1989 Atlanta Journal 500
The 1989 Atlanta Journal 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 19, 1989, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia. This was the first Cup race after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
|Race 29 of 29 in the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season|
Layout of Atlanta International Speedway, used until 1996
|Date||November 19, 1989|
|Official name||Atlanta Journal 500|
|Location||Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia|
Permanent racing facility|
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
|Distance||328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)|
|Weather||Cold with temperatures of 60.1 °F (15.6 °C); wind speeds of 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)|
|Average speed||140.299 miles per hour (225.789 km/h)|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|No. 3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing|
|Television in the United States|
Bob Jenkins |
Five of the most dominant drivers of the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season were Dale Earnhardt (average finish 10th place), Rusty Wallace (average finish 10th place), Mark Martin (average finish 11th place), Darrell Waltrip (average finish 12th place), and Bill Elliott (average finish of 13th place).
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. However, at the time, only Charlotte and Darlington were built with New Hampshire just under construction.
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. 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.
It took three hours and thirty-six minutes to complete this 328-lap event in front of 78,000 people. Dale Earnhardt managed to defeat Geoffrey Bodine by nearly 26 seconds. Eight drivers failed to qualify for this race. There were four accidents and two debris-related incidents; causing 11% of the race to be run under a caution flag. The average duration of laps under the green flag was almost 42 laps.
Grant Adcox crashed heavily on lap 198 of the event and died of major chest and head injuries, also suffering a heart attack as result of the crash. Upon investigation, it was determined that the severe impact had torn his improperly mounted racing seat away from its mount entirely, and this led to Adcox's death. It also led to new safety regulations on the way seats were mounted for the 1990 season.
Coming into this race, Mark Martin didn't yet have the stuff yet to win the Cup. He had won his first race two weeks before Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt was the odds-on favorite to win the Winston Cup by October. After a series of three bad finishes in his home state of North Carolina, he was second in the running for the championship. Rusty Wallace didn't start off strong and went three laps down even though he led all but 89 laps of this race. Rusty Wallace would clinch the championship in this race; despite overcoming multiple pit road issues. He settled for a 15th-place finish.
Top ten finishersEdit
|2||7||5||Geoffrey Bodine||Chevrolet||328||$33,625||0||170||+25.71 seconds|
|3||6||94||Sterling Marlin||Oldsmobile||328||$25,275||5||170||Lead lap under green flag|
|4||2||25||Ken Schrader||Chevrolet||328||$18,875||38||165||Lead lap under green flag|
|5||8||17||Darrell Waltrip||Chevrolet||327||$18,800||1||160||+1 lap|
|6||16||42||Kyle Petty||Pontiac||326||$6,775||0||150||+2 laps|
|7||29||8||Bobby Hillin, Jr.||Buick||326||$13,117||0||146||+2 laps|
|8||24||75||Morgan Shepherd||Pontiac||326||$13,350||0||142||+2 laps|
|9||26||21||Neil Bonnett||Ford||326||$8,950||0||138||+2 laps|
|10||22||83||Lake Speed||Oldsmobile||326||$10,925||0||134||+2 laps|
Section reference: 
- Start of race: Alan Kulwicki started the race with the pole position but quickly lost it to Ken Schrader
- Lap 2: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it to Davey Allison on lap 53
- Lap 13: Caution due to Rodney Coombs' accident, ended on lap 15
- Lap 56: Dick Trickle took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip before losing it to Ricky Rudd on lap 85
- Lap 59: Caution due to a three-car accident, ended on lap 64
- Lap 84: Caution due to debris on the backstretch, ended on lap 87
- Lap 89: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it back to Ken Schrader on lap 141
- Lap 146: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it to Sterling Marlin on lap 228
- Lap 172: Caution due to Rob Moroso's accident, ended on lap 176
- Lap 204: Caution due to a Grant Adcox's accident, ended on lap 214
- Lap 227: Caution due to Mark Martin spilling oil on the track, ended on lap 232
- Finish: Dale Earnhardt was officially declared the winner of the event
Standings after the raceEdit
- "1989 Atlanta Journal 500 weather information". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
- Race information for the 1989 Atlanta Journal 500 at Racing Reference
- "NASCAR Race Tracks". NASCAR. Archived from the original on September 12, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "NASCAR Tracks—The Atlanta Motor Speedway". Atlanta Motor Speedway. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "1964 Atlanta 500 racing information". Driver Averages. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
- AMS Flashback: Wallace Hangs On To Win 1989 Title Archived 2015-06-11 at the Wayback Machine at Atlanta Motor Speedway
- "1989 Atlanta Journal 500 qualifying information". Racing Reference. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
1989 Autoworks 500
| NASCAR Winston Cup Series Season
1990 Daytona 500