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THE RACE: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500

Winston Cup Race #4 of 34 for the 2000 season
Updated: often, leading up to the race

  • Race: Sunday, March 12, 2000 in Hampton, GA

  • TV: ABC 1:00pm/et

  • Purse: $2,265,604

  • Entry List: Entry List for the: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 from NOL

  • 1999 Race Winner: Jeff Gordon

  • Spring Race Speed Record: Dale Earnhardt, 1996, 161.298mph

  • Track/Race Length: 1.54 mile quad-oval, 325 laps, 500.5 miles

  • Practice: Friday, Mar 10th 11:00am-12:30pm/et; 1:40-2:30pm/et; Saturday, Mar 11th, 9:30-10:45am/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: Saturday, Mar 11th, after the BGN race, TV-ESPN2 tape delay 6pm/et

  • Qualifying Draw: Friday, Mar 10th at 10:30am/et

  • Qualfying Order: That's Racin' - qual order and NASCAR Online - qual order

  • First Round Qualifying: 1 lap for positions 1-25, Friday, Mar 10th at 3:30pm/et, TV-ESPN2 tape delay 5pm/et(re-air at 9:00pm/et) and live via PRN radio/internet(link below)

  • Second-Round Qualifying: 1 lap for positions 26th on back, Saturday, Mar 11th at 11:00am/et

  • Track Qualifying Record: Geoffrey Bodine, 197.478mph, November 1997

  • Race Qualifying Record: Bobby Labonte, 194.957mph, March 1999

  • Last Year's Pole Sitter: Bobby Labonte, 194.957mph

  • Pit Road Speed: 45mph

  • NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web

  • AMS: Atlanta Motor Speedway Recordbook(3-6-2000)

    Track Specs:
    Degree of Banking: Turns: 24 degrees
    Straightaways: Banking: 5 degrees; Straights: Frontstretch - 1471 feet; Backstretch - 1380 feet.

  • Track Homepage: Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Scanner Frequencies: are linked on my Racing Links Page/ Scanners Section

  • Goodyear Tire Notes - Atlanta PR(3-8-2000)


  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus is $30,000 at Atlanta for leading the points and winning the race.(Dale Jarrett last won the award, $10,000 at Daytona) The $340,000 annual award is paid at $10,000 per race to the point leader at the end of each event if he is also the winner. The award increases by $10,000 each week the it goes unclaimed. If the point leader is not the race winner at the end of the year, the balance of the award is distributed among the top-10 finisher in the point standings(3-5-2000)


Radio Coverage:
Performance Racing Network(PRN), with live RealAudio coverage
go to the Performance Racing Network Affiliate List for your local station

Satellite/Backhaul Listing's:
Satellite/Backhaul Listing's: Stutzman Computer Service/Sales - Racing Feed Locations

Local Newspaper and other Sites that cover the Atlanta/Hampton, GA Area:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Savannah Morning News

Weather forecast for Hampton, GA by The Weather Channel

Atlanta Pre-Race Story - Speedway Illustrated


Fans Can Online


  • Some Atlanta Stats: 13 of all the 81 Atlanta races have been won by the pole starter - 16%; Last Cracker Barrel 500 won by the pole winner: 1990 by Dale Earnhardt; Lowest start of a Cracker Barrel 500 Winner: 31st by Dale Earnhardt, 1980 race. Track Record, 37th by Bobby Labonte, Nov. 1999 race(TNN Stats)(3-10-2000)

  • From the TNN Site: Atlanta Race Stats by their stat guru Bill Sloboda(3-10-2000)

  • Crew Chief Club

  • Atlanta Quick Facts(TNN)(3-9-2000)

  • Atlanta Race Fact Sheet (RaceWire)(3-9-2000)

  • ODDS: Stardust NASCAR Odds - Atlanta(WRAL)(3-9-2000)

  • NASCAR - Atlanta Preview(WRAL)(3-9-2000)

  • Grand Marshal: General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) will give the order to start engines as Grand Marshal of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The occasion marks Powell's first visit to a NASCAR event and his return to the Atlanta area where in 1989 he was stationed at Fort McPherson as the commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command. Powell's weekend schedule will find him in the NASCAR Winston Cup garage area to meet competitors(2-22-2000)


