With Martin Truex Jr. taking the checkered flag last weekend, the 2021 season marks the 15th time in the NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era (1972-Present) that the season schedule has opened with five different winners (2021, 2017, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1998, 1993, 1991, 1986, 1984, 1979). This weekend, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Atlanta Motor Speedway will have the chance to produce the sixth different NASCAR Cup Series winner of the 2021 season making it the eighth different season to start the year with six different drivers in Victory Lane; joining 2014, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1991, 1986, 1984.
The Modern Era record of different winners to start a NASCAR Cup Series season is 10 set back in 2000. Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped the streak winning his second race of the 2000 season at Richmond (Race No. 11).
|2000||1||Dale Jarrett||Daytona||Sunday, February 20, 2000|
|2000||2||Bobby Labonte||Rockingham||Sunday, February 27, 2000|
|2000||3||Jeff Burton||Las Vegas||Sunday, March 5, 2000|
|2000||4||Dale Earnhardt||Atlanta||Sunday, March 12, 2000|
|2000||5||Ward Burton||Darlington||Sunday, March 19, 2000|
|2000||6||Rusty Wallace||Bristol||Sunday, March 26, 2000|
|2000||7||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Texas||Sunday, April 2, 2000|
|2000||8||Mark Martin||Martinsville||Sunday, April 9, 2000|
|2000||9||Jeff Gordon||Talladega||Sunday, April 16, 2000|
|2000||10||Jeremy Mayfield||Auto Club||Sunday, April 30, 2000|
In the Modern Era (1972-2021), the record for the most different NASCAR Cup Series winners in a single season in its entirety is 19 set back in 2001. The series has also seen a total of 18 different winners (second-most) in a single season twice – in 2002 and 2011. Last season the series produced 13 different winners.
There are five former NASCAR Cup Series Atlanta Motor Speedway winners entered this weekend looking for their first win of the 2021 season: Kevin Harvick (three wins), Kurt Busch (three), Brad Keselowski (two), Kyle Busch (two) and Denny Hamlin (one).