| Atlanta Journal 500|
| November 20, 1988 (1988-November-20)|
Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Mild with temperatures up to 75 °F (24 °C); wind speeds up to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h)
The 1988 Atlanta Journal 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 20, 1988, at the prestigious Atlanta International Raceway (located in the Atlanta suburb of Hampton, Georgia).
1988 Atlanta Journal 500 Wikipedia
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.
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.
One of the drivers who failed to qualify for this race was Bobby Coyle; who attempted to qualify in his #50 Pontiac machine but failed to reach the proper speed to make an appearance.
Bill Elliott would earn his only NASCAR Winston Cup championship here despite not finishing in the top ten; turning the race into the Cup Series' version of the classic fable The Tortoise and the Hare. However, Elliott also consistently placed in the other races of the 1988 season with six wins, 15 finishes in the top five, and 10 finishes in the top ten. The race took three hours and fifty-two minutes; resulting in a 4¼ second win by Rusty Wallace over Davey Allison.
Seventy-two thousand fans would experience speeds of up to 129.024 miles per hour (207.644 km/h) while Wallace qualified for a pole position with a speed of 179.499 miles per hour (288.876 km/h) - the equivalent of 30.525 seconds. Tommy Ellis would "earn" himself a last-place finish after encountering a transmission problem on lap 2 out of 328. Nine cautions were authorized by NASCAR for 55 laps. Benny Parsons and Brad Noffsinger would also compete in their final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race here. Parsons would finish in 34th place while Noffsinger would finish in 26th place. Hoss Ellington, Mike Curb, and Harry Ranier would end their respective careers as NASCAR owners after this race. All of the drivers would earn $387,785 in total race winnings ($785,280.99 when adjusted for inflation).Start of race: Rusty Wallace started out the race with the pole position
Lap 7: Caution due to Dale Jarrett's accident, ended on lap 12
Lap 26: Mandatory competition caution handed out by NASCAR officials, ended on lap 29
Lap 55: Caution due to debris, ended on lap 59
Lap 86: Caution due to Richard Petty's accident, ended on lap 92
Lap 108: Caution due to oil on track, ended on lap 111
Lap 140: Caution due to Benny Parsons' accident, ended on lap 146
Lap 170: Caution due to oil on track, ended on lap 174
Lap 209: Caution due to Harry Gant's accident, green flag racing resumed on lap 216
Lap 252: Caution due to Alan Kulwicki's accident, ended on lap 260
Lap 267: Kyle Petty managed to blow his engine
Lap 272: Larry Pearson managed to blow his engine
Lap 276: Mark Martin managed to blow his engine
Finish: Rusty Wallace was officially declared the winner of the event