[../../menu_new_nascar.htm]

Editorial

Will Dodge Be Gone With the Wind in Atlanta?

 by Frank Ryan
March 9, 2001

Go to our forums to discuss this article

This weekend the NASCAR Winston Cup series takes on the fastest track on the circuit when they invade Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500. The fourth stop on the tour, the qualifying speeds are expected to be approaching 200 miles per hour as the cars will be running sans the aero package or restrictor plates.

Geoffrey Bodine set the qualifying record in 1997, running a blistering 197.478 miles per hour on the 24-degree high-banked 1.54-mile super speedway. If history holds true at Atlanta you want to be fast on qualifying day, as thirteen races have been won from the Bud Pole. Nine drivers have won from the second-place starting position, and nearly 60% of all the winners have come from the top 5 in the starting grid.

Dale Jarrett is the defending Bud Pole Award winner for the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500, but he wasn't able to turn the point into a podium last year as his engine expired on lap 257, eventually coasting to the pits and a 36th place finish.

Since 1990, a total of 19 different drivers have claimed the Bud Pole at AMS, with only Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte being able to claim the top spot twice. Looking at this weekend's event, Bill Elliott and his Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid just might be the car to beat. Elliott is the leader among active drivers with four Bud Poles and five victories at Atlanta. Rest assured, the Intrepid will be slick, and without the Daytona aero package, or the restrictor plates, don't be surprised if Elliott can return to his old ways at Daytona, last year he finished 10th in the spring race.

Working as hard off the track as on it, Elliott was honored Tuesday by the March of Dimes with a special "Race Car Driving Legend Award" at its National Athletic Awards ceremony in Detroit.  "It's really an honor to be recognized as a legend in this sport," said Bill Elliott. "The March of Dimes is a great organization that helps thousands of children every year. I'm proud to be a part of this event and help them raise funds to continue their efforts." 

If Elliott and his Dodge are not quite up to the task, then keep an eye on Sterling Marlin. Marlin is holding a slight lead in the Winston Cup points chase and has flexed his muscle at every track this year. If Marlin can claim a top 5 in qualifying, then watch out because he will be up near the front at the end of the race.

The Wood Brothers (12) and Junior Johnson (nine) have won more races at Atlanta than any other owner. The Wood Brothers last won there in the spring of 1993 with Morgan Shepherd as their driver, but this year they are back in the top 10 in points with Elliott Sadler, who is currently tied for ninth place in the Winston Cup points chase.

There have been a total of 83 NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the first race was held there in 1960. There have been two races a year except for 1961, which had a third event, the 250-mile Festival 250. Additionally, one race was a 300-mile event, six were 400 miles and all the others were 500 miles.

The author can be contacted at frankr@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article

