David Carl Alexander Allison was a NASCAR driver. He was best known for driving the No. 28 Texaco-Havoline Ford for Robert Yates Racing in the Winston Cup Series. Born in Hollywood, Florida, he was the eldest of four children born to Bobby Allison and wife Judy; the family moved to Hueytown and along with Bobby's brother Donnie Allison, family friend Red Farmer, Neil Bonnett, became known in racing circles as the Alabama Gang. Growing up, Allison participated in athletics, preferring football, but became, like many children of racers, a racer himself, he began working for his father's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team after graduating high school, would work after-hours on his own race car, a Chevy Nova built by Davey and a group of his friends affectionately known as the "Peach Fuzz Gang". He began his career in 1979 at Birmingham International Raceway and notched his first win in just his sixth start, he became a regular winner at BIR and by 1983, was racing in the Automobile Racing Club of America series.
Allison won both ARCA events at his "home track", Talladega Superspeedway in 1983, was named ARCA Rookie of the Year in 1984, placing second in the series title. That same year, he married his first wife, Deborah. Allison continued racing in the ARCA series in 1985 and notched eight wins in the series, four at Talladega Superspeedway, he began competing in some of NASCAR's lower divisions and in July 1985, car owner Hoss Ellington gave him his first chance to drive a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car in the Talladega 500. Allison qualified Ellington's Chevrolet 22nd and finished 10th in his first Winston Cup start; this impressive showing earned Davey more Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series opportunities in 1986 where he would sub for injured friend and fellow Alabama Gang member Neil Bonnett in Junior Johnson's No. 12 Budweiser Chevy. Prior to the 1987 season, car owner Harry Ranier tapped Davey to replace veteran driver Cale Yarborough in the Ranier-Lundy No. 28 Ford Thunderbird. Yarborough was leaving the Ranier-Lundy team to start his own operation along with the team's sponsor, Hardee's.
Ranier negotiated a sponsorship deal with Texaco's Havoline motor oil brand, a deal, signed during the NASCAR edition of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. On qualifying day, Davey signalled that he was in Winston Cup to stay when he qualified an unmarked, but Texaco-Havoline painted No. 28 Thunderbird second for the 1987 Daytona 500, becoming the first rookie to start on the front row for NASCAR's most prestigious event. A pit miscue which allowed a rear tire to fall off on the track ended his hopes of a good finish in the race, but success for Davey Allison would be just around the corner. May 3, 1987 would become an infamous day in NASCAR history. Earlier in the week, Bill Elliott had qualified his No. 9 Coors-Melling Ford Thunderbird at a record 212.809 mph for the Winston 500 at the unlighted Talladega Superspeedway. Davey Allison would qualify third, while father Bobby would start second alongside Elliott in the Stavola Brothers No. 22 Miller Buick. On lap 22 of the event, Bobby Allison ran over a piece of debris, cutting his right-rear tire.
The car turned sideways, lifted into the air, became airborne, crashed vertically into the frontstretch spectator fence near the start finish line. The car landed back on the track and collected a number of other competitors. Davey was ahead of his father at the time and saw the crash unfold in his mirror. Bobby Allison was not injured, but the crash injured several spectators and the race was red-flagged for two hours and thirty-eight minutes, it was this event that triggered the requirement of smaller carburetors, carburetor restrictor plates on engines at Daytona and Talladega to reduce the top speeds. When the race resumed, Davey continued to run up front and when Elliott exited the race with engine failure, Davey's toughest competition was eliminated. With darkness falling on the Talladega Superspeedway during a late caution flag, the decision was made to end the race 10 laps short of its 188 lap distance. Running second on the restart, Davey passed leader Dale Earnhardt on the backstretch and pulled away for his first Winston Cup win.
