Five most memorable NASCAR Cup Series finishes at Atlanta

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Five most memorable NASCAR Cup Series finishes at Atlanta
Feb 25, 2018, 5:28 PM

Take a look back at some of the most thrilling and closest finishes in the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Motorsport.

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5. Clash of the titans, Gordon vs. Johnson

5. Clash of the titans, Gordon vs. Johnson
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Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

After being postponed two days due to rain, the finish of the September, 2011 Atlanta race was one for the ages. Two of the most successful drivers in the history of NASCAR went at it in the closing laps, sliding all over the track as they tried to one-up each other. At the checkered flag, Jeff Gordon prevailed over teammate Jimmie Johnson for a milestone victory -- his 85th.

4. The rookie prevails

4. The rookie prevails
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Photo by: Autostock

Just four races into his first full-time season in 2005, Carl Edwards moved to the outside of Jimmie Johnson on the final lap and the two drivers drag-raced to the line. Edwards would win by a mere 0.028 for his first of 28 career victories before his shock retirement after the 2016 season.

3. Earnhardt's 75th win

3. Earnhardt's 75th win
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

Two drivers who have won a combined 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway found themselves in a heated battle in the closing laps of the March, 2000 race. Dale Earnhardt edged Bobby Labonte by just 0.010 in one of several photo finishes at the famous circuit. For Earnhardt, it would be his second-to-last victory before his tragic passing in the 2001 Daytona 500.

2. Alan Kulwicki earns 1992 title

2. Alan Kulwicki earns 1992 title
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Photo by: Ford Motor Company

Although Bill Elliott won the 1992 finale by eight full seconds, it still stands as one of the most enthralling Atlanta races there's ever been. Elliott, Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison were locked in a three-way fight for the championship entering the weekend. When Allison exited the race early due to an accident, Elliott and Kulwicki were left to battle it out. In the end, it would come down to who would lead the most laps. Kulwicki led 103 to Elliott's 102 in an incredible battle. Had it been the other around, they would have tied for the championship and Elliott would have won, via the tiebreaker.

1. Kevin Harvick's emotional first win

1. Kevin Harvick's emotional first win
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Photo by: NASCAR Media

After the loss of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500, rookie Kevin Harvick was chosen for the impossible task of taking over the wheel of the legendary driver's car. The color scheme was reversed and the number changed to 29, and Harvick gave the team exactly what they needed in what was appropriately his third career start. At the line, he beat Jeff Gordon by just 0.006, leading to a tear-filled celebration honoring the late great Earnhardt.

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Alan Kulwicki , Davey Allison
Article type Top List