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Atlanta Motor Speedway: HISTORY

Atlanta Motor Speedway:

 

HISTORY

  • Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was then a 1.5-mile paved speedway.
  • The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts from the pole.
  • The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.
  • It was renamed Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990.
  • The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.

 

STARTS

  • There have been 109 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the first race there in 1960. Until 2010, there have been two races per year except 1961, which had three. This year marks the sixth season with only one event.
  • 559 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway; 376 in more than one.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Atlanta with 65. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 29 starts, followed by Matt Kenseth. with 28.
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Atlanta with a 7.250.
  • Three active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted their first career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Martin Truex Jr. (10/31/2004), Reed Sorenson (10/30/2005) and Ty Dillon (8/31/2014).

 

POLES

  • Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Atlanta in 1960 with a speed of 133.870 mph.  
  • 50 drivers have Coors Light poles at Atlanta, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman with seven each.  
  • Winning consecutive Coors Light poles has happened eight times at Atlanta, among six drivers.
  • Ryan Newman holds the record for most consecutive poles at Atlanta with six; spring of 2003 through 2005.
  • Youngest Atlanta pole winner: Terry Labonte (03/15/1981 – 24 years, 3 months, 27 days).
  • Oldest Atlanta pole winner: Harry Gant (11/14/1993 – 53 years, 10 months, 4 days).
  • One active driver has posted his first career Monster Energy Series Coors Light pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9/01/2013).

 

WINS

  • 43 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with nine wins. Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with five; followed by Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch with three each.  
  • 11 drivers have won consecutive races at Atlanta in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
  Drivers Seasons
1 Marvin Panch 1965 Sweep      
2 Bobby Allison 1972 Sweep      
3 David Pearson 1973 Sweep      
4 Richard Petty 1974 Fall 1975 Spring    
5 Cale Yarborough 1980 Fall 1981 Spring    
6 Bill Elliott 1985 Sweep 1992 Sweep    
7 Dale Earnhardt 1989 Fall 1990 Spring 1995 Fall 1996 Spring
8 Bobby Labonte 1997 Fall 1998 Spring    
9 Jeff Gordon 1998 Fall 1999 Spring    
10 Carl Edwards 2005 Sweep      
11 Jimmie Johnson 2007 Sweep 2015-2016    

 

  • Youngest Atlanta winner: Kyle Busch (03/09/2008 – 22 years, 10 months, 7 days).
  • Oldest Atlanta winner: Morgan Shepherd (03/20/1993 – 51 years, 5 months, 8 days).
  • The Hendrick Motorsports have the most wins at Atlanta in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 14; followed by the Wood Brothers with 12 and Joe Gibbs Racing with 11:

o   Hendrick Motorsports: Jeff Gordon (five), Jimmie Johnson (five), Darrell Waltrip (one), Jerry Nadeau (one), Kasey Kahne (one) and Ken Schrader (one).

  • Nine different manufacturers have won in the Monster Energy Series at Atlanta; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford (29), Pontiac (11), Dodge (nine), Mercury (eight), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Toyota (three) and Oldsmobile (one).

    · 14 of the 109 (12.8%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kasey Kahne in 2006.

  • The fifth starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2011.   
  • 26 of the 109 (23.8%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and 12 from second-place.
  • 60 of the 109 (55%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from a top-five starting position.
  • 85 of the 109 (77.9%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Eight of the 108 (7.4%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – most recent: Jimmie Johnson (2015, 37th-starting pos.)
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Atlanta is 39th, by Bobby Labonte in the fall of 2001.
  • No driver has swept the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway across all three NASCAR national series. Two drivers have won in multiple NASCAR national series in the same weekend at Atlanta: Carl Edwards (2005, MENCS/NXS); (fall 2008, MENCS/NXS) and Kyle Busch (spring 2008, MENCS/NCWTS)
  • Six of the seven active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winners at Atlanta Motor Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Kevin Harvick won at Atlanta in his first appearance (2001).
  • Denny Hamlin competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway 12 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the nine active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winners.
  • Among the seven active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Atlanta winners Denny Hamlin (12) is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win.
  • Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta without visiting Victory Lane at 28.  
  • One active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Kevin Harvick (3/11/2001).

 

ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS

  • Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson lead the series in runner-up finishes at Atlanta with seven each; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four.
  • Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Atlanta with 26; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 14.   
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Atlanta with 33; Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson lead all active drivers with 16 each.

 

  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at 10.680.

 

 

Track / specific EVent

  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway was the March 11, 2001 race won by Kevin Harvick over Jeff Gordon with a MOV of 0.006 second.
  • There have been four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2007 (325/329); spring of 2010 (325/341), fall of 2012 (325/327) and 2014 (325/335).
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway five times; most recently the fall of 2010.   
  • Cale Yarborough leads all drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Atlanta with 3,283 laps led in 47 starts. Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in laps led at Atlanta with 749.    

 

02/28/2017 Posted by | MENCS ARTICLES | Comments Off on Atlanta Motor Speedway: HISTORY

   

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