Skip to content

How other Cup Series champs have fared in their final start

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE

AVONDALE, Ariz. — NASCAR Cup Series past champions Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth competed in their final confirmed premier series races with the conclusion of the Season Finale 500 Sunday (Nov. 8th) at Phoenix Raceway.

Johnson and Kenseth finished fifth and 25th respectively.

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.

Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images


Tony Stewart (2002, 2005, 2011)
Final race: November 20, 2016
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Started: 11th
Finished: 22nd
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running


Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)
Final race:
October 30, 2016
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Started: 10th
Finished: 6th
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running

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

Dominic Aragon View All

I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: