Past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions To Be Honored

Legends throughout NASCAR’s 60-year history will help crown the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

A group of past champions will be guests of honor during the Championship Contenders’ Press Conference at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables on Nov. 13. They will be introduced during the luncheon and be available for media interviews and photos following the formal part of the program.  On Nov. 16, the past champions will also be honored at Homestead-Miami Speedway as part of Ford Championship Weekend pre-race ceremonies prior to the season-finale Ford 400.

Below is a list of the past champions scheduled to appear at the Nov. 13 Contenders’ Press Conference. Other past champions, including those competing in the Ford 400, will also be honored during the pre-race ceremony.

Bobby Allison – A hometown hero returns to Miami. Though part of the famous Alabama Gang, Allison grew up in nearby Hialeah, Fla. His NASCAR career was one of the most prolific in history, winning 84 races and a NASCAR Sprint Cup title in 1983.

Kurt Busch – In 2004, Busch became the first driver to win the championship under the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format. His title was the closest in NASCAR Sprint Cup history – only eight points separated Busch and runner-up Jimmie Johnson. Busch has won 18 races in his nine-year career, which is ninth among active drivers.

Ned Jarrett – A two-time champion, Jarrett is one of 15 drivers to win multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup titles. Jarrett’s came in 1961 and 1965. In 1965, he won 13 races and had 45 top-10 finishes in 54 events. That year, he set a record in dominance – and one that will likely never be broken. At the Southern 500 at Darlington, he won by 14 laps (17.5 miles), the widest margin of victory in NASCAR history.

Bobby Labonte – Labonte won the 2000 championship, notching four wins, 19 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes in the 34-race season. His 21 career wins ranks sixth among active drivers.

Richard Petty – Known forever as “The King,” Petty re-wrote the NASCAR record book during his 35-year career. He holds the NASCAR record for wins (200), poles (123) and starts (1,185). Petty’s seven NASCAR Sprint Cup championships is tied with Dale Earnhardt for most ever. Petty won his championships in 1964, ’67,’71, ’72, ’74, ’75 and ’79.

Rusty Wallace – Now an analyst for ESPN and a NASCAR Nationwide Series owner, Wallace was known as one of the most colorful members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage during his 25-year career. Wallace won 55 races (eighth all-time) and the championship in 1989.

Darrell Waltrip – A NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion in 1981, ’82 and ’85, Waltrip is one of seven drivers to win three or more titles. Waltrip, now an analyst on Fox’s NASCAR broadcasts, won 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, which is tied for third-most all-time.

Rex White – The 1960 champion, White won six races and had an amazing 35 top-10 finishes in the 40 races he ran. A rarity, White is one of only six driver/owners to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.