Atlanta 500

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Atlanta 500
Venue Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sponsor The Coca-Cola Company (1981–1985)
Motorcraft (1986-1993)
Purolator Courier (1994–1996)
PrimeStar (1997–1998)
Cracker Barrel (1999-2001)
MBNA (2002)
Bass Pro Shops/MBNA (2003)
Golden Corral (2004–2006)
Kobalt (2007-2010)
First race 1960
Last race 2010
Distance 500.5 miles (805.476 km)
Laps 325
Previous names Atlanta 500 (1960–1980)
Coca-Cola 500 (1981–1985)
Motorcraft 500 (1986)
Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 (1987–1993)
Purolator 500 (1994–1996)
Primestar 500 (1997–1998)
Cracker Barrel 500 (1999)
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 (2000–2001)
MBNA America 500 (2002)
Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (2003)
Golden Corral 500 (2004–2006)
Kobalt Tools 500 (2007-2010)

The Atlanta 500 was a NASCAR Sprint Cup stock car race that was run each March at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia from 1960 to 2010. The race was the first of two races held at the Atlanta track every season, with the AdvoCare 500, originally the Dixie 500, being the second and run at various times (originally November, later October and currently Labor Day Weekend).

The race was 500.5 miles (805.5 km) in length. In August 2010, Atlanta Motor Speedway announced that they would no longer run the spring race, instead choosing to focus on the Labor Day weekend race at the track beginning in 2011.[1] The end of the Atlanta 500 permitted the addition of a race at Kentucky Speedway starting in 2011.

Notable races[edit]

  • 1960: The first race at Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) was won by Bobby Johns in a 1960 Pontiac.
  • 1961: Bob Burdick led 44 laps to his only career Grand National win. Pole-sitter Marvin Panch led 127 laps but faded to sixth, while Fred Lorenzen led 87 laps but fell out with engine failure. Finishing 37th was rookie Bobby Allison.
  • 1964: Lorenzen led the last 168 laps and 206 in all to a two-lap win amid an epidemic of tire failures and resultant crashes; Paul Goldsmith led the first 54 laps but blew a tire, smashed the guardrail, and flipped over.
  • 1966: Jim Hurtubise led the final 58 laps to his only Grand National win.
  • 1971: A.J. Foyt outdueled Richard Petty for his fifth career NASCAR win.
  • 1972: Bobby Allison posted the first win for Chevrolet on a superspeedway since the 1960s as he held off a strong challenge from Foyt and Bobby Isaac.
  • 1974: Cale Yarborough grabbed the lead when David Pearson pitted under green and was trapped by an ill-timed yellow; the race was shortened to 450 miles (720 km) due to the energy crisis.
  • 1975: After winning the Dixie 500 four times Richard Petty edged Buddy Baker for his first Atlanta 500 win.
  • 1976: Pearson lost a lap early and spent 225 laps getting it back before winning. Yarborough lost four laps on a green-flag stop and got three of them back to finish third.
  • 1977: Richard Petty, David Pearson, and Cale Yarborough finished 1-2-3 as they combined to lead all 328 laps. Cale finished third after his brakes wore out and at times he had to be stopped by Richard Childress' car on pit road. Only two yellows flew.
  • 1979: Buddy Baker caught a late yellow, got four tires, and won in a late sprint, his first win since 1976.
  • 1980: Sophomore Dale Earnhardt took the lead with 30 to go after Cale Yarborough broke while chasing down Bobby Allison. USAC stock car racer Rusty Wallace finished a strong second. Donnie Allison crashed out of the lead with sophomore Terry Labonte in what became his final race for car owner Hoss Ellington.
  • 1981: Yarborough posted his first win for car owner M.C. Anderson, but the story of the race was a loud protest by Bobby Allison over NASCAR-mandated reduction of the spoiler of his 1981 Pontiac Lemans to reduce the car's aerodynamic efficiency. Car owner Harry Ranier threatened to boycott the race but got no support in the garage area and relented to the rule change.
  • 1982: After Dale Earnhardt fell out rain hit the race and Darrell Waltrip edged Richard Petty to the race-ending yellow.
  • 1983: Cale Yarborough drove a backup car to victory for the second time in 1983. He'd wrecked his primary Ranier Chevy a week earlier in Rockingham and used a car that had been a show car.
  • 1984: Benny Parsons posted his final win.
  • 1986: Morgan Shepherd outran Dale Earnhardt for his first win in five years and the first of three wins at Atlanta.
  • 1987: Dale Earnhardt fell out late and Ricky Rudd edged Parsons and Rusty Wallace for his first win on an oval bigger than one mile (1.6 km).
  • 1989: Darrell Waltrip came back from nearly a lap down to win; on a mid-race yellow Waltrip was slowed by the pace car picking up the wrong leader during pitstops and was trapped barely on the lead lap. The mishap led to the implementation of a rule closing pit road when the yellow comes out; the rule was designed to stop cars from pitting before taking the yellow, which was blamed for scoring mistakes in the days of manual lap scoring.
  • 1992: Bill Elliott won in unlikely fashion as a yellow trapped the entire field behind him a lap down during green flag stops in the final 30 laps.
  • 1995: Jeff Gordon posted his second win of 1995 on his way to his first title.
  • 1997: Dale Jarrett dominated in a race where Steve Grissom tore open a concrete wall, flipped over, and his fuel cell hit the outside wall and erupted in flame.
  • 1998: Bobby Labonte took the win in a race delayed to Monday by rain and in a weekend that saw numerous driver injuries, notably Mike Skinner and Derrike Cope.
  • 2000: Dale Earnhardt edged Labonte by inches after Skinner dominated the race but blew up.
  • 2001: Kevin Harvick edged Gordon by inches in his first win for RCR after Dale Earnhardt's death. Although he was assigned a different number, Harvick used the same car and team Earnhardt won with the previous year.
  • 2002: Tony Stewart posted his first 500-mile (800 km) win.
  • 2005: Carl Edwards slithered past Jimmie Johnson on the final lap.
  • 2006: Bill Lester becomes the first African-American driver to race in a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event since Willy T. Ribbs in 1986. Kasey Kahne would later on win this race and becomes the first of many wins for Kasey Kahne in 2006.
  • 2007: It was the last race that the "old" racecar was run consecutively. The Car of Tomorrow would debut next week at Bristol. Also it was Mark Martin's last consecutive race that he had participated in since 1991.
  • 2008: Kyle Busch won, giving Toyota their first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It was the first time a foreign auto maker won since Jaguar in 1954. It was also Kyle's first win under the Joe Gibbs Racing banner.
  • 2009: Kurt Busch dominated the race after a pit crew mistake by one of Marcos Ambrose's crewman trapped most of the cars that could challenge him a lap down.
  • 2010: A scary flight by Brad Keselowski was a top story; Keselowski was spun out by the lapped car of Carl Edwards and nearly struck the fencing past the start-finish line in the final laps. This was also the last spring race at Atlanta.

