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red byron chase elliott ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group via Getty Images ; Chris Graythen/Getty Images
ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group via Getty Images ; Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It’s every NASCAR driver’s dream to be at the top of the standings when the Cup Series season is over. After the final race of the regular season is completed, the points accrued over the past several months — from the Daytona 500 to the Coke Zero Sugar 400 — will determine who makes the playoff cut. From there, it’s surviving the the Rounds of 16, 12, and 8, until the Championship 4 race at Phoenix Race, where the driver with the highest place finish of those still in playoff contention is crowned the champ.

Only the most talented drivers will attain this achievement. That’s why we’re going to check out every single NASCAR Cup Series Championship winner from the beginning back in 1949 all the way to 2021. Below, you’ll find a list of 34 different Cup champs, along with their corresponding teams and car manufacturer.

Currently, NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, and future Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson, hold the record with seven championship titles. Johnson also holds the record for the most consecutive championships, with five between ’06 and ’10.

Check out the rest of the stock car racing drivers who made NASCAR history!

NASCAR Cup Series Champions (1949-2021)

1949: Red Byron — Raymond Parks — No. 22 Oldsmobile
1950: Bill Rexford — Julian Buesink — No. 66 Oldsmobile
1951: Herb Thomas — Herb Thomas — No. 92 Hudson
1952: Tim Flock — Ted Chester — No. 91 Hudson
1953: Herb Thomas — Herb Thomas — No. 92 Hudson
1954: Lee Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 42 Chrysler
1955: Tim Flock — Carl Kiekhaefer — No. 300 Chrysler
1956: Buck Baker — Carl Kiekhaefer — No. 300B Chrysler
1957: Buck Baker — Buck Baker — No. 87 Chevrolet
1958: Lee Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 42 Oldsmobile
1959: Lee Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 42 Plymouth
1960: Rex White — Rex White — No. 4 Chevrolet
1961: Ned Jarrett — Ned Jarrett — No. 11 Chevrolet
1962: Joe Weatherly — Bud Moore — No. 8 Pontiac
1963: Joe Weatherly — Bud Moore — No. 8 Pontiac
1964: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Plymouth
1965: Ned Jarrett — Bondy Long — No. 11 Ford

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1966: David Pearson — Cotton Owens — No. 6 Dodge
1967: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Plymouth
1968: David Pearson — Holman Moody — No. 17 Ford
1969: David Pearson — Holman Moody — No. 17 Ford
1970: Bobby Isaac — Nord Krauskopf — No. 71 Dodge
1971: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Plymouth
1972: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Plymouth
1973: Benny Parsons — L. G. DeWitt — No. 72 Chevrolet
1974: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Dodge
1975: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Dodge
1976: Cale Yarborough — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Chevrolet
1977: Cale Yarborough — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Chevrolet
1978: Cale Yarborough — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Oldsmobile
1979: Richard Petty — Petty Enterprises — No. 43 Chevrolet

1980: Dale Earnhardt — Osterlund Racing — No. 2 Chevrolet
1981: Darrell Waltrip — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Buick
1982: Darrell Waltrip — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Buick
1983: Bobby Allison — DiGard Motorsports — No. 22 Buick
1984: Terry Labonte — Hagan Racing — No. 44 Chevrolet
1985: Darrell Waltrip — Junior Johnson & Associates — No. 11 Chevrolet
1986: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
1987: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
1988: Bill Elliott — Melling Racing — No. 9 Ford
1989: Rusty Wallace — Blue Max Racing — No. 27 Pontiac
1990: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
1991: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
1992: Alan Kulwicki — AK Racing — No. 7 Ford
1993: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet
1994: Dale Earnhardt — Richard Childress Racing — No. 3 Chevrolet

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1995: Jeff Gordon — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 24 Chevrolet
1996: Terry Labonte –Hendrick Motorsports — No. 5 Chevrolet
1997: Jeff Gordon — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 24 Chevrolet
1998: Jeff Gordon — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 24 Chevrolet
1999: Dale Jarrett — Robert Yates Racing — No. 88 Ford
2000: Bobby Labonte — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 18 Pontiac
2001: Jeff Gordon — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 24 Chevrolet
2002: Tony Stewart — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 20 Pontiac
2003: Matt Kenseth — Roush Racing — No. 17 Ford
2004: Kurt Busch — Roush Racing — No. 97 Ford
2005: Tony Stewart — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 20 Chevrolet
2006: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2007: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2008: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2009: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2010: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2011: Tony Stewart — Stewart-Haas Racing — No. 14 Chevrolet
2012: Brad Keselowski — Team Penske — No. 2 Dodge
2013: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet
2014: Kevin Harvick — Stewart-Haas Racing — No. 4 Chevrolet
2015: Kyle Busch — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 18 Toyota
2016: Jimmie Johnson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 48 Chevrolet

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2017: Martin Truex Jr. — Furniture Row Racing — No. 78 Toyota
2018: Joey Logano — Team Penske — No. 22 Ford
2019: Kyle Busch — Joe Gibbs Racing — No. 18 Toyota
2020: Chase Elliott — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 9 Chevrolet
2021: Kyle Larson — Hendrick Motorsports — No. 5 Chevrolet

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This post was originally published on March 16, 2021.

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