In winning the race, Davey became the first rookie since Ron Bouchard in 1981 to win a Winston Cup event. Davey would better that feat just 28 days by winning the Budweiser 500 at Dover International Speedway, becoming, at the time, the only rookie to win two Winston Cup events. In all, Davey started 22 of the 29 Winston Cup races in 1987, winning twice, scoring nine top-five and 10 top-ten finishes, he won five poles in his rookie season. The 1988 season started with much promise. Davey again started outside the front row for the Daytona 500, the first modern day race utilizing the NASCAR mandated carburetor restrictor plate. While father Bobby was battling up front early in the race and his team struggled with a car, repaired during the early morning hours following a crash in the final practice session, but as the race came to a conclusion, Davey found himself running second, just behind his legendary father. Bobby Allison would go on to hold off his son and win his third Daytona 500. Father and son would celebrate their one-and-two finish in victory lane.
Both would consider this the greatest moment of their lives. But Davey would struggle through much of the first half of the 1988 season as he ran some of the Winston Cup short tracks for the first time; the team was suffering from engine failures and now sole-owner Harry Ranier was looking to sell the team. Crew chief Joey Knuckles was fired and
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo is a two-door coupe manufactured and marketed by Chevrolet from 1970 to 2007 model years, encompassing six generations. Chevrolet marketed the Monte Carlo as a personal luxury car, with the last generation classified as a full-sized coupé; the first four generations of the Monte Carlo were of a rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered coupe design, utilizing body-on-frame construction. The rear-wheel-drive generations did not incorporate the trend of uni-body construction that became more prevalent in the early 1980s as automakers downsized their vehicle lines to satisfy increasing demand for fuel-economy after the 1973 oil crisis and the early 1980s recession; the SS model was reintroduced from mid-1983 to 1988 with a 305 cu in V8. The car was named for the city Monte Carlo in the Principality of Monaco the ward of Monte Carlo/Spélugues. After the discontinuation of the rear-drive Monte Carlo after 1988, the nameplate was revived in 1995 for the fifth-generation, a front-drive, V6-powered coupe based on the Chevrolet Lumina sedan.
The sixth and final-generation Monte Carlo in 2000 was built alongside the Chevrolet Impala, which succeeded the Lumina as Chevrolet's mid-sized sedan. The Monte Carlo SS was revived from 2000 to 2007, powered by 3.8 L V6 and by a 5.3 L V8 for 2006 and 2007. For the 1968 model year, GM instituted a split-wheelbase policy for its A-platform intermediate-sized cars. Two-door models would have a 112 in wheelbase, 116 in for sedans, 121 in for station wagons. In 1969, GM introduced the Pontiac Grand Prix, a two-door that used A-platform layout, stretched ahead of the firewall to make it 210.2-inch long. This gave the design an unusually long hood design helping the new Grand Prix to outsell its larger B-body predecessor, despite higher prices; the new layout was first known as the A-body Special, but would evolve into its own class known as the G-platform. The Monte Carlo started as Chevrolet's version of Pontiac Grand Prix, as conceived by Elliot M. Estes, general manager of Chevrolet, Chevrolet's chief stylist, David Holls.
They modeled the styling on the contemporary Cadillac Eldorado, although much of the body and structure were shared with the Chevrolet Chevelle. New exterior "coke bottle styling" featured concealed windshield wipers. A light monitoring system was optional. A mid-1990s article in the magazine Chevrolet High Performance stated that the first generation Monte Carlo was known to Chevrolet management under the working name Concours. Usual practice at the time was that all Chevrolet model development names started with a "C". At one point, the proposal called for a formal coupe and convertible, it has been noted that the sedan resembled a full-size Oldsmobile 98 prior to the use of the GM G platform with at least one photo showing the pull-up door handles that would be introduced on the 1970½ Camaro and 1971 Vega and full-sized Chevys, but not appear on Monte Carlos until the second-generation model debuted in 1973. When the car debuted for the 1970 model year, the only body style available was the two-door hardtop.
