How have other Sprint Cup champions fared in their final start?

By Dominic Aragon
November 21, 2016


Tony Stewart started 11th and finished 22nd, two laps down, in his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway, wrapping up an 18 year career in the series.


Below is a list of how other Sprint Cup champions have fared in their final start in the series.

The driver’s name is accompanied by the year they won a title in parenthesis.

Past champions who currently race full-time in the Sprint Cup Series are not included on the list.



Bobby Labonte (2000)

Final race: October 23, 2016
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Started: 38th
Finished: 31st
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running


Dale Jarrett (1999)

Final race: March , 2008
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Started: 37th
Finished: 37th, 10 laps down
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running


Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)

Final race: October 30, 2016
Track: Martinsville Speedway
Started: 10th
Finished: 6th
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running


Alan Kulwicki (1992)

Final race: March 28, 1993
Track: Darlington Raceway
Started: 14th
Finished: 6th, 1 lap down
Laps led: 2
Status: Running


Rusty Wallace (1989)

Final race: November 20, 2005
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Started: 37th
Finished: 13th
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Bill Elliott (1988)
Final race: July 7, 2012
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Started: 6th
Finished: 37th, 37 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Accident

Terry Labonte (1984, 1996)

Final race: October 19, 2014
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Started: 9th
Finished: 33rd, 1 lap down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running

Bobby Allison (1983)

Final race: June 19, 1988
Track: Pocono Raceway
Started: 28th
Finished: 39th, 200 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Accident (Career-ending wreck)


Darrell Waltrip (1981, 1982, 1985)

Final race: November 20, 2000
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Started: 43rd
Finished: 34th, 7 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running

Dale Earnhardt (1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994)

Final race: February 18, 2001
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Started: 7th
Finished: 12th, 1 lap down
Laps led: 17
Status: Accident (Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.)

Cale Yarborough (1976, 1977, 1978)

Final race: November 20, 1988
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Started: 26th
Finished: 10th, 1 lap down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running

Benny Parsons (1973)

Final race: November 20, 1988
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Started: 33rd
Finished: 34th, 194 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Accident

Bobby Isaac (1970)

Final race: May 30, 1976
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Started: 34th
Finished: 38th, 361 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Engine

David Pearson (1966, 1968, 1969)

Final race: August 17, 1986
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Started: 15th
Finished: 10th, 1 lap down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running

Richard Petty (1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1979)

Final race: November 15, 1992
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Started: 39th
Finished: 35th, 233 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Joe Weatherly (1962, 1963)

Final race: 1964
Track: Riverside International Raceway
Started: 16th
Finished: 29th
Laps led: 0
Status: Accident (Weatherly succumbed to injuries sustained in a wreck in this race.)


Ned Jarrett (1961, 1965)

Final race: October 30, 1966
Track: Rockingham Speedway
Started: 18th
Finished: 3rd, 4 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Rex White (1960)

Final race: June 7, 1964
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Started: 11th
Finished: 5th, 1 lap down
Laps led: 27
Status: Running


Buck Baker (1956, 1957)

Final race: October 10, 1976
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Started: 38th
Finished: 24th, 33 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Lee Petty (1954, 1958, 1959)

Final race: July 19, 1964
Track: Watkins Glen International
Started: 20th
Finished: 22nd, 57 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Handling


Tim Flock (1952, 1955)

Final race: May 28, 1961
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Started: 24th
Finished: 37th, 145 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Engine

Herb Thomas (1951, 1953)

Final race: April 15, 1962
Track: North Wilkesboro Speedway
Started: 23rd
Finished: 14th, 23 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Bill Rexford (1950)

Final race: July 3, 1953
Track: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Started: N/A
Finished: 5th
Laps led: 0
Status: Running


Robert Red Byron (1949)
Final Race: September 3, 1951
Track: Darlington Raceway
Started: 54th
Finished: 25th, 32 laps down
Laps led: 0
Status: Accident


Will Tony Stewart climb back behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car?
Yes
No
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