2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
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Champions | Seasons

The 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season was the 53rd season of professional stock car racing in the United States, the 30th modern-era Cup series, and the first Cup season of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium. It began on February 11, 2001, at Daytona International Speedway and ended on November 23, 2001, at New Hampshire International Speedway. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports was declared as the series champion for the 4th time in seven years.

The season was marred by a two-car collision at the end of the season-opening Daytona 500, which claimed the life of seven-time Series champion Dale Earnhardt. The accident resulted in safety upgrades being instituted. It also was the first year to have a unified television contract with Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and Turner Sports broadcasting the season's races; previous seasons saw each racetrack negotiate their own TV coverage, creating a patchwork of broadcast companies covering races throughout the season. Dodge returned to the sport for the first time since 1985. Chevrolet captured the NASCAR Manufacturers' Championship with 16 wins and 248 points.[1]

Teams and drivers

Complete schedule

Car(s) Team No. Driver(s) Crew Chief
Chevrolet Andy Petree Racing 33 Joe Nemechek 31 Chris Carrier
Bobby Hamilton Jr. 3
Wally Dallenbach Jr. 1
Scott Pruett 1
55 Bobby Hamilton Jimmy Elledge
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. 1 Steve Park 24 Paul Andrews
Kenny Wallace 12
8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Eury Sr.
15 Michael Waltrip Scott Eggleston
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Terry Labonte Gary DeHart
24 Jeff Gordon Robbie Loomis
25 Jerry Nadeau Tony Furr
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Robby Gordon 5 David Ifft
Kevin Lepage 23
Bobby Hamilton Jr. 7
Rich Bickle 1
Richard Childress Racing 31 Mike Skinner 23 Royce McGee
Robby Gordon 12
Jeff Green 1
Dodge Bill Davis Racing 22 Ward Burton Tommy Baldwin Jr.
93 Dave Blaney Doug Randolph
Chip Ganassi Racing
with Felix Sabates
40 Sterling Marlin Lee McCall
01 Jason Leffler (R) 34 Kevin Cram
Scott Pruett 1
Dorsey Schroeder 1
Evernham Motorsports 9 Bill Elliott Mike Ford
19 Casey Atwood (R) Patrick Donahue
Melling Racing 92 Stacy Compton Chad Knaus
Petty Enterprises 43 John Andretti Greg Steadman
44 Buckshot Jones 35 Mark Tutor
Wally Dallenbach Jr. 1
45 Kyle Petty Chris Hussey
Ford Brett Bodine Racing 11 Brett Bodine Mike Hillman
Donlavey Racing 90 Hut Stricklin 29 Bobby King
Brian Simo 2
Rick Mast 5
Haas-Carter Motorsports 26 Jimmy Spencer Donnie Wingo
66 Todd Bodine Larry Carter
Jasper Motorsports 77 Robert Pressley 34 Ryan Pemberton
Boris Said 2
Penske Racing 2 Rusty Wallace Robin Pemberton
12 Jeremy Mayfield 28 Peter Sospenzo
Mike Wallace 8
PPI Motorsports 32 Ricky Craven Mike Beam
Robert Yates Racing 28 Ricky Rudd Michael McSwain
88 Dale Jarrett Todd Parrott
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Jimmy Fennig
17 Matt Kenseth Robbie Reiser
97 Kurt Busch (R) Matt Chambers Ben Lesie
99 Jeff Burton Frank Stoddard
Ultra Motorsports 7 Mike Wallace 25 Jim Long
Ted Musgrave 1
Robby Gordon 2
Kevin Lepage 8
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Elliott Sadler Pat Tryson
Pontiac A. J. Foyt Racing 14 Ron Hornaday Jr. (R) Phillipe Lopez
Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Bobby Labonte Jimmy Makar
20 Tony Stewart Greg Zipadelli
MBV Motorsports 10 Johnny Benson Jr. James Ince
36 Ken Schrader Sammy Johns

Limited schedule

Car(s) Team No. Driver(s) Crew Chief Rounds
Chevrolet BAM Racing 49 Rich Bickle 1
Bill McAnally Racing 62 Brendan Gaughan 1
Dark Horse Motorsports 47 Lance Hooper 1
Hendrick Motorsports 48 Jimmie Johnson Ken Howes 3
Marcis Auto Racing 71 Dave Marcis Bob Marcis 13
Dick Trickle 1
72 Dwayne Leik 1
Midwest Transit Racing 50 Rick Mast Greg Connors 16
Rich Bickle 1
NEMCO Motorsports 87 Ron Fellows 2
Norm Benning Racing 84 Norm Benning 1
Richard Childress Racing 3 Dale Earnhardt Kevin Hamlin 1
29 Kevin Harvick (R) 35
30 Jeff Green Todd Berrier 9
TWC Motorsports 68 Anthony Lazzaro 2
SCORE Motorsports 13 Hermie Sadler Jim Long 10
Dodge Bill Davis Racing 23 Hut Stricklin Tommy Baldwin Jr. 1
Bogart Racing 70 Rick Bogart 1
Chip Ganassi Racing
with Felix Sabates
04 Jason Leffler (R) Kevin Cram 1
Mansion Motorsports 85 Carl Long 9
Ford 3
Bob Schacht Motorsports 75 Stuart Kirby 1
Brett Bodine Racing 09 Geoffrey Bodine 2
Dark Horse Motorsports 47 Lance Hooper 2
Donlavey Racing 91 Rick Mast Junie Donlavey 1
Hover Motorsports 80 Morgan Shepherd 1
Larry Clement Racing 46 Frank Kimmel 3
Michael Kranefuss Racing 84 Shawna Robinson 4
Penske Racing 02 Ryan Newman (R) Matt Borland 7
Phoenix Racing 51 Jeff Purvis 4
PPI Motorsports 96 Andy Houston (R) Joe Garone 25
Sadler Brothers Racing 95 Ed Berrier 1
Shepherd Racing Ventures 89 Morgan Shepherd 1
Team CLR 57 David Keith 2
Derrike Cope 3
Pontiac A. J. Foyt Racing 41 Mark Green Phillipe Lopez 1
BAM Racing 49 Andy Hillenburg 4
Eel River Racing 27 Kenny Wallace Barry Dodson 16
Mike Bliss 3
Rick Mast 9
Qwest Motor Racing 37 Derrike Cope Joey Knuckles 3