Though the Monte Carlo was developed at Chevrolet under the leadership of Pete Estes, it was formally introduced in September 1969 by John Z. DeLorean, who succeeded Estes as Chevrolet's general manager earlier in the year after heading the Pontiac division, where he led the development of the Grand Prix; the styling of the 1970 model-year Monte Carlo is distinguished by its chromed rectangular grille having a fine grid pattern of 720 small squares with two horizontal dividers, centered in it, a chrome and red crest emblem adorned by a Corinthian helmet, a thin hood spear with no vertical hood ornament, round headlamps with rounded chrome bezels, circular parking lamps inset into the front bumper directly below the headlamps, tail lights with chrome trim around the perimeter of the lens, only. The standard powertrain was the 350 cu in Chevrolet "Turbo-Fire" small-block V8 with a two-barrel carburetor, rated at 250 hp at 4500 rpm and 345 lb·ft of torque at 2800 rpm, mated to a column-mounted 3-speed Synchro-Mesh manual transmission.
Front disc brakes were standard equipment. The dashboard was identical to the Chevelle except for fake wood trim, according to Holls a photographic reproduction of the elm trim used by Rolls-Royce, higher grade nylon upholstery and deep-twist carpeting were used. Base priced at US$3,123, the Monte Carlo cost $218 more than a comparable Chevelle Malibu. Various options were available. A two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic, or a four-speed manual. Variable-ratio power steering, power windows, air conditioning, power seats, "rally" wheels, bucket seats, center console, full instrumentation, other accessories were available, bringing the price of a equipped Monte Carlo to more than $5,000. Optional engines included the four-barrel carbureted Turbo-Fire 350 CID small block V8, rated at 300 hp at 4800 rpm and 380 lb·ft at 3200 rpm, the Turbo-Fire 400 with a two-barrel carburetor, rated at 265 hp at 4800 rpm and 400 lb·ft at 3800 rpm, the Turbo-Jet 400 with a four-barrel carburetor, rated at 330 hp at 4800 rpm and 410 lb·ft at 3200 rpm).
Richard Childress Racing
RCR Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Richard Childress Racing, is an American professional stock car racing team that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team is based in Welcome, North Carolina, is owned and operated by former driver Richard Childress. In the Cup Series, the team fields three Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 teams: the No. 3 full-time for Austin Dillon, the No. 8 full-time for Daniel Hemric, the No. 31 part-time for Tyler Reddick. In the Xfinity Series, the team fields three Chevrolet Camaro teams: the No. 2 full-time for Tyler Reddick and the No. 21 part-time for Kaz Grala. RCR has had at least one car qualify for every Cup race since 1972, the longest such active streak. In addition to its in-house Cup Series teams, RCR has several technical alliances and partnerships with other teams. In the MENCS, RCR is allied with Richard Petty Motorsports, Germain Racing, StarCom Racing, while Kaulig Racing enjoys a technical alliance with RCR in the Xfinity Series.
Beyond this, RCR has collaborative agreements with Tommy Baldwin Racing, Beard Motorsports and Premium Motorsports, although these are not technical alliances. RCR has won NASCAR's Premier Cup Series championship six times, all with driver Dale Earnhardt, as well as the Daytona 500 three times. RCR has fielded cars for notables such as Jeff Burton, Mike Skinner, Ricky Rudd, Neil Bonnett, Clint Bowyer. RCR debuted at the 1969 Talladega 500 as a 1968 Chevrolet numbered 13. Childress himself drove the car. In 1972, the team came back to run fourteen races with Childress driving again, but didn't go full-time until 1976 when he would begin using the No. 3. Childress finished eleventh in points that year. Over the next few years, he posted many top-10s and twice was among the highest top 10 points earners, but he never was in serious contention to win. In 1981, he decided to end his career before the season ended, handed his No. 3 ride to the defending Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt, who brought his Wrangler sponsorship with him.
After posting six-top tens, Earnhardt left to drive for Bud Moore, Ricky Rudd took his place for the 1982 season, with Piedmont Airlines becoming the sponsor. Rudd drove the car for both 1982 and 1983 finishing 9th in points both years, winning twice in the latter, but after the season was over, Rudd was replaced by Earnhardt, with Wrangler back as sponsor (in an odd twist of fate, Rudd moved to Earnhardt's old ride, the No. 15 Bud Moore Engineering Wrangler-sponsored Ford Thunderbird, which kept its sponsorship despite Earnhardt leaving. This time, Earnhardt was back for good, winning six championships over the next two decades, with crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine and Andy Petree, Goodwrench replacing Wrangler as the primary sponsor after 1987. In the late 1990s Earnhardt's performance began to slow down, went through 1997 without a victory; the next year, he won the Daytona 500 after 20 starts. The year after that one, he was able to score wins at Talladega, as well as cause more controversy, after he spun Terry Labonte out to win a race at Bristol.
