Monday, Dec 04

What to watch for: Fold of Honor 500 at Atlanta

Ann M. Wilson Sunday, Mar 20 592

Superspeedway racing: Yesterday the Xfinity and Truck Series event got their first taste of racing on the newly configured Atlanta it’s the Cup Series turn to take to the track that is now much narrower and higher banked with an out of bounds line all like racing at Daytona or Talladega.

“This is a mile-and-a-half. Things are going to be moving quicker. You’re going to be digesting things much faster and you’re going to have that Daytona and Talladega style feel here at a mile-and-a-half.” Said Kurt Busch who won the July event last year tested on the newly configured track earlier this year.

“Never before has NASCAR raced on an intermediate track like ours with 28 degrees of banking, much less with superspeedway cars. Both will happen for the first time in Atlanta this year.” Said track GM Brandon Hutchison

Atlanta history: NASCAR has been racing at Atlanta for 62 years and in that time its seen multiple changes over the course. At one time between 1987 and 2000 NASCAR ended its season at Atlanta including the famous championship win for Alan Kulwicki and the Ford “Underbird”.

The Southern 500 moved from Darlington to Auto Club to Atlanta and finally back to Darlington. The first event at Atlanta was won by Fireball Roberts in a 300-mile contest in which Roberts would lead 32 laps en route to victory that day.

There are nine active pole winners this weekend with Harvick leading with two pole awards and six previous winners, Kurt Busch the most recent winner to top the charts with four wins and break out of a tie with Kevin Harvick’s three wins, most recently in 2020. Dale Earnhardt Sr. leads all drivers with nine victories at the track.

Chase Briscoe: Briscoe the most recent winner in the Cup Series to become the 200th different driver to win in the series after taking home the checkered flag last weekend in Phoenix literally started from the bottom.

During Briscoe winners conference Briscoe noted the fact that when he first moved down to North Carolina he would volunteer in a race shop at the beginning before getting a break that would see him move through the ranks and finally to become a winner in the Cup Series for Tony Stewart, his childhood hero growing up in Indiana.

Briscoe's rise would see him win the 2017 Truck Series rookie of the year along with most popular driver, 2019 Xfinity and 2021 Cup Series rookie of the year honors.

Race info Folds of Honor 500: 325 laps, 500.5 miles. Stages are set for laps 102, 210 and 325.


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