Schedule

No. Race Title Track Date TV
Budweiser Shootout Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach February 11 Fox
Gatorade 125s February 15 FSN
1 Daytona 500 February 18 Fox
2 Dura Lube 400 North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham February 25–26 Fox
FX
3 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas March 4 Fox
4 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton March 11 Fox
5 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Darlington Raceway, Darlington March 18 Fox
6 Food City 500 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol March 25 Fox
7 Harrah's 500 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth April 1 Fox
8 Virginia 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway April 8 Fox
9 Talladega 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega April 22 Fox
10 NAPA Auto Parts 500 California Speedway, Fontana April 29 Fox
11 Pontiac Excitement 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond May 5 FX
No Bull Sprint Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord May 19 FX
Winston Open FX
The Winston May 19–20 FX
12 Coca-Cola 600 May 27 Fox
13 MBNA Platinum 400 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover June 3 Fox
14 Kmart 400 Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn June 10 FX
15 Pocono 500 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond June 17 Fox
16 Dodge/Save Mart 350 Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma June 24 Fox
17 Pepsi 400 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach July 7 NBC
18 Tropicana 400 Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet July 15 NBC
19 New England 300 New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon July 22 TNT
20 Pennsylvania 500 Pocono Raceway, Long Pond July 29 TNT
21 Brickyard 400 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway August 5 NBC
22 Global Crossing at the Glen Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen August 12 NBC
23 Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn August 19 TNT
24 Sharpie 500 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol August 25 TNT
25 Mountain Dew Southern 500 Darlington Raceway, Darlington September 2 TNT
26 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 Richmond International Raceway, Richmond September 8 TNT
27 MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 Dover Downs International Speedway, Dover September 23 NBC
28 Protection One 400 Kansas Speedway, Kansas City September 30 NBC
29 UAW-GM Quality 500 Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord October 7 NBC
TNT
30 Old Dominion 500 Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway October 15 NBC
TNT
31 EA Sports 500 Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega October 21 NBC
32 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix October 28 NBC
33 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham November 4 TNT
34 Pennzoil Freedom 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead November 11 NBC
35 NAPA 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton November 18 NBC
36 New Hampshire 300 New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon November 23 NBC

Races

No. Race Pole position Most laps led Winning driver Manufacturer
Budweiser Shootout Ken Schrader Tony Stewart Tony Stewart Pontiac
Gatorade 125 #1 Bill Elliott Dale Earnhardt Sterling Marlin Dodge
Gatorade 125 #2 Stacy Compton Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mike Skinner Chevrolet
1 Daytona 500 Bill Elliott Ward Burton Michael Waltrip Chevrolet
2 Dura Lube 400 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Steve Park Chevrolet
3 UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 Dale Jarrett Mark Martin Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
4 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 Dale Jarrett Jeff Gordon Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
5 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 Jeff Gordon Steve Park Dale Jarrett Ford
6 Food City 500 Mark Martin Kevin Harvick Elliott Sadler Ford
7 Harrah's 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Jarrett Dale Jarrett Ford
8 Virginia 500 Jeff Gordon Bobby Hamilton Dale Jarrett Ford
9 Talladega 500 Stacy Compton Sterling Marlin Bobby Hamilton Chevrolet
10 NAPA Auto Parts 500 Bobby Labonte Rusty Wallace Rusty Wallace Ford
11 Pontiac Excitement 400 Mark Martin Rusty Wallace Tony Stewart Pontiac
Winston Open Johnny Benson Jr. Ryan Newman Johnny Benson Jr. Pontiac
No Bull Sprint Mike Wallace Todd Bodine Todd Bodine Ford
The Winston Rusty Wallace Ward Burton
Johnny Benson Jr.
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
12 Coca-Cola 600 Ryan Newman Jeff Burton Jeff Burton Ford
13 MBNA Platinum 400 Dale Jarrett Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
14 Kmart 400 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
15 Pocono 500 Ricky Rudd Jeff Gordon Ricky Rudd Ford
16 Dodge/Save Mart 350 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Pontiac
17 Pepsi 400 Sterling Marlin Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
18 Tropicana 400 Todd Bodine Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
19 New England 300 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Dale Jarrett Ford
20 Pennsylvania 500 Todd Bodine Jeff Gordon Bobby Labonte Pontiac
21 Brickyard 400 Jimmy Spencer Steve Park Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
22 Global Crossing at the Glen Dale Jarrett Jeff Burton Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
23 Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer Ricky Craven Bill Elliott Sterling Marlin Dodge
24 Sharpie 500 Jeff Green Jeff Gordon Tony Stewart Pontiac
25 Mountain Dew Southern 500 Kurt Busch Jeff Gordon Ward Burton Dodge
26 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 Jeff Gordon Rusty Wallace Ricky Rudd Ford
27 MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 Dale Jarrett Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
28 Protection One 400 Jason Leffler Rusty Wallace Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
29 UAW-GM Quality 500 Jimmy Spencer Sterling Marlin Sterling Marlin Dodge
30 Old Dominion 500 Todd Bodine Ricky Craven Ricky Craven Ford
31 EA Sports 500 Stacy Compton Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
32 Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil Casey Atwood Jeff Burton Jeff Burton Ford
33 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 Kenny Wallace Joe Nemechek Joe Nemechek Chevrolet
34 Pennzoil Freedom 400 Bill Elliott Tony Stewart Bill Elliott Dodge
35 NAPA 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bobby Labonte Pontiac
36 New Hampshire 300 Jeff Gordon Jeff Gordon Robby Gordon Chevrolet

Budweiser Shootout

The Budweiser Shootout, an invitational event for all recent Bud Pole winners, was held February 11 at Daytona International Speedway. Ken Schrader drew the pole. This was the first race broadcast on Fox.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 3 - Dale Earnhardt
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 6 - Mark Martin
  9. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  10. 31 - Mike Skinner

Gatorade 125s

The Gatorade 125s, qualifying races for the Daytona 500, were held February 15 at Daytona International Speedway. Bill Elliott and Stacy Compton started on pole for both races, respectively. The qualifying races were broadcast live for the first time; races prior to 2001 were broadcast on tape delay.

