1988 Atlanta Journal 500

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1988 Atlanta Journal 500
Race details[1]
Race 29 of 29 in the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
Date November 20, 1988 (1988-November-20)
Official name Atlanta Journal 500
Location Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Course Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
Distance 328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Weather Mild with temperatures up to 75 °F (24 °C); wind speeds up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h)
Average speed 130.211 miles per hour (209.554 km/h)
Attendance 72,000[2]
Pole position
Driver Blue Max Racing
Most laps led
Driver Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing
Laps 166
Winner
No. 27 Rusty Wallace Blue Max Racing
Television in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Jenkins
Ned Jarrett
Gary Nelson

The 1988 Atlanta Journal 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 20, 1988, at the prestigious Atlanta International Raceway (located in the Atlanta suburb of Hampton, Georgia).

Background[edit]

Atlanta International Raceway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway) is one of ten current intermediate track to hold NASCAR races; the others are Charlotte Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Homestead Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway.[3] However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built.

The layout at Atlanta International Speedway at the time was a four-turn traditional oval track that is 1.54 miles (2.48 km) long.[4] The track's turns are banked at twenty-four degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, and the back stretch are banked at five.[4]

Summary[edit]

One of the drivers who failed to qualify for this race was Bobby Coyle; who attempted to qualify in his #50 Pontiac machine but failed to reach the proper speed to make an appearance.[5]

Bill Elliott would earn his only NASCAR Winston Cup championship here despite not finishing in the top ten; turning the race into the Cup Series' version of the classic fable The Tortoise and the Hare.[6] However, Elliott also consistently placed in the other races of the 1988 season with six wins, 15 finishes in the top five, and 10 finishes in the top ten.[7] The race took three hours and fifty-two minutes; resulting in a 4¼ second win by Rusty Wallace over Davey Allison.[2]

Seventy-two thousand fans would experience speeds of up to 129.024 miles per hour (207.644 km/h) while Wallace qualified for a pole position with a speed of 179.499 miles per hour (288.876 km/h)[2] - the equivalent of 30.525 seconds.[8] Tommy Ellis would "earn" himself a last-place finish after encountering a transmission problem on lap 2 out of 328.[2] Nine cautions were authorized by NASCAR for 55 laps.[2] Benny Parsons and Brad Noffsinger would also compete in their final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race here. Parsons would finish in 34th place while Noffsinger would finish in 26th place.[2] Hoss Ellington, Mike Curb, and Harry Ranier would end their respective careers as NASCAR owners after this race. All of the drivers would earn $387,785 in total race winnings ($785,280.99 when adjusted for inflation).

Top ten finishers[edit]

Pos[2] Grid No. Driver Manufacturer Laps Winnings Laps led Points
1 1 27 Rusty Wallace Pontiac 328 $87,575 166 185
2 23 28 Davey Allison Ford 328 $35,625 26 175
3 4 12 Mike Alexander Buick 328 $23,610 20 170
4 5 26 Ricky Rudd Buick 328 $14,725 1 165
5 13 17 Darrell Waltrip Chevrolet 328 $16,525 14 160
6 7 25 Ken Schrader Chevrolet 328 $12,350 1 155
7 28 30 Michael Waltrip Pontiac 327 $14,950 0 146
8 9 11 Terry Labonte Chevrolet 327 $12,025 0 142
9 38 8 Bobby Hillin, Jr. Buick 327 $8,650 0 138
10 26 29 Cale Yarborough Oldsmobile 327 $7,800 0 134

Timeline[edit]

  • Start of race: Rusty Wallace started out the race with the pole position
  • Lap 7: Caution due to Dale Jarrett's accident, ended on lap 12
  • Lap 26: Mandatory competition caution handed out by NASCAR officials, ended on lap 29
  • Lap 55: Caution due to debris, ended on lap 59
  • Lap 86: Caution due to Richard Petty's accident, ended on lap 92
  • Lap 108: Caution due to oil on track, ended on lap 111
  • Lap 140: Caution due to Benny Parsons' accident, ended on lap 146
  • Lap 170: Caution due to oil on track, ended on lap 174
  • Lap 209: Caution due to Harry Gant's accident, green flag racing resumed on lap 216
  • Lap 252: Caution due to Alan Kulwicki's accident, ended on lap 260
  • Lap 267: Kyle Petty managed to blow his engine
  • Lap 272: Larry Pearson managed to blow his engine
  • Lap 276: Mark Martin managed to blow his engine
  • Finish: Rusty Wallace was officially declared the winner of the event

Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Driver Points[2] Differential
1 Bill Elliott 4448 0
2 Rusty Wallace 4464 -24
3 Dale Earnhardt 4256 -232
4 Terry Labonte 4007 -481
5 Ken Schrader 3858 -630
6 Geoffrey Bodine 3799 -689
7 Darrell Waltrip 3764 -724
8 Increase Davey Allison 3631 -857
9 Decrease Phil Parsons 3630 -858
10 Decrease Sterling Marlin 3621 -867

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1988 Atlanta Journal 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "1988 Atlanta Journal 500 racing results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  3. ^ "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Dingman Brothers Team To Race - Driver Still A Mystery". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  6. ^ "Bill Elliott's Championship Ride (1988 NASCAR Cup Series season)". Hard Core Race Fans. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  7. ^ "Bill Elliott's 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season summary". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  8. ^ "Rusty Wallace's Qualifying Time (in seconds)". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
Preceded by
1988 Checker 500
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1988-89
Succeeded by
1989 Daytona 500