By Zane Miller
On Sunday, November 17th, 2002, the 2002 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Tony Stewart defeating Mark Martin by 38 points to win the 54th championship in Cup Series history. It was the first Cup Series championship for Stewart. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 2002 Daytona 500 was won by Ward Burton, while Sterling Marlin led the most laps with 78.
5. #48 Jimmie Johnson (-200 points)
Johnson finished fifth in his rookie season, getting three wins, six top-fives and 21 top-10s, for an average finish of 13.5. Johnson also led the most laps in three races.
4. #24 Jeff Gordon (-193)
Gordon grabbed the fourth spot as he had three wins, 13 top-fives and 20 top-10s for an average finish of 14.1. Gordon led the most laps in five races.
3. #97 Kurt Busch (-159)
Busch claimed third as he had four wins, 12 top-fives and 20 top-10s, taking an average finish of 14.1, while leading the most laps in three races.
2. #6 Mark Martin (-38)
Martin got his fourth runner-up points finish with one victory, 12 top-fives and 22 top-10s for an average finish of 12.2. Martin also led the most laps in one race.
1. #20 Tony Stewart
Stewart won the championship on the strength of three wins, 15 top-fives and 21 top-10s, claiming an average finish of 12.6 while leading the most laps in four races.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/2002/W
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