  • Atlanta: now that was a race. #3-Dale Earnhardt pulls off the win over #18-Bobby Labonte by maybe a foot. Great runs by #1-Steve Park, his best finish ever and his first top five. #33-Joe Nemechek had his 2nd top 10 in a row. Todd Bodine has a heck of a run in the #91 KMC Telecom LJ Racing Chevy, 7th. The highest finishing rookie was #93-Dave Blaney with a 20th place finish with #27-Jeff Fuller in 22nd. #40-Sterling Marlin had the best finish of a provisional starter with a 12th. Let's see, there was a Chevy in 1st, a Pontiac in 2nd and a Ford in 3rd. The manufacturer standings are pretty close: Pontiac-27; Ford-26; Chevy-23.(3-12-2000)

  • 2nd Round Qualifying was washed out. Missing the race were #10-Benson(32nd in 1999 owners points); #71-Marcis(39th); #90-Berrier(40th); #13-Gordon(none); and #14-Bliss(none). #66-Darrell Waltrip, 35th in 1999 owners points, had to use his 3rd Past Champ Provisional to make the race. Bliss and Marcis missed their 3rd of 4 races in 2000. DW, #44-Kyle Petty and #4-Bobby Hamilton used their 3rd provisionals of the 2000 season, in four races. For more info on provisionals, see the Provisional Status Page. For the starting lineup see NOL and the Racin' Network(3-11-2000)

  • Sat AM Practice: looks like the Cup guys got practice in Saturday morning. #13-Robby Gordon was the fastest at 188.219mph. The 36th fastest speed from 1st round is 188.700mph, so Gordon, #71-Marcis, #10-Benson, #14-Bliss and #90-Berrier would need go at least that fast to make the race. See the speeds at: NOL and Racin' Network(3-11-2000)

  • 1st round Qualifying at Atlanta is over. #88-Dale Jarrett wins the pole at 192.574mph with #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr on the outside pole at 192.333mph. Slowest was #44-Kyle Petty at 185.707mph(PRN Radio). If things stay the same(like it rains) the following five drivers miss the race: #10-Benson(32nd in 1999 owners points); #71-Marcis(39th); #90-Berrier(40th); #13-Gordon(none); and #14-Bliss(none). #66-Darrell Waltrip, 35th in 1999 owners points would need a Champ Provisional to make the race. For more info on provisionals, see the Provisional Status Page. #28-Ricky Rudd was 34th, so it breaks his steak of three straight races on the front row. Qualifying is important in 1st round as rain is predicted for Saturday which could cause 2nd round qualifying to be cancelled. See the results at NOL, That's Racin' and Racin' Network(3-10-2000)

  • Qualifying Notes: #18-Bobby Labonte's hood is adorned with large MBNA logo; #9-Compton has the Cougar colors this week; #94-Bill Elliott has the red/silver 25th anniversary scheme on the car;(ESPN2 Coverage)(3-10-2000)

  • 2nd Friday practice has been stopped by rain. Twenty-three minutes in with #97-Chad Little as the fastest with a speed of 189.993mph. #1-Steve Park ended up being the fastest at 190.995mph. See speeds at That's Racin' and Racin' Network(3-10-2000)

  • 1st Friday practice is over: #1-Steve Park was the fastest at 190.863mph. #13-Robby Gordon only ran three laps and has a fast speed of 168.505mph, not sure what problems he had. See the speeds at NOL and Racin' Network(3-10-2000)

  • Qualifying Order link is up, see above. First out: #9-Stacy Compton; Last Out: #26-Jimmy Spencer. 48 cars listed. Qualifying is scheduled to start at 3:30pm/et. TV is tape delayed on ESPN2 at 5:00pm/et and will repeat on ESPN2 at 9pm/et tonight(3-10-2000)

  • How to break a tie? When drivers are tied for a starting spot during qualifying, it is broken by owners points standings(not drivers). For provisionals standings see the Jayski Provisional Status page(2-20-2000)