In 2000, he looked like he was regaining his old form, winning twice and finishing runner-up to Bobby Labonte in points, his many fans hoped he was gearing up for his record-breaking 8th championship. However, this was not to be. On December 11, 2013, Richard Childress announced that his eldest grandson Austin Dillon would replace Harvick for 2014 and contend for Rookie of the Year honors. In addition, the car was renumbered back to the 3, which had not been used since Dale Earnhardt's death, though RCR continued to pay for the rights to the number. New sponsor Dow Chemical and existing RCR sponsors General Mills, American Ethanol, Bass Pro Shops, Realtree, came on to fund the return of the No. 3. Austin had run the number in prior competition, including championship seasons in the Truck and Nationwide Series, as did his younger brother Ty; the transition back to 3 has been met with mixed reactions, with some fans welcoming the move with open arms, others turning their backs on RCR and NASCAR as a whole due to accusations of disrespect towards the late Earnhardt, that the number 3 should have been retired, despite the fact that Austin got blessing to drive the number from Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kelly Earnhardt, Kerry Earnhardt, the long time friend and pit crew member of Dale Sr, Chocolate Myers.
In addition to the return of the number 3, Austin was set to compete with what many deemed to be the strongest rookie class in the series' history, including talented youngster Kyle Larson and his runner-up for Nationwide Series ROTY Alex Bowman, Nationwide champion Justin Allgaier and Nationwide veteran Michael Annett, former big team development drivers Parker Kligerman, Ryan Truex, Cole Whitt. Larson and Dillon were viewed as the top contenders for the title. Dillon opened up 2014 with a bang, winning the pole at the season opening Daytona 500 finishing ninth in the race after avoiding serious damage in a lap 145 wreck involving 13 cars. Though his results were not spectacular, Dillon's results were consistent,and finishing 20th in points, losing Rookie of the Year to Kyle Larson. In the 2015 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on July 5, Dillon started on the outside of the front row after qualifying was rained out, led the first eight laps. Coming to the checkered flag, Dillon was hit in the left front tire by the spinning car of Denny Hamlin, causing him to flip into the catchfence over two rows of cars.
Dillon climbed out of the car unharmed, save for a br
Hendrick Motorsports named All Star Racing, is an American professional stock car racing team that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team, created in 1984 by Rick Hendrick, is one of stock car racing's premier organizations; as of 2018, Hendrick Motorsports has won twelve Monster Energy Cup Series owners and drivers championships, three Truck Series owners and drivers titles, one Nationwide Series drivers crown, 252 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories, 26 Xfinity Series wins, 26 Camping World Truck Series victories. As of the 2016 season, the team has won a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on every track on the current circuit – except for Kentucky Speedway, which has only been on the circuit since 2011. Hendrick Motorsports fields four full-time Monster Energy Cup Series teams with the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, including the No. 9 NAPA/Hooters/Mountain Dew/Kelley Blue Book for Chase Elliott, the No. 24 Liberty University/Axalta/UniFirst/Hertz for William Byron, the No. 48 Ally Financial for Jimmie Johnson, the No. 88 Nationwide Insurance/Axalta Coating Systems/LLumar/Valvoline for Alex Bowman.
The team fielded teams in the now-NASCAR Xfinity Series before merging its efforts with JR Motorsports. Hendrick Motorsports fielded several trucks in the NASCAR Truck Series, most for development driver Chase Elliott in 2013; the team has fielded cars in the past for many NASCAR drivers, including Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip and Benny Parsons and other notables such as Geoff Bodine, Tim Richmond, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven, Joe Nemechek, Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. All Hendrick race cars are constructed start-to-finish at the 100-plus acre Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, North Carolina. More than 550 engines are built or re-built on-site each year, with the team leasing some of those to Chip Ganassi Racing, they have a technical alliance with JTG Daugherty Racing. Hendrick Motorsports employs over 500 people. Since 1995, Hendrick Motorsports have won 12 NASCAR Premier series championships.