Past winners[edit]

Year Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
1960 October 30 Bobby Johns Cotton Owens Pontiac 334 501 (806.281) 4:36:44 108.408 Report
1961 March 26 Bob Burdick Roy Burdick Pontiac 334 501 (806.281) 4:02:05 124.172 Report
1962 June 10 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 219* 328.5 (528.669) 3:13:16 101.983 Report
1963 March 17 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 334 501 (806.281) 3:50:12 130.582 Report
1964 April 5 Fred Lorenzen Holman-Moody Ford 334 501 (806.281) 3:46:05 134.137 Report
1965 April 11 Marvin Panch Wood Brothers Racing Ford 334 501 (806.281) 3:52:17 129.41 Report
1966 March 27 Jim Hurtubise Norm Nelson Plymouth 334 501 (806.281) 3:49:02 131.247 Report
1967 April 2 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Ford 334 501 (806.281) 3:49:03 131.238 Report
1968 March 31 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 334 501 (806.281) 3:59:24 125.564 Report
1969 March 30 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 334 501 (806.281) 3:46:10 132.191 Report
1970 March 29 Bobby Allison Mario Rossi Dodge 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:34:38 139.554 Report
1971 April 4 A.J. Foyt Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:42:16 131.375 Report
1972 March 26 Bobby Allison Richard Howard Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:53:37 128.214 Report
1973 April 1 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:34:52 139.351 Report
1974 March 24 Cale Yarborough Richard Howard Chevrolet 296* 450.512 (725.028) 3:01:26 136.91 Report
1975 March 23 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:44:06 133.496 Report
1976 March 21 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:52:16 128.904 Report
1977 March 20 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:27:51 144.093 Report
1978 March 19 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:30:10 142.52 Report
1979 March 18 Buddy Baker Ranier-Lundy Oldsmobile 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:41:47 135.136 Report
1980 March 16 Dale Earnhardt Rod Osterlund Racing Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:42:32 134.808 Report
1981 March 15 Cale Yarborough M.C. Anderson Racing Buick 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:44:10 133.619 Report
1982 March 21 Darrell Waltrip Junior Johnson & Associates Buick 287* 436.82 (702.993) 3:29:58 124.824 Report
1983 March 27 Cale Yarborough Ranier-Lundy Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 4:01:27 124.055 Report
1984 March 18 Benny Parsons Johnny Hayes Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:26:39 144.945 Report
1985 March 17 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:33:32 140.273 Report
1986 March 16 Morgan Shepherd Race Hill Farm Team Buick 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:46:41 132.126 Report
1987 March 15 Ricky Rudd Bud Moore Engineering Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:44:02 133.689 Report
1988 March 20 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:37:42 137.588 Report
1989 March 19 Darrell Waltrip Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:34:26 139.684 Report
1990 March 18 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:10:58 156.849 Report
1991 March 17/18* Ken Schrader Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:33:14 140.47 Report
1992 March 15 Bill Elliott Junior Johnson & Associates Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:22:44 147.746 Report
1993 March 20* Morgan Shepherd Wood Brothers Racing Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:17:26 150.442 Report
1994 March 13 Ernie Irvan Robert Yates Racing Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:24:58 146.136 Report
1995 March 12 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:19:32 150.115 Report
1996 March 10 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:05:42 161.298 Report
1997* March 9 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford 328 499.216 (803.41) 3:45:40 132.731 Report
1998 March 9* Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:35:16 139.501 Report
1999 March 14 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:29:35 143.284 Report
2000 March 12 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:47:55 131.759 Report
2001 March 11 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:29:36 143.273 Report
2002 March 10 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:22:18 148.443 Report
2003 March 9 Bobby Labonte Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:25:37 146.048 Report
2004 March 14 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:09:15 158.679 Report
2005 March 20 Carl Edwards Roush Racing Ford 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:29:18 143.478 Report
2006 March 20* Kasey Kahne Evernham Motorsports Dodge 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:28:24 144.098 Report
2007 March 18 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:16:23 152.915 Report
2008 March 9 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 325 500.5 (805.476) 3:33:01 140.975 Report
2009 March 8 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 330* 508.2 (817.868) 3:59:01 127.573 Report
2010 March 7 Kurt Busch Penske Racing Dodge 341* 525.14 (845.13) 3:59:59 131.294 Report
  • 1962 & 1982: Race shortened due to rain.
  • 1974: Race shortened due to energy crisis.
  • 1991: Race started on Sunday but was finished on Monday due to rain.
  • 1993: Race postponed one week due to snow from Blizzard of '93.
  • 1997: Last race on an old layout.
  • 1998 & 2006: Race postponed from Sunday to Monday due to rain.
  • 2009 & 2010: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish. 2010 race took 2 attempts.

