| Atlanta Journal 500|
| November 19, 1989 (1989-November-19)|
Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia
Permanent racing facility
1.522 mi (2.449 km)
328 laps, 499.2 mi (803.3 km)
Cold with temperatures up to 60.1 °F (15.6 °C); wind speeds up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)
The 1989 Atlanta Journal 500 was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing event that took place on November 19, 1989, at Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia.
1989 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 with New Hampshire just under construction.
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.
It took three hours and thirty-six minutes to complete this 328-lap event in front of 78,000 people. Dale Earnhardt managed to defeat Geoffrey Bodine by nearly 26 seconds. Eight drivers failed to qualify for this race; including Patty Moise and Tracy Leslie. There were four accidents and two debris-related incidents; causing 11% of the race to be run under a caution flag. The average duration of laps under the green flag were almost 42 laps. Grant Adcox crashed heavily on lap 198 of the event and died of major chest and head injuries, also suffering a heart attack as result of the crash. Upon investigation, it was determined that the severe impact had torn his improperly mounted racing seat away from its mount entirely, and this led to Adcox's death. It also led to new safety regulations on the way seats were mounted for the 1990 season.
Earnhardt was the well-deserved winner of $81,700 ($168,284.21 when adjusted for inflation) while last-place finisher Phil Parsons walked away with a meager ($8,742.66 when adjusted for inflation).
Rusty Wallace would clinch the championship in this race; despite becoming lazy early in the race and settling for a 15th-place finish.Start of race: Alan Kulwicki started the race with the pole position but quickly lost it to Ken Schrader
Lap 2: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it to Davey Allison on lap 53
Lap 13: Caution due to Rodney Coombs' accident, ended on lap 15
Lap 56: Dick Trickle took over the lead from Darrell Waltrip before losing it to Ricky Rudd on lap 85
Lap 59: Caution due to a three-car accident, ended on lap 64
Lap 84: Caution due to debris on the backstretch, ended on lap 87
Lap 89: Dale Earnhardt took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it back to Ken Schrader on lap 141
Lap 146: Dale Earnhard took over the lead from Ken Schrader before losing it to Sterling Marlin on lap 228
Lap 172: Caution due to Rob Moroso's accident, ended on lap 176
Lap 204: Caution due to a Grant Adcox's accident, ended on lap 214
Lap 227: Caution due to Mark Martin spilling oil on the track, ended on lap 232
Finish: Dale Earnhardt was officially declared the winner of the event