Race One Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  3. 3 - Dale Earnhardt
  4. 96 - Andy Houston
  5. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 01 - Jason Leffler
  8. 51 - Jeff Purvis
  9. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  10. 19 - Casey Atwood

Race Two Top Ten Results

  1. 31 - Mike Skinner
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 22 - Ward Burton
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 36 - Ken Schrader
  7. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  8. 32 - Ricky Craven
  9. 93 - Dave Blaney
  10. 6 - Mark Martin

43rd Daytona 500

The 43rd Daytona 500 was held February 18, 2001 at Daytona International Speedway.

Top 10 Results

  1. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 9 - Bill Elliott
  6. 7 - Mike Wallace
  7. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  8. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  9. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 92 - Stacy Compton

Failed to qualify: Dave Marcis (No. 71), Todd Bodine (No. 66), Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Rick Mast (No. 50), Derrike Cope (No. 37), Norm Benning (No. 84), Carl Long (No. 85), Morgan Shepherd (No. 80), Dwayne Leik (No. 72)

  • In turn 4 on the final lap, Dale Earnhardt crashed and died as a result of his injuries. He finished 12th despite not having crossed the finish line, same thing for Ken Schrader, who was also involved in the crash and finished 13th.[2]
  • This was the first race that featured cars from Chrysler Motors (in this case, the Dodge manufacturing family) since 1985.[3]
  • 50th career pole for Bill Elliott. This was Elliott's fourth Daytona 500 pole in his career, and the first time driving a Dodge. This was Elliott's first pole since Richmond back in September 1997. As of 2018, Bill Elliott is the only driver to score his 50th career pole in the Daytona 500.
  • Michael Waltrip won his first career points race in his 463rd career start, the longest drought of any driver in NASCAR history before getting their first win.
  • Stacy Compton, the outside pole-sitter, scored his only Top 10 finish in his career in this race.
  • Rookies Andy Houston, Casey Atwood, Buckshot Jones, Kurt Busch; Ron Hornaday Jr.; and Jason Leffler made their first Daytona 500 appearances in this race. Only three of these rookies—Houston, Jones, and Hornaday Jr.—made the Daytona 500 for the only time, while Busch went on to win the 2017 Daytona 500.

Dura Lube 400

The Dura Lube 400 started on February 25 but ended on February 26 due to a rain delay, making it a two-day race at the North Carolina Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 1 - Steve Park
  2. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 32 - Ricky Craven
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  9. 93 - Dave Blaney
  10. 88 - Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Kyle Petty (No. 45)

  • This race was won by DEI driver Steve Park in an emotional victory just one week after Earnhardt's death. It was his last career victory to date.
  • Following the death of Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR on FOX, and later on in the season, NASCAR on NBC and TNT, would pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt with a silent lap 3. Unfortunately however, in this race, along with the next 2 races, the caution would come out either on the 3rd lap, or before the 3rd lap.
  • After this race, Rusty Wallace would take over the points lead, making this the 1st time since 1998 that he has done so. This would be the only race of 2001 that Rusty would leave an event as the points leader. Final time in his career as well that Rusty Wallace would lead the points.
  • Richard Childress placed Busch Grand National driver Kevin Harvick into the car formerly driven by Earnhardt, changed the car's number from No. 3 to No. 29 and the paint scheme from primarily black to primarily white. Because of that, the race Harvick's first start in the Cup Series.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered a crash on the first lap of the race, in which his car hit the outside wall in an eerily similar fashion to his father's fatal crash a week earlier, but Earnhardt Jr. was not seriously injured.

UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400

The UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 was held March 4 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  4. 10 - Johnny Benson
  5. 66 - Todd Bodine
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 14 - Ron Hornaday
  10. 26 - Jimmy Spencer

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (No. 45), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62), Andy Houston (No. 96), Rick Mast (No. 50)

  • Jeff Gordon won the Winston Bull 5 Million Bonus.
  • Rusty Wallace would lose the points lead after finishing this race in 43rd/last position, and with that, this would mark the last time ever that he would lead the standings in his career.
  • This was Ron Hornaday's only Cup Top 10 finish.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500

The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 was held March 11 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 5 - Terry Labonte
  6. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 36 - Ken Schrader
  9. 31 - Mike Skinner
  10. 97 - Kurt Busch 1 lap down

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 50), Carl Long (No. 85), Casey Atwood (No. 19)

  • This race is best remembered for the exciting finish between rookie Kevin Harvick and three-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon. Harvick would outduel the champion in a spectacular finish, winning by only .006 seconds, being the second closest finish in NASCAR history at the time. Harvick performed a burnout on the frontstretch with three fingers aloft. It was his first victory in only his third start in the Cup Series, a then-record for fewest starts to first win in the Modern Era of Cup racing.

Carolina Dodge Dealers 400

The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 was held March 18 at Darlington Raceway. Jeff Gordon started on pole after qualifying was rained out.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 43 - John Andretti
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  9. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  10. 2 - Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Rick Mast (No. 50), Dave Marcis (No. 71)

  • After 3 straight weeks of having a caution period on either lap 3 or before lap 3, NASCAR finally had lap 3 under green. NASCAR on FOX paid their tributes to Dale Earnhardt with a silent lap 3.

