Ridley (-878 points)
Ridley claimed fifth in points with one victory, three top-fives and 18 top-10s for an average finish of 12.5.
4. #44 Terry Labonte (-828)
Labonte claimed the fourth spot as he had eight top-fives and 17 top-10s for an average finish of 12.7.
3. #33 Harry Gant (-670)
Gant finished third in points with 13 top-fives and 18 top-10s to take an average finish of 11.9, while leading the most laps in three races.
2. #15 Bobby Allison (-53)
Allison grabbed second with five victories, 21 top-fives and 26 top-10s for an average finish of 6.8. Allison led the most laps in six starts.
1. #11 Darrell Waltrip
Waltrip took his first championship on the strength of 12 victories, 21 top-fives and 25 top-10s to earn an average finish of 7.2, while leading the most laps in 11 races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1981/W
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