By Zane Miller
On Sunday, November 10th, 1996, the 1996 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Terry Labonte defeating Jeff Gordon by 37 points to win the 48th championship in Cup Series history. It was the second Cup Series championship for Labonte. Labonte won his first championship in 1984, which is still the longest gap between two championships in Cup Series history. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 1996 Daytona 500 was won by Dale Jarrett, while Terry Labonte led the most laps with 44. Jarrett claimed his second of three 500 victories.
5. #6 Mark Martin (-379 points)
Martin claimed fifth in points with 14 top-fives and 23 top-10s, scoring an average finish of 11.3 while leading the most laps in three races.
4. #3 Dale Earnhardt (-330)
Earnhardt picked up the fourth spot as he had two wins, 13 top-fives and 17 top-10s for an average finish of 10.6. Earnhardt led the most laps in three races.
3. #88 Dale Jarrett (-89)
Jarrett got the third spot with four wins, 17 top-fives and 21 top-10s, taking an average finish of 8.8 while leading the most laps in two races.
2. #24 Jeff Gordon (-37)
Gordon finished in the runner-up spot with 10 wins, 21 top-fives and 24 top-10s for an average finish of 9.5, leading the most laps in nine races.
1. #5 Terry Labonte
Labonte earned the championship with two wins, 21 top-fives and 24 top-10s for an average finish of 8.2 while leading the most laps in four races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/1996/W
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