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The Atlanta 500 was a NASCAR Cup Series stock car race that was run annually 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 Dixie 500, being the second and run at various times (originally November, later October and currently the second race of the season), now run as the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
|Venue||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|Corporate sponsor||Kobalt Tools|
|First race||July 30, 1960|
|Last race||March 7, 2010|
|Distance||500.5 miles (805.476 km)|
|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 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. The end of the Atlanta 500 permitted the addition of a race at Kentucky Speedway starting in 2011.
- 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. Polesitter Marvin Panch led 127 laps but faded to sixth, while Fred Lorenzen led 87 laps but fell out with engine failure. Rookie Bobby Allison finished 37th.
- 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 career Grand National win.
- 1971: A. J. Foyt outdueled Richard Petty for his fifth career 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. Yarborough 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 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 to score his first career win and also sweeps the weekend at Atlanta.
- 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 until the track's surviving summer-autumn race was moved to March in 2015.
|Year||Date||No.||Driver||Team||Manufacturer||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|1960||October 30||5||Bobby Johns||Cotton Owens||Pontiac||334||501 (806.281)||4:36:44||108.408||Report|
|1961||March 26||53||Bob Burdick||Roy Burdick||Pontiac||334||501 (806.281)||4:02:05||124.172||Report|
|1962||June 10||28||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||219*||328.5 (528.669)||3:13:16||101.983||Report|
|1963||March 17||28||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:50:12||130.582||Report|
|1964||April 5||28||Fred Lorenzen||Holman-Moody||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:46:05||134.137||Report|
|1965||April 11||21||Marvin Panch||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:52:17||129.41||Report|
|1966||March 27||56||Jim Hurtubise||Norm Nelson||Plymouth||334||501 (806.281)||3:49:02||131.247||Report|
|1967||April 2||21||Cale Yarborough||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||334||501 (806.281)||3:49:03||131.238||Report|
|1968||March 31||21||Cale Yarborough||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||334||501 (806.281)||3:59:24||125.564||Report|
|1969||March 30||21||Cale Yarborough||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||334||501 (806.281)||3:46:10||132.191||Report|
|1970||March 29||22||Bobby Allison||Mario Rossi||Dodge||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:34:38||139.554||Report|
|1971||April 4||21||A. J. Foyt||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:42:16||131.375||Report|
|1972||March 26||12||Bobby Allison||Richard Howard||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:53:37||128.214||Report|
|1973||April 1||21||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:34:52||139.351||Report|
|1974||March 24||11||Cale Yarborough||Richard Howard||Chevrolet||296*||450.512 (725.028)||3:01:26||136.91||Report|
|1975||March 23||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:44:06||133.496||Report|
|1976||March 21||21||David Pearson||Wood Brothers Racing||Mercury||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:52:16||128.904||Report|
|1977||March 20||43||Richard Petty||Petty Enterprises||Dodge||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:27:51||144.093||Report|
|1978||March 19||15||Bobby Allison||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:30:10||142.52||Report|
|1979||March 18||28||Buddy Baker||Ranier-Lundy||Oldsmobile||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:41:47||135.136||Report|
|1980||March 16||2||Dale Earnhardt||Rod Osterlund Racing||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:42:32||134.808||Report|
|1981||March 15||27||Cale Yarborough||M.C. Anderson Racing||Buick||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:44:10||133.619||Report|
|1982||March 21||11||Darrell Waltrip||Junior Johnson & Associates||Buick||287*||436.82 (702.993)||3:29:58||124.824||Report|
|1983||March 27||28||Cale Yarborough||Ranier-Lundy||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||4:01:27||124.055||Report|
|1984||March 18||55||Benny Parsons||Johnny Hayes||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:26:39||144.945||Report|
|1985||March 17||9||Bill Elliott||Melling Racing||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:33:32||140.273||Report|
|1986||March 16||47||Morgan Shepherd||Race Hill Farm Team||Buick||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:46:41||132.126||Report|
|1987||March 15||15||Ricky Rudd||Bud Moore Engineering||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:44:02||133.689||Report|
|1988||March 20||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:37:42||137.588||Report|
|1989||March 19||17||Darrell Waltrip||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:34:26||139.684||Report|
|1990||March 18||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:10:58||156.849||Report|
|1991||March 17/18*||25||Ken Schrader||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:33:14||140.47||Report|
|1992||March 15||11||Bill Elliott||Junior Johnson & Associates||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:22:44||147.746||Report|
|1993||March 20*||21||Morgan Shepherd||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:17:26||150.442||Report|
|1994||March 13||28||Ernie Irvan||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:24:58||146.136||Report|
|1995||March 12||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:19:32||150.115||Report|
|1996||March 10||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:05:42||161.298||Report|
|1997*||March 9||88||Dale Jarrett||Robert Yates Racing||Ford||328||499.216 (803.41)||3:45:40||132.731||Report|
|1998||March 9*||18||Bobby Labonte||Joe Gibbs Racing||Pontiac||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:35:16||139.501||Report|
|1999||March 14||24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:29:35||143.284||Report|
|2000||March 12||3||Dale Earnhardt||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:47:55||131.759||Report|
|2001||March 11||29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:29:36||143.273||Report|
|2002||March 10||20||Tony Stewart||Joe Gibbs Racing||Pontiac||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:22:18||148.443||Report|
|2003||March 9||18||Bobby Labonte||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:25:37||146.048||Report|
|2004||March 14||8||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Dale Earnhardt, Inc.||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:09:15||158.679||Report|
|2005||March 20||99||Carl Edwards||Roush Racing||Ford||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:29:18||143.478||Report|
|2006||March 20*||9||Kasey Kahne||Evernham Motorsports||Dodge||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:28:24||144.098||Report|
|2007||March 18||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:16:23||152.915||Report|
|2008||March 9||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||325||500.5 (805.476)||3:33:01||140.975||Report|
|2009||March 8||2||Kurt Busch||Penske Racing||Dodge||330*||508.2 (817.868)||3:59:01||127.573||Report|
|2010||March 7||2||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.
Track length notesEdit
- 1960–1969: 1.5 mile course
- 1970–1997: 1.522 mile course
- 1998–2010: 1.54 mile course
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|
|# 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|
- 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.
- The 2006 race was rained out, so it moved to FX (as well as some Fox affiliates) for Monday.