By Zane Miller
On Sunday, November 16th, 2003, the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series season concluded with Matt Kenseth defeating Jimmie Johnson by 90 points to win the 55th championship in Cup Series history. It was the first (and, as of this writing, only) Cup Series championship for Kenseth. These are the top five points finishers for the season.
The 2003 Daytona 500 was won by Michael Waltrip, who also led the most laps with 68. It was the second Daytona 500 victory for Waltrip, as the race ended 91 laps early due to rain.
5. #29 Kevin Harvick (-252 points)
Harvick picked up the fifth spot as he had one victory, 11 top-fives and 18 top-10s, for an average finish of 12.3. Harvick also led the most laps in two races.
4. #24 Jeff Gordon (-237)
Gordon scored fourth with three wins, 15 top-fives and 20 top-10s, getting an average finish of 12.9, leading the most laps in six races.
3. #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-207)
Earnhardt Jr. claimed the third spot with a pair of wins, 13 top-fives and 21 top-10s for an average finish of 12.7. Earnhardt Jr. also led the most laps in four starts.
2. #48 Jimmie Johnson (-90)
Johnson got runner-up in points as he had three victories, 14 top-fives and 20 top-10s for an average finish of 11.4. Johnson led the most laps in two races.
1. #17 Matt Kenseth
Kenseth earned the championship with one victory, 11 top-fives and 25 top-10s, claiming an average finish of 10.2 while leading the most laps in one race.
Race Winners (left) & Lap Leaders (right)
Link to stats database: https://www.racing-reference.info/yeardet/2003/W
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