Who Won The Atlanta Motor Speedway Race? [Updated!]

The Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the most historic motorsport venues in the country, having first opened its gates in 1950. Since then, it has gone on to host numerous races that have become tradition, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600, which is the longest continuous running sports car race in the world. The track is best-known for its unique combination of vintage cars and modern-day machinery, all while being a part of one of America’s most beautiful natural sights – the City of Lights, which is visible from all over the track.

The 2019 iteration of the historic Coca-Cola 600 was arguably one of the best yet, with a massive 600-person field – a World Record for a motorsport event. Over the six hours of racing, Alexander Rossi took the chequered flag for PPG Pace Racing in the #95 Corvette, becoming the first American to win the coveted event since 2012.

While most will agree that Rossi’s maiden voyage at the helm of the #95 Corvette was truly historic, there was also another first-time winner that day, as the Andretti Autosport team took home the checkered flag for the first time since their inception in 2014. The Indianapolis-based squad were the only all-American outfit to take a win in 2019, with the only other came from Michael Schumacher in the #1 Ferrari.

Although it was a good day for American motorsport, it was not such an easy win for the Andretti Autosport team. In fact, they had to overcome some serious challenges along the way, starting with a spin in the pit lane that relegated them to last place. It wasn’t until the final few laps that they started to make up some ground, taking the checkered flag in 4th place overall.

The #95 Corvette took home the trophy for best in class, as well. The car’s designer, Larry Perkins, credited the win to the car’s well-balanced and spacious layout. Perkins also stated that the car would be suitable for women as well as men, as long as they “fit right.”

The 2019 Atlanta Motor Speedway Chequered Flag Winners

Let’s take a quick look at the winners of the 2019 Atlanta Motor Speedway, shall we?

Overall, it was a successful day for American motorsport, with several teams and drivers setting new records and/or breaking historic marks along the way. To start things off, we’ll take a look at the overall winners of the day.

Starting off with the coveted trophy for best in class goes to none other than the Andretti Autosport team. While the #95 Corvette did not win by much – just 0.007 seconds – it was enough to claim the ‘Ring of Fire’. The American squad were the only all-American outfit to take a win on the day (the only other coming from Michael Schumacher in the #1 Ferrari), and the first since Andy Hillenburg in the #3 Porsche in 2015.

In addition to the trophy, Andretti Autosport were also gifted some excellent paint jobs by PEZ Dispenser. The sponsor covered the #95 with their vibrant orange and yellow livery, which looked great against the dusty blue of the Corvette.

Moving on, we’ll take a quick stroll down memory lane, as we look back at some of the historic moments that made this day so special. Starting with the very first car to cross the start/finish line, we’ll go all the way up to the chequered flag.

The First-Ever Chevy Corvette

One of the most important and historic cars of all time took the chequered flag in the first ever race held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is the Chevrolet Corvette, which was introduced to the world in 1953 and went on to become one of the most popular and successful cars of all time. You could even say that it was the beginning of the American automotive industry, as the war efforts that year were a major reason for its inception.

It’s no wonder then that the car takes home the trophy for best in class, as it truly is a classic masterpiece. The record for this particular event goes to…well, you’ll have to read below to find out who it is!

The Historic Milestones

While the trophy for best in class is a great way to finish off a day at the races, it’s not the only significant event that occurred on April 13th, 2019. Below we’ve compiled a small list of some of the other significant events and milestones that occurred on that day at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

A Record-Breaking Day For American Motorsport

One of the most significant developments of the day was that several American cars and trucks broke historic marks and/or set new ones in the process of winning the races. Here’s a short list of some of the important events that occurred on that glorious afternoon:

The Overall Winners

  • Alexander Rossi became the first American victor since 2012.
  • The #95 Corvette broke Larry Perkins’ historic mark for the most wins in a single day (3).
  • The #1 Ferrari and #3 Porsche broke their own single-day winnings records (2 each).
  • The #95 Corvette also bettered the record for the most podium finishes in a single day (4).
  • Andretti Autosport became the first American team to win the coveted race since Andy Hillenburg in the #3 Porsche in 2015.

The First-Ever Andretti Autosport Win

The first-ever winning streak for the Andretti Autosport team was also a significant event on this day, with the American squad claiming the chequered flag in the first three races held that afternoon. While it’s not entirely clear why they lost the final race of the day, it may have had something to do with NASCAR’s policy for random cautions, as there were several yellow flags waved during the final laps. Nevertheless, what an amazing start to their existence!

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Andretti Autosport team, which was founded by Mike and Andretti Andretti, and it celebrated by claiming a record seven wins in 2019, which included their first-ever Atlanta Motor Speedway win. While it’s not entirely clear what made this year so special, it may have had something to do with the fact that there were several anniversaries and promotions throughout the year, all of which helped the team bring down the curtain on a glorious 2019. After a tough 2018 and a change in ownership, it looked like things were just about to take off for the team.

The First-Ever ‘Ring Of Fire’

One of the most iconic pieces of racing merchandise is the ‘Ring of Fire’, which is given to the first-place overall winner at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is fitting as it was the ‘Ring of Fire’ that helped make this day so special. The ‘Ring of Fire’ was first used at the 1964 Indy 500, where it was presented to Gordon Trimble, a car owner and pilot from Toronto. The checkered flag was then replaced with a blaze of orange and yellow, which is the emblematic color of Firestone, the company that sponsored that year’s race.

Since 1964, the ‘Ring of Fire’ has been presented to the overall winners at the Indy 500, as well as the Daytona 500, which are the two most prominent and historic motorsport events in the U.S. In 2019, the blazes were brought back for arguably the best Coke 600 ever, which is the longest running sports car race in the world. While the car’s designer, Larry Perkins, attributed the win to a combination of factors, he also stated that the ‘Ring of Fire’ played a significant role in the victory.

This year’s winners of the most prestigious American race, the Coca-Cola 600, were presented with the prestigious ‘Ring Of Fire’ prior to the start of the 2019 IndyCar Series. Alexander Rossi and the #95 Corvette were handed the ‘Ring of Fire’ by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, while the #1 Ferrari and #3 Porsche were presented with the emblematic orange and yellow ‘Firestone’ hats as part of the celebrations for this first-ever win of the year.

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