By Zane Miller
On Friday, November 23rd, 2001, the 2001 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Jeff Gordon defeating Tony Stewart by 349 points to win the 53rd championship in Cup Series history. It was the fourth (and final) Cup Series championship for Gordon. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 2001 Daytona 500 was won by Michael Waltrip, breaking a 462-race long winless drought, which remains as the longest amount of time in the Cup Series before earning a first career victory, while Ward Burton led the most laps with 53. Tragically, 7-time Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt was killed in an accident on the final lap of the race.
5. #88 Dale Jarrett (-500 points)
Jarrett claimed the fifth spot with four wins, 12 top-fives and 19 top-10s for an average finish of 13.9. Jarrett also led the most laps in one race.
4. #28 Ricky Rudd (-406)
Rudd claimed fourth in points as he had two victories, 14 top-fives and 22 top-10s, getting an average finish of 13.2.
3. #40 Sterling Marlin (-371)
Marlin got the third spot with two wins, 12 top-fives and 20 top-10s for an average finish of 13.0. Marlin also led the most laps in two races during the season.
2. #20 Tony Stewart (-349)
Stewart earned runner-up with three wins, 15 top-fives and 22 top-10s, getting an average finish of 12.6. Stewart led the most laps in one start.
1. #24 Jeff Gordon
Gordon scored the championship as he had six wins, 18 top-fives and 24 top-10s for an average finish of 11.0. Gordon had the most laps led in 11 races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/2001/W
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zmiller_82