Checkered Countdown: Top-Five Atlanta Finishes

6 of 6

No.1 Kevin Harvick edges Jeff Gordon in his third start and remembers Dale Earnhardt  (2001).

After Dale Earnhardt’s death the Richard Childress Racing team promoted Busch Series driver Kevin Harvick to Winston Cup to replace Earnhardt. The young driver needed only three races to prove how talented he was. At Atlanta in fact after a five-car battle in the last laps he was able to get the lead but had to fight off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon to go to victory lane for the first time. It was a legendary side by side battle and Harvick took the checkered flag first by just six one-thousands of a second, one of the slightest race-winning margins in history. During the celebrations Harvick remembered Earnhardt with three fingers held up in the air out of the window of the car, for the cheering of the crowd.