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Atlanta Impact Evident In Newest NASCAR Hall of Fame Class

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's not hard to walk around Atlanta Motor Speedway and be reminded of all of the great drivers that have raced here during our history and the memories that have been made by fans and drivers alike. Whether it's photos of great moments around the AMS corporate offices featuring the likes of Petty, Gordon, Allison, Earnhardt, Elliott or Harvick, the  statue of Richard Petty outside the gift shop or the model cars of every AMS winner spread throughout our ticket office, the impact of Atlanta on NASCAR's history is ever-present. 

But the track's history spreads so much further, as shown by the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, of which each member's storied career includes triumphs at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Indeed, the fingerprints of Atlanta Motor Speedway cover each member of this year's class - David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Lee Petty, Bud Moore and Ned Jarrett.

Two inductees, Allison and Moore, are actually intertwined with Atlanta Motor Speedway. Allison has five career victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway, one of which came in 1978 driving a car owned by, you guessed it, Bud Moore.

Allison finished in the top five 17 times at Atlanta, the same number of top fives as "The Silver Fox," David Pearson. The main stat separating the Atlanta accolades of these two is victories - Pearson won four times at Atlanta to Allison's five, although Allison did have nine more career starts at Atlanta than Pearson's 39. 

Moore, considered one of the top mechanical innovators of NASCAR, was the winning car owner four times at Atlanta and did so with four different drivers spanning three decades. His first win came with Buddy Baker in 1975 with the final win being with Morgan Sheperd behind the wheel in 1990. Sandwiched between those victories are Allison's 1978 victory and a win by Ricky Rudd in 1987.

Ned Jarrett collected one of his 50 career wins at Atlanta in 1964. But his impact wasn't on the racetrack alone - he was also part of the various TV broadcast teams in the 1980s, when many fans were introduced to the sport through the races on TV with Jarrett being among those engaging the new and old fans during each week's race.

Finally, there's Lee Petty. Due to an injury sustained in a crash, 1960, the year Atlanta opened its doors, was his final year running a majority of the races. He competed in both Atlanta races that year, finishing in the top ten both times. The Petty name, of course, would see many bright days at Atlanta in the years to come under the Petty Enterprises banner to the tune of six victories, all of them with Lee's son, Richard behind the wheel.

We're very proud of our place in NASCAR history at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and we look forward to celebrating it even more with this class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame!

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