Food City 500

The Food City 500 was held March 25 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 21 - Elliott Sadler*
  2. 43 - John Andretti
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  5. 22 - Ward Burton
  6. 5 - Terry Labonte
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  9. 1 - Steve Park
  10. 28 - Ricky Rudd

Failed to qualify: Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Jason Leffler (No. 01), Carl Long (No. 85)

  • This was Elliott Sadler's first career win, and the first for the Wood Brothers Racing team since 1993 with Morgan Shepherd.
  • It was also the first time cars No. 21 and No. 43 took the top two finishing positions since 1977, but the first time since the 1976 Southern 500 that the No. 21 finished on top when David Pearson beat Richard Petty. As of 2016 it is the most recent time those two cars have finished in the top two spots.[4]

Harrah's 500

The Harrah's 500 was held April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 97 - Kurt Busch
  5. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (No. 45), Rick Mast (No. 50)

Virginia 500

The Virginia 500 was held April 8 at Martinsville Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  10. 25 - Jerry Nadeau

Failed to qualify: Jason Leffler (No. 01), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Hut Stricklin (No. 90)

  • Second and final time that Dale Jarrett would score back-to-back victories. The only other time doing that was 1997 when he won Atlanta and Darlington in the spring.

Talladega 500

The Talladega 500 was held April 22 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stacy Compton won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 55 - Bobby Hamilton*
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 97 - Kurt Busch
  4. 6 - Mark Martin
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  7. 10 - Johnny Benson
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. 7 - Mike Wallace
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Kenny Wallace (No. 27), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Rick Mast (No. 50), Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Andy Hillenburg (No. 49)

  • This was Bobby Hamilton's fourth and last win in the Cup Series.
  • This was the first win for Andy Petree Racing
  • This was the second caution-free race in the history of Talladega Superspeedway, but the aerodynamics package was vastly different than the first caution-free race, which in turn made the average speed (184.003 mph) slower than the track record.
  • Stacy Compton won his first Cup Series pole for this race.

NAPA Auto Parts 500

The NAPA Auto Parts 500 was held April 29 at California Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  7. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  8. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 77 - Robert Pressley

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (No. 4), Buckshot Jones (No. 44), Shawna Robinson (No. 84)

  • This race was on what would have been Dale Earnhardt's 50th birthday, and his best friend and greatest adversary Rusty Wallace won an emotional race.
  • The race marked the 54th career win for Rusty Wallace. With this win, Wallace tied Lee Petty on NASCAR's all-time win list.
  • This was Wallace's 16th straight season of winning at least one race (1986-2001). The streak would end after 2001, as Wallace did not return to Victory Lane until Martinsville in April 2004, 3 years and 106 races later.

Pontiac Excitement 400

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held May 5 at Richmond International Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  4. 1 - Steve Park
  5. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  8. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  9. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Buckshot Jones (No. 44), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Hut Stricklin (No. 90)

The Winston

Coca-Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 27 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole; this was the first career pole on his 2nd start at Lowe's on a limited schedule.

Top 10 Results

  1. 99 - Jeff Burton
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 20 - Tony Stewart
  4. 6 - Mark Martin
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  7. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  8. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  9. 22 - Ward Burton
  10. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield

Failed to qualify: John Andretti (No. 43), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Derrike Cope (No. 37), Mike Wallace (No. 7), Jeff Fultz (No. 54), Carl Long (No. 85)

  • Tony Stewart successfully performed the "Double Duty", also running the Indianapolis 500 the same day; Joe Gibbs Racing had Mike McLaughlin on standby if Stewart did not arrive on time. Stewart arrived less than half an hour before the start of the race. If Stewart did not arrive for the start of the Coca-Cola 600, McLaughlin would have been given credit for the start under NASCAR rules. Stewart had to start at the end of the field (43rd place) due to missing the mandatory drivers' meeting that is held 2 hours before any race.[5] Stewart is also the only driver in history to finish in the top 10 and on the lead lap in both races. He finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500, and finished third in this race.
  • Dale Jarrett overcame a rib injury during qualifying to finish 8th. As a precaution, Jeff Green was on standby.
  • Even though Ryan Newman won the pole, he finished 43rd after crashing while leading on lap 10.

MBNA Platinum 400

The MBNA Platinum 400 was held June 3 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole after qualifying was canceled because of rain.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 1 - Steve Park
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 32 - Ricky Craven
  5. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  6. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 28 - Ricky Rudd

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 50), Jeff Green (No. 30), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Lance Hooper (No. 47), Dave Marcis (No. 71)

  • The race marked the 54th career win for Jeff Gordon. With this win, Gordon tied Lee Petty and Rusty Wallace on NASCAR's all-time win list. He led 381 of 400 laps in the win.

Kmart 400

The Kmart 400 was held June 10 at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon*
  2. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  4. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  5. 02 - Ryan Newman
  6. 90 - Hut Stricklin
  7. 99 - Jeff Burton
  8. 93 - Dave Blaney
  9. 9 - Bill Elliott
  10. 29 - Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Mike Wallace (No. 7), Rick Mast (No. 50), Andy Houston (No. 96), Stacy Compton (No. 92), Kenny Wallace (No. 27)

  • This race was the Winston Cup Series debut of Shawna Robinson, the first woman to successfully attempt a Cup Series race since Patty Moise in 1989.
  • The race marked the first career top 5 finish for Ryan Newman, as well as being the last career top 10 finish for Hut Stricklin.
  • This was the 100th career Winston Cup win for car owner Rick Hendrick and the team of Hendrick Motorsports after being in the sport for 18 seasons since its inception in 1984.
  • This was Jeff Gordon's 55th career win, which pushed him past Lee Petty and Rusty Wallace on the all-time win list.

Pocono 500

The Pocono 500 was held June 17 at Pocono Raceway. Ricky Rudd won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  4. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  5. 6 - Mark Martin
  6. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 36 - Ken Schrader
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Kenny Wallace (No. 27)

  • This was Rudd's first win since 1998.