  • Links: Practice speeds, qualifying and results can be found at these sites: NASCAR Online,


  • How to Calculate Track Speeds: use the formula Speed = Distance divided by Time. Distance is Track Length, and Lap Time into Hours. Once hour is 3600 seconds, so the calculation for a 48 second lap at Daytona(2.5 miles) would be: Speed = 2.5 x (3600/48), = 2.5 x 75 = 187.500mph. For a 19 second lap at Bristol(.533 miles): Speed = .533 x (3600/19), = .533 x 189.474 = a speed of 100.990mph

  • Past track news: posted in the past at Past Track News - Atlanta


  • Earnhardt's 75th win: Dale Earnhardt's win at Atlanta was his 9th, which ties Atlanta for most wins at a track for Earnhardt along with 9 wins at Bristol and Darlington(3-13-2000)

  • new race record: when #3-Dale Earnhardt won the race from 35th starting spot, he broke his own record for the track. In the spring of 1980, Earnhardt started 31st and won. The overall record was 37th by Bobby Labonte in the Nov. 1999 race(3-12-2000)

  • Cracker Barrel 500 notes: some things heard/seen on the ABC broadcast and the PRN radio broadcast of the race at Atlanta. There was a pit fire in the #60 Power Team pit, gasman Joe Ward fell and the gascan caught fire, which erupted behind the #60 Chevy. The #4 Kodak Chevy of Bobby Hamilton took off when he saw the fire, but his catch can was still attached and caught fire when he drove thru the fire. Hamilton had to bring the car back in to the pits and have the fire extinguished. Ward was bumped and bruised but ok, he inhaled some of the extinguisher fumes; #17-Matt Kenseth led a Winston Cup lap for the first time in his career(ABC TV/PRN Radio)(3-12-2000)

  • DJ's DNF: When #88-Dale Jarrett went out early at Atlanta with an engine problem, it was his first DNF(did not finish) since the 1999 Daytona 500, a stretch of 36 races(3-12-2000)

  • Another Entry UPDATE oops: #95 David Keith has been added to the CUP entry list at Atlanta in the Sadler Brothers Ford(AMS PR) -- UPDATE: From the #95 team: The Sadler Brothers team did have plans to run at Atlanta, however they will not go to Atlanta or Texas as previously planned. The team plans to run the Southern 500 at Darlington, and the NAPA 500 at Atlanta in November, also the previous scheduled The Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes, The Brickyard 400 at Indy, and the Pepsi 400 at Michigan(3-8-2000)

  • #50 Withdraws? UPDATE: hearing the #50 Midwest Transit team and driver Ricky Craven have withdrawn from the Atlanta race this weekend -- UPDATE: Yep, just saw it on the Midwest Transit Racing website: Midwest Transit Racing to Skip Atlanta, Focus on Darlington, mainly because of the rules changes and the feeling they could not get ready in time(3-7-2000)

  • Top 10's: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #28-Ricky Rudd are the only drivers who have qualified in the top 10 for all three CUP races in 2000. On top of that Ricky Rudd has quailified on the front row for three straight races with the pole at Vegas and 2nd at Daytona and the Rock(3-4-2000)

  • #91 News: Todd Bodine will be driving for the #91 LJ Racing team at Atlanta and Texas. Bodine recently tested at Atlanta. Andy Hillenburg is scheduled drive the car at Talladega in April. Sponsorship is still needed for the LJ Racing team. KMC Telecom who sponsored the team at Daytona may be back in a one race deal or as an associate(many sources including Catchfence, Victory Lane and others)(3-2-2000)

  • See the 2000 Team Chart which has links to past news for each team


  • #21 Paint: In recognition of the Wood Brothers accomplishments in racing over the past 50 years, five different historical paint schemes, representing five different decades, will appear throughout the season. The first will debut this weekend on the CITGO Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The paint scheme in Atlanta will flash back to 1993 when the Wood Brothers received their most recent win, which came with former driver Morgan Shepherd(Cox Marketing), see the image of the car at Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery(3-8-2000)

