The first time it happened, in 1974, it was an even split between series champion Richard Petty and second-place man Cale Yarborough, who won 10 times apiece.
The next-closest mark of 19 wins was set two years later in 1976 by Yarborough (nine), the champion, and David Pearson, who put up an incredible 10 wins in a 22-race part-time season.
More impressively, those three seasons were 30-race schedules while 1998 was a 33-race slate.
Since the schedule expanded to 36 races in 2001, the closest any two drivers have come to the 20-win mark came more than a decade ago in 2008 when season runner-up Carl Edwards won nine times and Kyle Busch won eight times before stumbling to a 10th-place points finish. Their total of 17 wins wasn’t enough to unseat champion Jimmie Johnson, who added seven of his own, leaving a total of 68 other Cup drivers who ran that season to fight for the other 12 wins.
The other highest marks came in at 18 in 1972 (Allison 10 and Petty eight in a 31-race season); and 17 in 1997 (Gordon 10 and Dale Jarrett seven in 32 races), 1987 (Dale Earnhardt 11 and Bill Elliott six in 29), 1981 (Waltrip 12 and Allison five in 31), and 1975 (Petty 13 and Buddy Baker four in 30).
Compare that to the last year of the “old” era in 1971 when Petty (21) and Allison (11) combined to win 32 races in a 46-event calendar.