What is now Hendrick Motorsports was founded prior to the 1984 season by Rick Hendrick, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based car dealership owner who operates a network of dealerships called Hendrick Auto Group. The team was formed along with longtime crew chief and car builder Harry Hyde, NHRA and NASCAR team owner Raymond Beadle, music entrepreneur C. K. Spurlock as All-Star Racing; the team, called Hendrick Motorsports by 1985, expanded to two full-time cars in 1986, three in 1987, four in 2002. HMS was one of the first teams in NASCAR to be successful operating multiple entries, based on the model used at the Hendrick dealerships; the team has been credited for innovations in engine construction and pit crew training. The No. 5 debuted in 1984 under the banner "All Star Racing" with five employees, rented equipment, two cars, with the highest-paid person's wages at only $500/week. The team had planned to field a car for seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty with funding from country music business mogul C.
K. Spurlock, but the deal failed to materialize. Afterwards, Hendrick attempted to hire Tim Richmond Dale Earnhardt, but did not; as a result, the team signed former Rookie of the Year Geoff Bodine to drive the unsponsored No. 5 Chevy Monte Carlo for 1984. After a slow start seven races into the season, Hendrick informed Bodine and crew chief Harry Hyde that he planned to shut down the team due to funding trouble. Instead and the team won at Martinsville Speedway, leading to sponsorship from Northwestern Security Life. If we hadn't won that race literally the next Monday we were going to shut it down." The team finished ninth in points. Levi Garrett came on to sponsor the No. 5 Chevy in 1985 as part of a multi-year deal. Despite not winning a race that year, Bodine improved to fifth in points; the team became a two-car operation when Dick Brooks drove the No. 1 Exxon Chevy at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in what proved to be Brooks' last NASCAR race. Hendrick expanded into a multi-car team with Bodine and Tim Richmond as drivers.
Bodine posted an eighth-place finish in points. His younger brother, raced as a teammate in the World 600 that year. Bodine went winless again in finishing thirteenth in points. Bodine won one race each of the next two years before leaving for Junior Johnson & Associates in 1990. Ricky Rudd took Bodine's place, winning once at Watkins Glen International, finishing seventh in points. For 1991, the team received sponsorship from Tide as part of the car's merger with Darrell Waltrip's old team. Winning one race that year, Rudd finished a career high second in points behind champion Dale Earnhardt. On the final lap of that year's race at Sears Point Raceway, second-place Rudd spun out leader Davey Allison on the last turn and went on to win. NASCAR awarded Allison the win. Rudd won once each of the next two years. Dissatisfied with the distribution of resources within HMS's multiple teams, Rudd left to form his own team, taking Tide with him. Rudd's replacement was 1984; the car received sponsorship from their Corn flakes brand.
Labonte won three races each in 1994 and 1995, defeated teammate Jeff Gordon for the 1996 Winston Cup championship by 37 points. Labonte won one race each of t
William Clyde Elliott known as Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, or Million Dollar Bill, is an American professional stock car racing driver. He last competed part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro for GMS Racing. He won the 1988 Winston Cup Championship and garnered 44 wins in that series, including two Daytona 500 victories in 1985 and 1987 and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway between 1985 and 1986, he holds the track record for fastest qualifying speed at Talladega at 212.809 miles per hour and Daytona International Speedway at 210.364 miles per hour, both of which were set in 1987. Elliott won NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times, he withdrew his name from the ballot for that award after winning it in 2002. In 2005, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue declared October 8 as Bill Elliott Day in the state of Georgia, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 15, 2007 and into the 2015 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Elliott has been honored by the state legislature with a stretch of roadway in his native Dawson county renamed Elliott Family Parkway. William Clyde Elliott was born in Dawsonville, Georgia on October 8, 1955. According to his autobiography, many generations of Elliotts resided there, he is the youngest of three boys. His parents were Erving "George" Elliott Jr. and Mildred Reece His father George created a lumber company and loved racing, created a speed shop where Bill's brothers and Dan, worked. His father was a Ford person and created a Ford dealership as there were not any in the area. Elliott has three children, two daughters, Lauren Starr and Brittany, one son, William Clyde II; the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, Chase Elliott competes in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports. Brittany Elliott joined the Air Force in Security Forces. Driving a car owned by his father, George Elliott, Elliott made his first Winston Cup Series start at Rockingham in 1976, he qualified 34th in a field of 36 cars.