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

# Wins Driver Years Won
6 Cale Yarborough 1967, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1981, 1983
5 Dale Earnhardt 1980, 1988, 1990, 1996, 2000
3 Fred Lorenzen 1962, 1963, 1964
Bobby Allison 1970, 1972, 1978
2 David Pearson 1973, 1976
Richard Petty 1975, 1977
Darrell Waltrip 1982, 1989
Bill Elliott 1985, 1992
Morgan Shepherd 1986, 1993
Jeff Gordon 1995, 1999
Bobby Labonte 1998, 2003
Kurt Busch 2009, 2010

Multiple winners (manufacturers)[edit]

# Wins Manufacturer Years Won
17 Chevrolet 1972, 1974, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007
13 Ford 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1978, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2005
6 Dodge 1970, 1975, 1977, 2006, 2009, 2010
5 Mercury 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976
4 Pontiac 1960, 1961, 1998, 2002
3 Buick 1981, 1982, 1986

Television broadcasters[edit]

Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s)
2010 Fox Mike Joy Darrell Waltrip
Larry McReynolds
2009
2008
2007
2006 Fox
FX*
2005 Fox
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000 ABC Bob Jenkins Benny Parsons
Ray Evernham
1999 Benny Parsons
1998 ESPN
ABC
Benny Parsons(ESPN/ABC)
Ned Jarrett(ESPN)
1997 ABC Benny Parsons
1996
1995
1994
1993 TNN Mike Joy Buddy Baker
Neil Bonnett
1992 ABC Paul Page Benny Parsons
Bobby Unser
1991
1990
1989
1988 Keith Jackson Jerry Punch
1987 Jim Lampley Sam Posey
1986
1985 Keith Jackson
1984
1983 Jackie Stewart
1982
1981 Chris Economaki
1980 Al Michaels Jackie Stewart
1979 Chris Economaki
1978 Jackie Stewart
1977 Keith Jackson Chris Economaki
1976
1975 Jackie Stewart
1973 Chris Economaki
1972
1971 Bill Flemming
1969
1964 CBS

Notes[edit]

  • 2006* - Race rained out, so it moved to FX (as well as some Fox affiliates) for Monday.
  • The 1991 race was rained out after 51 laps on Sunday, ran the next day, but ABC decided not to televise the remainder of the race. No other network bothered to show the remainder of the race, leaving the race untelevised. To date it is the last untelevised Cup race.
  • ABC was originally scheduled to televise the 1993 race on March 14, but the Storm of the Century had it postponed a week. ABC bailed out, so a frozen TNN crew stepped in to show the race, in trade they gave up the Busch Series race they were going to show on that weekend to ESPN.
  • The 1998 race was initially going to be broadcast on ABC before being postponed from March 8. Also Ned Jarrett stepped in to call the race with Bob Jenkins and Benny Parsons on Monday after the race had been postponed from Sunday.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Schedule For 2011 NASCAR Season". www.atlantamotorspeedway.com. Archived from the original on 7 August 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010.