Dodge/Save Mart 350

The Dodge/Save Mart 350 was held June 24 at Sears Point Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 7 - Robby Gordon
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 99 - Jeff Burton
  9. 9 - Bill Elliott
  10. 6 - Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Kenny Wallace (No. 27), Anthony Lazzaro (No. 68), Jason Leffler (No. 04)

  • First road course win for Tony Stewart.

Pepsi 400

The Pepsi 400 was held July 7 at Daytona International Speedway. Sterling Marlin won the pole. In the first race at Daytona since the death of Dale Earnhardt, son Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a whopping 116 of the race's 160 laps on his way to an emotional victory in what is arguably one of the more memorable races in NASCAR history (See race notes below).

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  3. 21 - Elliott Sadler
  4. 22 - Ward Burton
  5. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 99 - Jeff Burton
  9. 11 - Brett Bodine
  10. 7 - Mike Wallace

Failed to qualify: Buckshot Jones (No. 44), Ron Hornaday (No. 14), Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Mike Bliss (No. 27), Andy Hillenburg (No. 49)

  • This was the first Cup race at Daytona since the death of Dale Earnhardt.
  • This was also the first Cup Series race on NBC under the 2001–2006 contract.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s win, coupled with Michael Waltrip pushing him to the victory (the reverse of the finish in Daytona 500) made for an emotional moment. Earnhardt Jr, Waltrip, and their crews, as well as Chocolate Myers, a longtime crew member for Dale Earnhardt Sr., all celebrated in the infield grass on the frontstretch. Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip shared a hug on top of Waltrip's No. 15 car (Earnhardt Sr. used to celebrate by standing on his roof).
  • This was the 2nd straight season that a pair of drivers finished 1st and 2nd in both Daytona races, but in the opposite positions (Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton in 2000, when Jarrett won the Daytona 500, and Jeff Burton won the Pepsi 400, with both finishing in 2nd to each other).

Tropicana 400

The inaugural Tropicana 400 was held July 15 at Chicagoland Speedway. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  2. 77 - Robert Pressley
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  8. 97 - Kurt Busch
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 9 - Bill Elliott

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (No. 45), Dave Marcis (No. 71), Mike Bliss (No. 27), Shawna Robinson (No. 84)

  • Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett were tied for the points lead after this race.

New England 300

The New England 300 was held July 22 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 1 - Steve Park
  7. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. 7 - Mike Wallace

Failed to qualify: Mike Bliss (No. 27)

  • Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon were tied for the points lead for the 2nd consecutive week.
  • This was the first Cup Series race on TNT under the 2001–2006 contract. Although the initial plans were for TBS Superstation to carry the races. Instead, Turner decided that NASCAR would better fit TNT's "We Know Drama" slogan.

Pennsylvania 500

The Pennsylvania 500 was held July 29 at Pocono Raceway. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  2. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 20 - Tony Stewart
  4. 9 - Bill Elliott
  5. 10 - Johnny Benson
  6. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  7. 6 - Mark Martin
  8. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  9. 77 - Robert Pressley
  10. 32 - Ricky Craven

Failed to qualify: Andy Hillenburg (No. 49), Carl Long (No. 85)

  • Jeff Gordon took the points lead from Dale Jarrett in this race, and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the year.

Brickyard 400

The Brickyard 400 was held August 5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  5. 97 - Kurt Busch
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 9 - Bill Elliott
  9. 32 - Ricky Craven
  10. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (No. 4), Derrike Cope (No. 37), Mike Wallace (No. 7), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Ed Berrier (No. 95), David Keith (No. 57), Rick Mast (No. 27), Dave Marcis (No. 71), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Shawna Robinson (No. 84), Andy Hillenburg (No. 49)

  • With the win, Jeff Gordon became the first three-time winner of the Brickyard 400
  • Many came from the back to the front for finishing. Jeff Gordon started 27th, Johnny Benson started 26th, Rusty Wallace started 37th, Kurt Busch started 34th, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. started 36th.
  • The last 4 straight years (1998-2001), the point leader coming into this race went on to win the Brickyard 400, and then later on in the year, that driver went on to win the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. Jeff Gordon accomplished the feat twice, the first year in 1998, and the fourth year in 2001. Dale Jarrett did it in 1999, and Bobby Labonte did it in 2000.

Global Crossing at the Glen

The Global Crossing at the Glen was held August 12 at Watkins Glen International. Dale Jarrett won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 99 - Jeff Burton
  3. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 66 - Todd Bodine
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 77 - Boris Said
  9. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  10. 1 - Steve Park

Failed to qualify: Mike Wallace (No. 7), Wally Dallenbach Jr. (No. 44)

  • Jeff Gordon won his seventh career road course race. With this win, Gordon became the NASCAR driver with the most wins on road courses. breaking a tie with Bobby Allison and Rusty Wallace. Gordon would win nine road course races by the end of his career.

Pepsi 400 presented by Meijer

The Pepsi 400 Presented by Meijer was held August 19 at Michigan International Speedway. Ricky Craven won the pole. The race was shortened to 162 laps due to rain.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 32 - Ricky Craven
  3. 9 - Bill Elliott
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 10 - Johnny Benson
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  8. 6 - Mark Martin
  9. 1 - Steve Park
  10. 19 - Casey Atwood

Failed to qualify: David Keith (No. 57), Buckshot Jones (No. 44)

  • This marked the 7th career win for Sterling Marlin, his first in 170 races.
  • This race marked Dodge's first trip to victory lane since its return to NASCAR. Dodge's last win was with Neil Bonnett at Ontario in 1977.

