Five Questions for Atlanta

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

by Lisa Nellis

Five races. Five winners. Will there be six after this weekend? In 2001, there were 19 different winners overall in what was then called the Sprint Cup. In 2011, there were also 19 winners (not the same guys, of course), and it was still the Sprint Cup. See a pattern here? 

So in honor of the five winners so far this 2021 season, let's dive into our five questions for Atlanta.

How many of the drivers on the 2001 winner list were also on the 2011 list, who were they, and are any of them still currently driving in Cup? Surprise! This one is a trivia question, and you'll need to read to the end for the answer.

Why is the track called Atlanta when it is in Hampton, which is 30 miles south? Because apparently it doesn't matter if the track is really in the town it's named for. Think of Phoenix, which is actually in Avondale, 20 miles out. "Chicagoland" (in Joliet) is 46 miles from Chicago. Talladega is really in Lincoln, AL. You get the point. At least Martinsville is dead accurate.

Who is the favorite for Sunday? The oddsmakers in Vegas like the No. 2, No. 5, and No. 19. Statistics point to Kyle Busch, however, with an average finish of 14th in 22 races, plus two wins. A win here would do a lot to bolster this struggling team's chances in 2021.

What do drivers think about the track not being repaved in a quarter century? Most of them love it! There had been plans to repave in 2017, but overwhelming driver complaints delayed this indefinitely. The result of the asphalt being so old is that the race turns into a tire-strategy event. 

Chase Elliott, the Georgia native who had the pole in the 2020 race, had this to say: “The track has a lot of wear to it, a lot of character and a lot of bumps. There is a fine line of getting your car right.”

Historically, which driver has won the most races at this tack? Hands down it's Dale Earnhardt Sr., with nine wins. Of the current drivers, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch each have three.

Trivia answer: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Kevin Harvick all won Cup races in both 2001 and 2011. The only one still active (but for how long?) is Harvick. If he wins a race this season, and there are nineteen different winners again, he'll hold a special record in NASCAR history.


Five Questions for Atlanta Five Questions for Atlanta Reviewed by laweez on Friday, March 19, 2021 Rating: 5