Elliott toiled for five years in the Winston Cup Series without corporate sponsorship, along the way showed flashes that he could compete with the established veterans of the sport. In mid-1977, Elliott bought a Mercury Montego from Bobby Allison after his split from Penske Racing to replace the inferior Torino, the move paid off, he soon earned his first Top 10 finish in the Southern 500, his first top-5 finish 2 years in the same race, finishing second to race winner David Pearson. In the fall of 1980, Elliott gained his first major sponsor in the form of $500 from Harry Melling of Melling Racing in the 1980 National 500 at Charlotte. Melling would extend his contract and gave the team enough sponsorship to run a 12 race schedule in 1981. In the 1981 season, he had one Top 5 and seven Top 10 finishes in 13 races, including the team's first pole in the CRC Chemicals Rebel 500. Melling bought the team from Elliott's father George on December 1, 1981. In 1983, Elliott won his first Winston Cup race in the final race of the season — the Winston Western 500 at Riverside.
Elliott finished second four times including the Daytona 500 on his way to a third-place finish in the championship point standings that season. He gained full sponsorship from Coors in 1984 to the tune of $400,000 and won three races – the Michigan 400, the Miller High Life 500, the American 500, he collected four poles and finished third in the final points standings for the second time. The 1985 season was undoubtedly the best season of Bill Elliott's career, he scored 11 wins and 11 poles out of 28 races and won the first Winston Million in the Southern 500 at Darlington. This would give him the nickname "Million Dollar Bill" and "Awesome Bill From Dawsonville"; the only major of the four he did not win was the Coca-Cola 600. This allowed him to become the second NASCAR driver to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, following Cale Yarborough after his win in the 1977 Daytona 500. Elliott finished second in the championship point standings by 101 points, losing the Winston Cup Championship to Darrell Waltrip after a string of poor finishes in the last quarter of the season.
Elliott would set an unprecedented NASCAR record of winning five consecutive pole qualifying sessions in 1985. That did not include the June Michigan race where qualifying was rained out, the July Pocono race pole was where he started second, but further investigation led NASCAR to throw out the winning pole time for illegal fuel additives, retroactively awarding Elliott the pole award and credit towards the season-long award for most poles won. Elliott set a NASCAR modern era record in 1985 for completing the season sweep at 4 different tracks in one season: Pocono, Michigan and Atlanta. In 1986, Elliott won only 2 races. With the season sweep at Michigan, Elliott became the first driver in NASCAR history to win 4 straight superspeedway races at one track, he won four poles during the season, he finished fourth in the championship standings. He won The 1986 Winston, held at Atlanta, the only
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Atlanta Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval racetrack in Hampton, United States, 20 miles south of Atlanta. It has annually hosted NASCAR Cup Series stock car races since its inauguration in 1960; the venue was bought by Speedway Motorsports in 1990. In 1994, 46 condominiums were built over the northeastern side of the track. In 1997, to standardize the track with Speedway Motorsports' other two intermediate ovals, the entire track was completely rebuilt; the frontstretch and backstretch were swapped, the configuration of the track was changed from oval to quad-oval, with a new official length of 1.54-mile. The project made the track one of the fastest on the NASCAR circuit, it has a total seating capacity of 71,000. The track hosted a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race weekend annually on Labor Day weekend from 2009 to 2014; the 2009 move from an October race date to Labor Day weekend was accompanied by a change in start time, marking the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the return of Labor Day weekend NASCAR racing to the Southern United States.