Sharpie 500

The Sharpie 500 was held August 25 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jeff Green won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20 - Tony Stewart
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  7. 1 - Steve Park
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  10. 5 - Terry Labonte

Failed to qualify: Stacy Compton (No. 92), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Dave Marcis (No. 71), Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Carl Long (No. 85)

Mountain Dew Southern 500

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held September 2 at Darlington Raceway. Kurt Busch won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 22 - Ward Burton
  2. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  3. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  4. 20 - Tony Stewart
  5. 9 - Bill Elliott
  6. 99 - Jeff Burton
  7. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  10. 36 - Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Dave Marcis (No. 71)

  • Steve Park did not race because of a bizarre accident in the South Carolina 200 (the Busch Grand National Series race) the day before that left him sidelined until early 2002.
  • This race ended under caution as a multi car accident brought out the yellow flag coming to the final lap.
  • With this win, brothers Ward and Jeff Burton became the second set of brothers, joining Terry and Bobby Labonte, to win the Southern 500.
  • This win marked the second and final time that Ward and Jeff Burton each won a race in the same season.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 was held September 8 at Richmond International Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  2. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  3. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  6. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 26 - Jimmy Spencer
  9. 99 - Jeff Burton
  10. 10 - Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: Andy Houston (No. 96), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Hut Stricklin (No. 90), Carl Long (No. 85)

  • This race is remembered for Kevin Harvick almost spinning Ricky Rudd off turn 2 and Rudd saving his car from wrecking and coming back to win after bumping Harvick.
  • 2001 marked the final time in his career that Ricky Rudd won multiple races in a season.

MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400

The MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 was held September 23 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. This was the first race to be held after the September 11th attacks. Most cars sported patriotic decals and tributes.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  7. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  8. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  9. 19 - Casey Atwood
  10. 55 - Bobby Hamilton

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 27), Jason Leffler (No. 01), Lance Hooper (No. 47), Dave Marcis (No. 71)

Protection One 400

The inaugural Protection One 400 was held September 30 at Kansas Speedway. Jason Leffler won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  2. 02 - Ryan Newman
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 6 - Mark Martin
  7. 77 - Robert Pressley
  8. 20 - Tony Stewart
  9. 97 - Kurt Busch
  10. 93 - Dave Blaney

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 27), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Ron Hornaday (No. 14)

  • In 6 of the last 7 years including 2001 (1995-1999, 2001), Jeff Gordon won the most races in a season. 2001 was also the final season in his career that he won the most races in a season.
  • This was Jeff Gordon's third win at an inaugural event. He won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994, and the inaugural race at Auto Club Speedway of California in 1997.
  • This was the last race for Jeremy Mayfield in the 12 car for Roger Penske. Rusty Wallace's younger brother Mike Wallace would be Rusty's new teammate as he replaced Mayfield for the rest of the season.

UAW-GM Quality 500

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held October 7 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Jimmy Spencer won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 22 - Ward Burton
  4. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace
  8. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 18 - Bobby Labonte

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (No. 45), Derrike Cope (No. 57), Jeff Green (No. 30), Robby Gordon (No. 31), Buckshot Jones (No. 44), Frank Kimmel (No. 46)

  • This was Jimmie Johnson's first career Cup Series start. Johnson started an excellent 15th position, but was finished only 39th due to an accident.
  • This race was to have been shown on NBC, but President George W. Bush was announcing the War on Terror and NBC News had to cover it, so TNT broadcast the entire race.
  • 4 of the 6 drivers that failed to qualify were each from 2 major teams. 2 of the 6 drivers were from Richard Childress Racing (Jeff Green (30) and Robby Gordon (31)), and the other 2 of the 6 drivers were from Petty Enterprises (Kyle Petty (45) and Buckshot Jones (44)).

Old Dominion 500

The Old Dominion 500 was scheduled for October 14 at Martinsville Speedway, but was held October 15 due to rain. Todd Bodine won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 32 - Ricky Craven
  2. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  3. 22 - Ward Burton
  4. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  5. 99 - Jeff Burton
  6. 10 - Johnny Benson
  7. 6 - Mark Martin
  8. 12 - Mike Wallace
  9. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  10. 40 - Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (No. 85), Kyle Petty (No. 45), Frank Kimmel (No. 46)

EA Sports 500

The EA Sports 500 was held on October 21 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stacy Compton won the pole. This race would be remembered for the last lap. After Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Bobby Labonte for the lead, Labonte tried to block Bobby Hamilton, going up high in turn 2. Labonte got loose, making contact with Johnny Benson, causing Labonte to flip over and slide down the back straightaway on his roof, with an additional 14 cars being collected in the wreck. While that happened, Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton raced back to the start/finish line. Entering the tri-oval, Earnhardt Jr. sailed away by three car lengths to take his third win of the season while Stewart and Burton battled for the runner-up spot.

Although he kept the win, Earnhardt Jr. was docked 25 points after his car failed post race inspection, due to a shortened rear spoiler.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart
  3. 99 - Jeff Burton
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 55 - Bobby Hamilton
  6. 1 - Kenny Wallace
  7. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  8. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 7 - Kevin Lepage

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 91), Dave Marcis (No. 71)

  • Earnhardt Jr. had also won the No Bull 5 Million Dollar Bonus for the first time, one year after his father did it in the same race.
  • 2001 marked the first time in seven years that Jeff Gordon did not win a restrictor plate race.

Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil

The Checker Auto Parts 500 Presented by Pennzoil was held October 28 at Phoenix International Raceway. Casey Atwood won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99 - Jeff Burton
  2. 12 - Mike Wallace
  3. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 31 - Robby Gordon
  8. 32 - Ricky Craven
  9. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  10. 10 - Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: Rick Bogart (No. 70)

  • Jeff Burton became only the second repeat winner at Phoenix, and also the second driver to win back-to-back Phoenix races, joining Davey Allison, who accomplished the feat in 1991 and 1992.

Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400

The Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 was held November 4 at North Carolina Speedway. Kenny Wallace won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 33 - Joe Nemechek
  2. 1 - Kenny Wallace
  3. 10 - Johnny Benson
  4. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  5. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  6. 22 - Ward Burton
  7. 20 - Tony Stewart
  8. 28 - Ricky Rudd
  9. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  10. 17 - Matt Kenseth

Failed to qualify: Rick Mast (No. 90)

  • The race marked Andy Petree's second and final career win as a car owner.
  • This was the 2nd consecutive 2nd-place finish for 2 Wallace brothers (who are related to Rusty, the dominant brother of the 3) that have never won a Winston Cup points race (Mike finished 2nd a week prior at Phoenix, and Kenny finishes 2nd in this race).

