NASCAR In 2011 — The 75 Years Edition

Stewart earned the championship based on his five victories compared to one for Edwards. Barely sneaking into the playoffs by finishing 10th in the standings with no victories through the first 26 events, Stewart won the first two races during the playoffs and then claimed three of the final four to become the first driver-owner to win the title since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. It was also the first series championship for Stewart’s co-owner Gene Haas. It was also the first series title for crew chief Darian Grubb. Stewart became the only driver to win a Cup championship under the pre-Chase format (2002) and the Chase format (2005, 2011). Stewart became the ninth driver to win three or more championships in the 63 Cup seasons. There were 18 different race winners in 36 races, the most since 2002. There were also five first-time Cup Series winners, most notably Trevor Bayne, who won the Daytona 500. For the first time since 2001, a new track was added to the Cup Series schedule at Kentucky Speedway. For the first time since 1975, major changes were made in how points were awarded in a race. Bonus points included three for the race winner, one for leading the final lap, and one for leading the most laps.

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