Checkered Countdown: Top-Five Atlanta Finishes

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No.2 Alan Kulwicki wins the Winston Cup Championship during a very special day for NASCAR (1992).

This following finish we are analyzing on Checkered Countdown is on this list not because of a thrilling or adrenaline-filled last lap battle like the others, but mainly for its importance in the history of NASCAR. The 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta was not only the race that decided the championship, but also the end of an era and the beginning of another. It was the last race of Richard Petty’s career and the first race for a young gun called Jeff Gordon. Furthermore, it was the race in which three drivers still had a concrete chance of winning the championship: Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki and Bill Elliott. 160.000 people were attending the race and Kulwicki, the “underdog” driving for his own team, shocked the world when he threw the big upset and clinched the championship by just 10 points even if Elliott won the race after Allison had crashed out. It was the closest title win in NASCAR history at the time, a record beaten only when the Chase for the Cup was introduced.