Pennzoil Freedom 400

The Pennzoil Freedom 400 was held November 11 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bill Elliott won the pole. Casey Atwood nearly won the race, until a late race pass by Bill Elliott.

Top Ten Results

  1. 9 - Bill Elliott
  2. 15 - Michael Waltrip
  3. 19 - Casey Atwood
  4. 99 - Jeff Burton
  5. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  6. 93 - Dave Blaney
  7. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  8. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  9. 30 - Jeff Green
  10. 01 - Jason Leffler

Failed to qualify: Rich Bickle (No. 49), Derrike Cope (No. 57), Ron Hornaday (No. 14), Hermie Sadler (No. 13), Carl Long (No. 85)

  • It was the 41st career Winston Cup Series win for Bill Elliott. This was Elliott's first win in 226 races, dating back to his last win in the Southern 500 at Darlington in 1994. As of 2018, the 226 race winless streak is the longest drought in NASCAR history.
  • This was the first race since Richmond back in March 1992 that Bill Elliott won from the pole.
  • The race marked the only top-five finish of Casey Atwood's career.
  • A pit road incident occurred on lap 112 when Ward Burton and Casey Atwood made contact, causing Ward to go into Ricky Rudd's pit stall, Seriously injuring 2 Crew Members.

NAPA 500

The NAPA 500 was held November 18 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was scheduled to be the finale to the 2001 season, but as the fall race in New Hampshire had been postponed due to the attacks of September 11, it became the penultimate race instead. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole. Jeff Gordon clinched the 2001 Winston Cup championship with his 6th-place finish. Jerry Nadeau nearly won this race, but ran out of gas with half a lap to go, giving way to Bobby Labonte.

Top Ten Results

  1. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 29 - Kevin Harvick
  4. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  5. 22 - Ward Burton
  6. 24 - Jeff Gordon
  7. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  8. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  9. 20 - Tony Stewart
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton

Failed to qualify: Mark Green (No. 41), Robby Gordon (No. 31), Jason Leffler (No. 01), Kurt Busch (No. 97), Rick Mast (No. 90), Ron Hornaday (No. 14), Dave Marcis (No. 71), Frank Kimmel (No. 46)

  • Jeff Gordon clinches the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship, joining Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt to win 4 or more championships. He won the title with having 6 wins, 18 top 5s, and 24 top 10s. His 6 wins is the least amount of victories in any of his 4 championship winning seasons.
  • This was the fourth straight season that a driver clinched the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship with one race to go. Jeff Gordon accomplished the feat twice in those four seasons, the first year in 1998, and the fourth year in 2001. Dale Jarrett did it in 1999, and Bobby Labonte did it in 2000.

New Hampshire 300

The New Hampshire 300 was scheduled for September 16 but was moved to November 23 (the Friday after Thanksgiving) due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The starting order was set according to owner's points as of September 10.

The win was Robby Gordon's first career victory in the Cup Series and one of only 17 times he raced in 2001 due to having been unexpectedly fired from the Morgan-McClure team after just 5 races. This race was also notable for the battle between Robby and Jeff Gordon (no relation) that led to much bumping between the two and resulting in Jeff Gordon spinning out of the lead, causing the final caution. Jeff was black-flagged for retaliating and after being held a lap by officials, he ended up in 15th place. Robby Gordon held off Sterling Marlin for the win. It would be the No. 31 team's very first win in NASCAR and his second oval win in his motorsports career (his first coming in an Indy Car race at Phoenix in 1995).

In victory lane Robby, when asked about the incident with Jeff, said that it was an accident and that he was not embarrassed about his win since he saw Jeff Gordon do something similar to win at a previous race. Robby also donated all his prize money to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Top Ten Results

  1. 31 - Robby Gordon
  2. 40 - Sterling Marlin
  3. 18 - Bobby Labonte
  4. 17 - Matt Kenseth
  5. 20 - Tony Stewart
  6. 25 - Jerry Nadeau
  7. 77 - Robert Pressley
  8. 11 - Brett Bodine
  9. 6 - Mark Martin
  10. 88 - Dale Jarrett
  • 42 cars were entered for this race instead of the traditional 43, as the Eel River Racing Team had folded. This was the last race to feature less than 43 cars until the 2014 Kentucky race. Beginning with the 2016 Sprint Cup season, fields are now a max of 40 cars.
  • Robby Gordon became the 5th driver in 2001 to win his 1st ever Winston Cup race, a modern era record (this record would later be matched in 2011).[6] He also became the 19th different driver to win a race in 2001, another modern era record.
  • As of 2018, Robby Gordon would become the 1st, and so far the only driver in NASCAR history to win a race after failing to qualify the previous week.

