While the NASCAR All-Star Race hasn’t been around nearly as long as the NASCAR Cup Series has been a thing, it’s almost four decades old.
The first NASCAR Cup Series points title was awarded in 1949, while the first NASCAR All-Star Race, then simply called The Winston, took place in 1985. Darrell Waltrip took the checkered flag that day at Charlotte Motor Speedway, edging out Harry Gant in the 12-driver, 70-lap affair by .31 seconds.
As the All-Star Race is merely an exhibition, Waltrip, or any of the other 11 drivers that day, earned no points in the Cup Series standings. But Waltrip wouldn’t need any extra anyway, as he accumulated 4,292 of them in the No. 11 Chevy for Junior Johnson to win his third and final Cup Series points title.
While Waltrip was the first driver to win the NASCAR All-Star Race and a Cup Series points title in the same season, he certainly wasn’t the last.
Nearly a third of drivers to win the NASCAR All-Star Race also won the Cup Series title the same season
Of the 37 drivers to win the NASCAR All-Star Race, 12 of them have won the Cup Series title that same year. There have actually been 38 All-Star Race winners, but we don’t yet know where 2022 winner Ryan Blaney will finish this season. But he’s got to be feeling pretty good, with nearly one-third of All-Star winners taking the title at the end of the year, including the last two.
Here’s the complete list of drivers to win both in the same season.
- 1985: Darrell Waltrip
- 1987: Dale Earnhardt Sr.
- 1989: Rusty Wallace
- 1990: Dale Earnhardt Sr.
- 1993: Dale Earnhardt Sr.
- 1995: Jeff Gordon
- 1997: Jeff Gordon
- 2001: Jeff Gordon
- 2006: Jimmie Johnson
- 2013: Jimmie Johnson
- 2020: Chase Elliott
- 2021: Kyle Larson
All stats courtesy of Racing Reference.