  • WCW Scheme: Wally Dallenbach will run the WCW(World Championship Wrestling) paint scheme on the #75 Cartoon Network/Red Cell Batteries/Turner Broadcasting Ford for the following races: Las Vegas on March 5th, Atlanta March 12th, The Pepsi 400 at Daytona on July 1st, Bristol on August 26th and Talladega on October 15th. See the car in the Paint Schemes Gallery(1-25-2000)

  • More Paint Scheme news can be found on Jayski's Paint Scheme Gallery, choose current news


  • Tidbits: CUP Points leader Bobby Labonte has won four of the last seven Cup races at Atlanta. ... Labonte, Jarrett and Mark Martin are the only drivers to record top-10 finishes in each of the season's first three races(Roanoke Times)(3-8-2000)

  • Poles: For the third consecutive year and for the sixth time in the last ten years there have been three different Bud Pole winners and three different race winners after three events(NOL)(3-8-2000)

  • Gordon Streak: Jeff Gordon has gone eight races without a top-five finish. That's the longest streak of his 226-race Winston Cup career(News and Observer)(3-6-2000)

  • 500th: with #99-Jeff Burton's win at Las Vegas, Ford claimed it's 500th victory in the Winston Cup series(3-5-2000)

  • Martin: #6-Mark Martin is the only driver to lead all three CUP races in 2000, in fact Martin has led the last seven CUP races dating back to last year at Rockingham(ABC Race Coverage)(3-5-2000)

  • Consecutive Starts: Terry Labonte has 639 consecutive Winston Cup starts, Dale Earnhardt is next with 616(3-11-2000)

  • No Top Fives Since.... It has been a while since some drivers have had even a whiff of success on the Winston Cup circuit. Here are those with the longest streak of races without a top-five finish:

       Driver          Races  Finish    Track           Date
       Brett Bodine     170     2nd     Indianapolis    8-6-94
       Rick Mast        100     4th     Martinsville    9-22-96
       Kyle Petty        74     3rd     Dover           9-21-97
       Chad Little       63     2nd     Texas           4-5-98
       Johnny Benson     63     5th     Texas           4-5-98
       Hut Stricklin     60     2nd     Darlington      9-1-96
       Robert Pressley   54     3rd     Texas           4-5-98
       Darrell Waltrip   53     5th     California      5-3-98
       Ken Schrader      45     4th     Richmond        9-12-98
       Derrike Cope      45     5th     Atlanta         11-16-97
       Dick Trickle      43     5th     Rockingham      10-27-97
       Steve Grissom     40     4th     New Hampshire   9-14-97
       Ricky Craven      38     3rd     Rockingham      10-27-97
       Ted Musgrave      36     5th     Phoenix         10-25-98
    Dave Marcis has not had a top 10 since April 10, 1994 in
    the Food City 500 at Bristol, he finished 10th.
    Marcis has had no top fives since a 3rd at
    Watkins Glen on August 10, 1987.
    Regular Drivers Without a Career Top Five
       Driver         Races
       David Green     76
       Steve Park      59
       Elliott Sadler  39
    Cup drivers(not including 2000 rookies)
    (data compiled from UMI Press Guides, Winston Cup Updates)(3-5-2000)
  • No Wins Ever.... Some regular drivers in Winston Cup who have never won a Cup race and how many starts they have:

       Driver          Races Run
       Michael Waltrip  431
       Rick Mast        311
       Ted Musgrave     282
       Hut Stricklin    264*
       Dick Trickle     261* 
       Wally Dallenbach 198
       Chad Little      192
       Kenny Wallace    188
       Robert Pressley  139
       Steve Grissom    135*
       Johnny Benson    131
       Ricky Craven     129
       Mike Skinner     113
       David Green       76*
       Kenny Irwin       73
       Jerry Nadeau      72
       Kevin Lepage      67
       Steve Park        59
       Elliott Sadler    39
    (3-5-2000)(UMI Press Guides Stats)

  • Drivers with the longest streak since they won a CUP race:

       Driver          Races Run   Last Win   Track
       Dave Marcis      469        2/21/82    Richmond
       Brett Bodine     298        4/22/90    North Wilkesboro
       Ken Schrader     272        6/2/91     Dover
       Derrike Cope     271        6/3/90     Dover
       Darrell Waltrip  225        9/6/92     Darlington
       Jimmy Spencer    171        7/24/94    Talladega
       Bill Elliott     164        9/4/94     Darlington
       Kyle Petty       146        6/4/95     Dover
       Ward Burton      130        10/22/95   Rockingham
       Sterling Marlin  117        7/6/96     Daytona
       Geoffrey Bodine  106        8/11/96    Watkins Glen
       Bobby Hamilton    62        4/20/98    Martinsville
       Ricky Rudd        43        9/27/98    Martinsville    
    (3-5-2000)(UMI Press Guides Stats)

  • Top Fives: There have been 9 different Cup drivers(no new drivers after Vegas) score a Top-5 in 2000....1999's total was 28 and 1998 year's total number was 27(3-5-2000)

  • Top Tens: There were 19 different Cup drivers(add #10-Benson, #8-Earnhardt Jr, and #33-Nemechek after Vegas) score a Top-10 in 2000.....1999's total was 40 and 1998's total number was 41(3-5-2000)

  • Provisonal Finishes: In 21 provisonal starts(3 races x 7), drivers have accumulated 0 Wins, 1 Top 5's and 1 Top 10's. See my Provisional Finishes Page(3-5-2000)

  • Lap Leader/Bonus Points: 20 drivers have led at least one Winston Cup lap in 2000. To see who has led laps and who leads in the bonus points, see my Bonus Points Leaders Page(3-5-2000)

  • Winners: 1999 was the fifth straight year that there have been 11 different winners in a season (1995-99). Every winner in 1999 was from a multi-car team. The last time a single-car team scored a victory was by Ricky Rudd at Martinsville in September 1998(NOL)(11-24-1999)

  • UPDATE: Jeff Burton was the first driver to win from a provisional starting spot EVER at New Hampshire in 1999 and that is the farthest back any driver has won from since Kyle Petty won from 37th at Dover in June 1995(in 1995 37th was not a provisional starting spot). Bill Elliott also won from 38th spot in the 1988 Pepsi 400. In fact ALL the provisional starters for the race finished in the top 25 at NHIS(7-11-1999) -- UPDATE: Add Bobby Labonte as the 2nd ever provisional winners by winning the 1999 NAPA 500 at Atlanta(11-21-1999)

  • Short Track Wins UPDATE 3 the streak lives: Nine different drivers win the last nine short-track races: Dale Jarrett, John Andretti, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Gordon(Bristol Spring 98)(8-25-1999) -- UPDATE Make it Ten drivers, add Dale Earnhardt to the mix(8-29-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Make it Eleven different drivers now as Tony Stewart won at Richmond(9-12-1999) -- UPDATE 3 It still stands at eleven since Gordon was first on the list to start the streak, so we still have 11 different winners in the last 11 short track races(10-5-1999)

  • 1999 Short Track Season: The short track 'title' goes to Rusty Wallace by four points over Dale Earnhardt. The top ten: 1) #2-Wallace 891; 2) #3-Earnhardt 887; 3) #6-Martin 838; 4) #88-Jarrett 835; 5) #40-Marlin; 6) #24-Gordon 788; 7) #44-Petty 772; 8) #99-Burton 766; 9) #20-Stewart 734; 10) #31-Skinner 727 (Stock Car Fans Rumblings)(10-3-1999)

  • Stats: Only five times in NASCAR's modern era(1972-present) has the eventual champion not won by the sixth race of the season. Those champions were Benny Parsons in 1973, Terry Labonte in 1984 and 1996, Darrell Waltrip in 1985 and Dale Jarrett in 1999.(2-20-2000)

  • 43rd Fact: Last driver to win from the 43rd starting spot was Fonty Flock at Raliegh, NC in 1953, the only other driver to do so was Johnny Mantz in the 1950 Southern 500

Winston Cup Disabled List for the race
and won't race there
Driver Car# Injury Return Date Sub
Geoffrey Bodine 60 Broken Bones, Concussion, Back ?? Ted Musgrave

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