Final points standings

  1. 24 - Jeff Gordon – 5112
  2. 20 - Tony Stewart – 4763
  3. 40 - Sterling Marlin – 4741
  4. 28 - Ricky Rudd – 4706
  5. 88 - Dale Jarrett – 4612
  6. 18 - Bobby Labonte – 4561
  7. 2 - Rusty Wallace – 4481
  8. 8 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 4460
  9. 29 - Kevin Harvick (R)  – 4406
  10. 99 - Jeff Burton – 4394
  11. 10 - Johnny Benson Jr. – 4152
  12. 6 - Mark Martin – 4095
  13. 17 - Matt Kenseth – 3982
  14. 22 - Ward Burton – 3846
  15. 9 - Bill Elliott – 3824
  16. 26 - Jimmy Spencer – 3782
  17. 25 - Jerry Nadeau – 3675
  18. 55 - Bobby Hamilton – 3575
  19. 36 - Ken Schrader – 3480
  20. 21 - Elliott Sadler – 3471
  21. 32 - Ricky Craven – 3379
  22. 93 - Dave Blaney – 3303
  23. 5 - Terry Labonte – 3280
  24. 15 - Michael Waltrip −3159
  25. 77 - Robert Pressley – 3156
  26. 19 - Casey Atwood (R)  – 3132
  27. 97 - Kurt Busch (R)  – 3081
  28. 33 - Joe Nemechek – 2994
  29. 66 - Todd Bodine – 2960
  30. 11 - Brett Bodine – 2948
  31. 43 - John Andretti – 2943
  32. 1 - Steve Park – 2854
  33. 92 - Stacy Compton – 2752
  34. 7 - Mike Wallace – 2693
  35. 12 - Jeremy Mayfield – 2651
  36. 4 - Kevin Lepage – 2461
  37. 01 - Jason Leffler (R)  – 2413
  38. 14 - Ron Hornaday Jr. (R)  – 2305
  39. 1 - Kenny Wallace – 2054
  40. 31 - Mike Skinner – 2029
  41. 44 - Buckshot Jones – 1939
  42. 90 - Hut Stricklin – 1770
  43. 45 - Kyle Petty – 1673
  44. 31 - Robby Gordon – 1552
  45. 50 - Rick Mast – 1187
  46. 96 - Andy Houston (R)  – 1123
  47. 33 - Bobby Hamilton Jr. – 748
  48. 30 - Jeff Green – 539
  49. 02 - Ryan Newman – 497
  50. 77 - Boris Said  – 272

Rookie of the Year

Kevin Harvick emerged as the victor of the Rookie of the Year battle[7] despite not declaring for the award until the second race of the season, as he took over for Dale Earnhardt following his fatal crash. Harvick won 2 races and finished 9th in points. Kurt Busch finished 2nd, despite only having one year of experience in a major NASCAR series. 3rd-place finisher Casey Atwood was pre-season favorite, but was held back due to a rough start and only finished 26th in points. Jason Leffler had a sub-par season that cost him his job with Chip Ganassi Racing, and Ron Hornaday was a disappointment after years of success in the Busch and Truck series. The last-place driver was Andy Houston, another pre-season favorite who had a tough season, suffering from several DNQs and DNFs that resulted in his team closing after the Kansas race.[8]

Facts

  • There were 19 different race winners, a new record for the series.
  • There were six first-time pole sitters in the 2001 Cup season: Stacy Compton, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Jason Leffler, Casey Atwood and Jeff Green. Up until Atwood's lead lap finish at Phoenix, the best finish for a first-time pole sitter was Leffler, when he finished 32nd at Kansas. He was on the lead lap with nine to go there, only to wreck. Compton finished 43rd at Talladega, as did Newman at Charlotte. Busch came in 42nd after a crash at Darlington, and Green came in 39th after one in Bristol.
  • 2001 marked the 2nd full-time Cup season that Mark Martin failed to win a race. His first winless season was in 1996. Martin finished 12th in the standings, making this the first time since 1988 that Martin didn't finish in the top 10 in points, ending a streak of 12 consecutive seasons.
  • Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin, and Ricky Rudd each won a Winston Cup race for the first time since 1994, 1996, and 1998.
  • Jeff Gordon won his fourth Winston Cup Championship, a feat that only two other drivers – Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt – had accomplished at the time. Final championship for Jeff Gordon.
  • As the 2001 season came to an end, Jeff Gordon's winning average was 20 percent, winning 1 race in every 5 starts. After 2001, he recorded 58 victories in 293 races.
  • No rookies competed in all 36 races during this year; the closest were Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Casey Atwood with 35. Harvick did not compete in the Daytona 500, Atwood did not qualify for the spring Atlanta race, and Busch failed to qualify for the fall race in Atlanta.
  • This was supposed to be the last season finale to be held at Atlanta. However, due to the September 11 attacks, the fall New Hampshire race was postponed until the first available date, which came after the Atlanta event.
  • Dale Earnhardt was given credit for a 57th-place finish in the final points standings after losing his life on the last lap of the season-opening Daytona 500.
  • 2001 was the last full-time Winston Cup season for Ron Hornaday Jr.; Buckshot Jones, Andy Houston, and Jason Leffler. Hornaday Jr. went to the Grand National Series in 2002 then in the Trucks again in 2005. Jones was fired after a few races that same year due to poor finishes. Houston went back to the Trucks Series and currently serves as the spotter for Austin Dillon. Leffler attempted to have a full-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005 but was fired halfway into the season. He went back into Grand National from 2006 to 2011 then the Trucks for 2012. After being unemployed in 2013, he died in a sprint car racing accident.
  • 2001 was the last year for teams Eel River Racing and Melling Racing.
  • 2001 was the first year for teams Evernham Motorsports and BAM Racing.
  • Until the 2014 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, the 2001 New Hampshire 300 was the last race to have 42 starters.
  • Last career top 5 points finishes for Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett.
  • Last career top 10 points finish for Sterling Marlin.
  • First career top 10 points finish for Kevin Harvick.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Standings: 2001 Manufacturer Standings". NASCAR; Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Retrieved September 23, 2009. 
  2. ^ Dave Rodman, Turner Sports Interactive (February 21, 2001). "Earnhardt dies following Daytona 500 accident — February 21, 2001". NASCAR.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2001. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ "CNNSI.com - 2001 Daytona 500 - Chrysler's return conjures memories for veterans — Thursday February 15, 2001 12:42 am". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site — Wins by Car Numbers". Jayski.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ =http://www.jayski.com/teams/nastuff.htm
  6. ^ https://fantasyracingcheatsheet.com/nascar/races/schedule/2011
  7. ^ "Rookie of the Year (1958-2010)". Nascar.Com. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jayski's® NASCAR Silly Season Site - 2001 Rookie of the Year". Jayski.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 

External links

  • Winston Cup Standings and Statistics for 2001
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