Other highlights of the facility are a quarter-mile track between the pit road and the main track for Legends racing and a 2.5-mile FIA-approved road course. In 1996, the speedway hosted the Countryfest concert. For most of the 1990s and 2000s, the track boasted the highest speeds on the NASCAR circuit, with a typical qualifying lap speed of about 193 mph, first posted by driver Breton Roussel on June 22, 1990, a record lap speed of over 197 mph. In 2004 and 2005, the designed Texas Motor Speedway saw faster qualifying times, as the tracks' respective racing surfaces have worn, qualifying speeds at Texas have become faster than at Atlanta; the NASCAR circuit has two tracks, the longer Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway, that were once faster than Atlanta or Texas, with lap speeds exceeding 200 mph, but restrictor plates were mandated for use on those tracks in 1988 after Bobby Allison's violent crash at Talladega the year before, reducing average lap speeds to about 190 mph.
NASCAR does not require restrictor plates at Atlanta or Texas, which helped lead to the adoption of Atlanta's commercial slogan, "Real Racing. Real Fast." On August 5, 2010, speedway' president Ed Clark announced that Atlanta would be scaling back its NASCAR event schedule for 2011. The track lost its spring race; the race was given to Kentucky Speedway, another track owned by SMI, giving that track its long-awaited and desired Cup race, the Quaker State 400. Every year from spring until fall, the speedway hosts "Friday Night Drags" where participants drag race down the pit road; the racing begins at the drop of a hand. No lights or timing tools are used; the facility hosts several driving schools year-round, such as Richard Petty Driving Experience, where visitors have the opportunity to experience the speedway from a unique point-of-view behind the wheel of a race car. The track hosts Speed Tech Driving School, which allows individuals to race 6 or more laps on the track when it is not in use for NASCAR or other events.
NASCAR president Mike Helton was once the track's general manager. Ed Clark is the current CEO of the track. In late 2015 Atlanta Motor Speedway announced that they would install SAFER barrier around the whole of the outside and large portions of the inside around the track. In early September 2004, Atlanta Motor Speedway found another use: it became a shelter for evacuees from Florida fleeing Hurricane Frances. While there were no indoor facilities available, visitors waited out the slow-moving storm parked in their recreational vehicles, after creeping along for hours in traffic on nearby Interstate 75. In 2005, the speedway received heavy damage on the evening of July 6, caused by an F2 tornado spawned from the remains of Hurricane Cindy. Roofs and facades were torn off buildings and the scoring pylon was toppled. In 2005 practices began to extend in to Friday night, shortly afterwards both Cup races began featuring night qualifying. In 2006, the Bass Pro Shops 500 start time was adjusted to guarantee a night finish.
The opening scenes of the 1980 movie Smokey and the Bandit II were filmed at the track, as were scenes of the 1983 film Stroker Ace. The track was featured in the 1982 Kenny Rogers movie Six Pack. Former U. S. President Jimmy Carter once worked as a ticket taker at the track, attended several races there as Georgia governor and as U. S. President; the track was used as a filming location for the 2017 heist comedy film Logan Lucky as a stand-in for Charlotte Motor Speedway for some scenes. The outside barriers were repainted yellow to resemble those of the Charlotte track. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rinnai 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Ultimate Tailgating 200 INEX raceCeiver Legends Car Series/Bandoleros Thursday Thunder Winter Flurry Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Friday Night Drags ASA ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Championship Auto Racing Teams Kraco Twin 125's Rich's Atlanta Classic Kraco Dixie 200 IMSA GT Championship INEX raceCeiver Legends Car Series/Bandoleros INEX Legend Car Asphalt Nationals INEX Bandolero Nationals International Race of Champions Monster Energy NA
Melling Racing was a Championship-winning NASCAR Winston Cup Series race team owned by Harry Melling and his son Mark Melling. Henry Melling ran the team from 1982 to mid-1999 when he died after a heart attack, his son Mark took over Melling Racing until the team closed in 2003; the team was most notable for fielding cars for Bill Elliott in the 1980s, where he won the 1985 Southern 500 at Darlington to claim the first Winston Million bonus, claiming the fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR history at Talladega Superspeedway with a lap of 212.809 mph in 1987, winning the 1988 Winston Cup championship. Melling won 34 career NASCAR races, all of them with Bill Elliott. In 1982 the team became Melling Racing after Harry Melling bought the team from George Elliott on December 1, 1981, Melling first became involved in NASCAR when his company Melling Tool sponsored Benny Parsons in 1979. Melling Racing ran 21 races with Bill Elliott in 1982 and had nine top-tens and won the pole for the Champion Spark Plug 400.
