Chevy wins 2001 Manufacturers' Championship ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2001) - Chevrolet clinched its 26th all-time manufacturers' championship Sunday as Monte Carlo driver Joe Nemechek extended Chevy's lead to an insurmountable 22-point cushion...
Chevy wins 2001 Manufacturers' Championship
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2001) - Chevrolet clinched its 26th all-time manufacturers' championship Sunday as Monte Carlo driver Joe Nemechek extended Chevy's lead to an insurmountable 22-point cushion despite three races still remaining in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season.
Joe Nemechek's win of the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway captured the crown for Monte Carlo, which leads the series with 15 wins in 2001.
"Chevrolet and Monte Carlo are very proud to have won another manufacturers' title in NASCAR," said Kurt Ritter, general manager of Chevrolet. "Chevy embodies the championship formula of dependability and high quality in making great cars and trucks. Supported by a great group of owners and drivers, Chevrolet is appreciative of the terrific fan base and the competitive environment that NASCAR facilitates."
Seven different Team Monte Carlo drivers from four different teams have contributed so far toward the success of Chevrolet this year. All seven drivers earned at least one victory in their contributing point total, serving as a testament to the collective talents within Team Monte Carlo and to consistency of a dominating racecar.
Through Rockingham, Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) has led the Monte Carlo charge as the top Chevy performer 16 times with six victories and has contributed 102 of Chevy's 229 points.
"Nothing is sweeter than having a good year and helping to wrap-up the Manufacturers' Championship for Chevrolet," said Gordon. "There is no manufacturer other than Chevrolet that I want to be associated with in Winston Cup racing. They've got the best product out there. It makes me proud to be behind the wheel of a Monte Carlo and it makes me even more proud to be a part of a winning team."
There is, however, one driver who was expected to be a leader of the Team Monte Carlo charge whose name will not appear as an official points contributor to this championship.
"The racing world lost a hero and a friend this year in Dale Earnhardt, and for awhile it was hard to imagine racing without Dale," said Herb Fishel, executive director of GM Racing. "Dale's influence and his absence have been felt up and down the garage and throughout NASCAR. I applaud all of Team Monte Carlo for their amazing ability to pull together to show the winning strength of spirit which has culminated in this championship and is, I'm sure, in many people's hearts dedicated to Dale."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., (DEI) and Kevin Harvick (RCR) have each earned points for Monte Carlo five times contributing 37 and 36 points respectively. Steve Park (DEI) has led the Monte Carlo charge three times for 21 points, Bobby Hamilton (APR) twice for 15 points; and Michael Waltrip (DEI) once with his Daytona 500 win good for nine points.
"If you walk into the public display area at Dale Earnhardt Inc, there is an entire trophy case of Manufacturers' Championship trophies from Chevrolet," said Earnhardt Jr. "I know how proud my dad was to be a Chevy man for many, many years, and I'm pleased that my Budweiser team and I had the chance this year to help them win another title. I'm planning to win a lot more of these with 'em in the future!"
With Nemechek's breakthrough win at Rockingham, Chevrolet boasts a modern era record of 381 NASCAR Winston Cup victories in 912 starts (.415 winning percentage) since 1972 when the circuit was cut to 31 races per season. Ford is a distant second with 242 wins in 912 starts (.266 winning percentage).
Chevrolet has won the Manufacturer's Championship 26 times: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, and 2001.