Author

Others Articles

Hut Stricklin and HANS
Frank Ryan 03/07/01

Jeff Burton is the safest bet on the strip
Frank Ryan 03/02/01

Fishing For Answers
Doug Belliveau 03/01/01

Typical to Tragedy
Karen Courcy 02/27/01

Soft walls or soft cars? 2/26/01

Safety- It's going to take more than just magic to fix 2/21/01

We will miss him
Lin Loflin 02/27/01

NASCAR needs the Rock
Frank Ryan
02/12/01

Senna and Earnhardt - Rest in peace

Is Your Plate Full?  Adam Sewell 02/12/01

The Greatness of NASCAR Tim Barrett 02/03/01

Rookies Rule NASCAR Frank Ryan 02/02/01

Racing Withdrawal - Diary of a NASCAR Junkie Doug Belliveau 01/23/01

NASCAR Racing and Religion Adam Sewell 01/18/01

Pennzoil Motorsports Show a Big Success Frank Ryan & Doug Belliveau 01/17/01

NASCAR - A sport for the humble Doug Belliveau 01/12/01

2000 Driver Report Cards - Part 4 Doug Belliveau 01/13/01

2000 Driver Report Cards - Part 3 Doug Belliveau 12/21/00

2000 Driver Report Cards - Part 2 Doug Belliveau 12/12/00

2000 Driver Report Cards - Part 1 Doug Belliveau 12/05/00

HANS Device - Part 4 Frank Ryan 12/07/00

HANS Device - Part 3 Frank Ryan 12/01/00

HANS Device - Part 2 Frank Ryan 11/07/00

HANS Device - Part 1 Frank Ryan 10/31/00

Nadeau Can Do by Frank Ryan 11/20/00

NAPA 500 Pre-race report by Frank Ryan 11/17/00

Burton Captures Phoenix
by Frank Ryan 11/5/00

Sophomore jinx for Stewart?  by Doug Belliveau 11/2/00

Speed  by John Clark 10/26/00

Grab the RUDDer Full Speed Ahead by Doug Belliveau 10/24/00

Pop Secret 400 Dale Jarrett finally breaks "The Rock" by Frank Ryan 10/22/00

Talladega 500 Earnhardt wins and that's no bull by Jon Osborne 10/15/00

Hanging out in the infield at the UAW-GM Quality 500 by Lin Loflin 10/10/00

Labonte one-step closer wins UAW-GM Quality 500 by Jon Osborne 10/8/00

The NASCAR Shark Tank by Doug Belliveau 10/5/00

Bill Elliott's crew behind win by Lin Loflin 10/3/00

Kneed for Speed  by Doug Belliveau and Jim Yeager 9/27/00

Short Day for Long  by Doug Belliveau and Frank Ryan 9/26/00

Got Laps?  by Doug Belliveau 9/26/00

Mayfield Claims Pole  by Frank Ryan 9/22/00

NASCAR Racing Cakes The sweet smell of success by Lin Miller 9/21/00

We drive Winston Cup cars with Skip Barber by Mike Marue 9/20/00

Restrictor Plates Are they required for the Monster Mile? by Frank Ryan 9/19/00

Testing Is NASCAR testing itself to death by Frank Ryan 9/19/00

The Penalty Box by Doug Belliveau 9/14/00

Monte Carlo 400 Richmond - Saturday Night Special Frank Ryan 9/10/00

Southern 500 - The battery bunch tames the lady by Jon Osborne 9/3/00

Bristol - Wallace brings a broom to Bristol by Jon Osborne 8/26/00

Bristol - Go chasing, Rusty wins Bristol by Frank Ryan 8/26/00

Camping at The Glen - A weekend of camping at The Glen by Doug Belliveau 8/21/00

Rain Tires - Will Goodyear's Eagles fly n the rain by Frank Ryan 8/17/00

Watkins Glen - Park the car in Victory Lane by Frank Ryan 8/13/00

Brickyard 400 - Labonte's win solid as brick by Frank Ryan 8/5/00

Pennsylvania 500 Race report by Frank Ryan 7/23/00

Pennsylvania 500 Pre-race report 
by Frank Ryan 7/20/00

Name that NASCAR sponsor by Doug Belliveau 7/13/00

ThatLook.com 300 - Rain sweetened victory for Tony Stewart
by Frank Ryan 7/9/00

Pepsi 400 - Jeff Burton leads Ford sweep
by David Cipolloni 7/1/00

Rainbow Warrior wins this battle by Doug Belliveau 6/29/00

Sears Point by Frank Ryan 6/26/00

Mid-Season review by Mark Baudermann 6/23/00

Aged to perfection by Doug Belliveau 6/21/00

Michigan Kmart 400 - Stewart is the Rain Man by Frank Ryan 6/11/00

The Farewell Tour  by Doug Belliveau 6/7/00

Dover MBNA 400 - Tony Stewart dominates The Monster Mile
by David Cipolloni & Frank Ryan 6/4/00

World 600 - Rain doesn't delay Matt Kenseth's Reign
by Frank Ryan 6/1/00

Memories of Speedweek at Charlotte By Mark Baudermann 5/26/00

Don't order the crown.  Yet!  by Doug Belliveau 5/24/00

Nothing lasts forever by Frank Ryan 5/23/00

Visit the Nascartop50

Our ranking out of 750 NASCAR websites since joining on 7/3/00

Convert this page to
another language

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Inc., Hamilton, NJ