In 1983, Elliott won his first race at the season-ending race at Riverside International Raceway and finished third in points. The following season, Coors became the team's new sponsor and Melling Racing responded with three wins with Elliott and another third-place points finish. 1985 was a phenomenal year for Elliott and Melling, marking a season-and-career-high 11 poles and 11 wins, with 7 of those 11 wins coming from the pole, as well as over $2 million in earnings. During the 1984 Winston Cup Awards Ceremony, RJ Reynolds and Winston announced that starting in 1985, if a driver won 3 of the 4 crown jewel events in the same year, they would receive a million dollar bonus from the company; the 4 events are the Daytona 500, Winston 500, Coca-Cola 600, the Southern 500. Most drivers thought it would be impossible to do so, but Bill Elliott would accomplish that feat in 1985. Elliott won the Daytona 500, Winston 500, the Southern 500. Elliott won the Winston Million in its first year running, earning him the nickname "Million Dollar Bill".
The only major of the four he did not win in 1985 was the Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is one of only 2 drivers to win the bonus, with the other driver being Jeff Gordon, who won the Winston Million in its final running in 1997; the winning of the bonus was the rise of Bill Elliott being NASCAR's Most Popular Driver. With his win at Darlington, along with the Winston Million bonus, Elliott had 10 races won so far, but in the next 4 races after Darlington however, he would struggle and finish poorly, he did not finish in the top 10. Elliott was in jeopardy of not winning the championship. Elliott would overcome his slump, he won his 11th and final race of the season in the November race at Atlanta, putting him back in the championship hunt. With the win at Atlanta, Bill Elliott would set a NASCAR modern era record for completing the season sweep at 4 different tracks in a season: Pocono, Darlington, & Atlanta; the next race after the Atlanta win would be the final race of 1985. Elliott went into Riverside 2nd in points, only 20 points behind Darrell Waltrip, giving him a shot to rebound for the championship after a string of poor finishes in 4 of the last 5 races.
During the race however, Elliott would suffer early transmission problems, it would cost him the championship. He finished the race in 31st. Waltrip finished in 7th. Darrell Waltrip clinched his 3rd and final Winston Cup title, having won only 3 races to Bill Elliott's 11. Elliott would lose the championship by 101 points; this would be the 1st time in Bob Latford's Winston Cup points system that a driver winning 10 or more races in a season failed to win the championship due to poor finishes and lack of consistency in the final stretch of the season. The team would slip to won only two races, both coming at Michigan. Though both wins were at Michigan, Bill Elliott would become the 1st driver in NASCAR history to win 4 straight superspeedway races at one track, doing so at Michigan with season sweeps in 1985 and 1986. Elliott and Melling rallied back in 1987 by winning 6 races, starting off the year by winning the Daytona 500 for the 2nd time. During the season in May, Bill Elliott would run the fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR history at Talladega Superspeedway for the Winston 500 with a lap of 212.809 mph.
Due to NASCAR mandating restrictor plates the following year to keep the drivers from going over 200 mph, this record will never be matched. They would finish the year 2nd in points to Dale Earnhardt. Bill Elliott and Melling Racing would win the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in 1988 after winning 6 races for the 2nd straight season and scoring 22 top-ten finishes. Elliott won the title by only 24 points over Rusty Wallace, who won 6 races; the team was unable to defend its championship in 1989 after Elliott was injured early in the season and Jody Ridley served as a substitute driver. Elliott still managed to win three races that year, but the defending Winston Cup champions fell to 6th in points. In 1990, Elliott rebounded to finish 4th in points. In 1991, there would be a bit of a change in the team's identity: the sponsorship would change from Coors to Coors Light, the colors would change from the team's iconic red to blue, they would only win one race the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Bill Elliott had a rough year, fell to a disappointing 11th in points, causing him and Co