The Atlanta Motor Speedway is preparing for its 100th NASCAR race this weekend. The track, which is about 20 miles south of Atlanta, held its first race on July 31, 1960, but Coke and motorsports also have a long history in Atlanta that goes back a century.
Coca-Cola’s founder, Asa Candler, helped foster the fledgling sport of racing by creating the Atlanta Speedway in 1909 in the land that now houses Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. In that year's Coca-Cola Cup (which christened the new raceway), Louis Chevrolet was the driver who walked off with the trophy plus $600 in gold after driving at the breakneck speed of 70 mph! As you can see in this image of the coveted Coca-Cola Trophy, the statue held up a torch with a wheel and wings coming out of it.
Louis Chevrolet, who drove in a Buick, finished the race in a time of 1:23:24.