Since its inception in 1981, some of the top short track racers in the country have tested themselves at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the All American 400. The event has seen different formats and race cars through the years, but the constant has been a marquee status among short track racing events, drawing some of the best drivers around to compete at the challenging 0.596-mile oval.
Here are the top 10 performers in the history of the All American 400, a tradition which continues this weekend on Speed51.TV.
10) Dick Trickle – Despite never winning the All American 400, the numbers speak for themselves at Nashville for the White Knight. Trickle has the second-most top-10 runs of all time, with eight for a non winner. Among those eight top-10s are five top-five runs, with a second and two third-place finishes. In all, he completed 96 percent of the possible 4,800 laps he could have run in the All American 400.
9) Jody Ridley – Here is the only other non-winner on the list, and his numbers speak volumes to his success. The Georgia driver tallied six top-fives and 11 top-10s in his All American 400 career.. Ridley’s best finish in the race came in 1984, finishing second to Gary Balough. He completed nearly 5,500 laps in the historic All American 400.
8) Boris Jurkovic – Wait, what? Yes, Boris Jurkovic has some of the best numbers at the All American 400. The 2006 winner of the race has completed 97% of his laps in the 400 and has two runner-ups and a third-place run, giving him four podium finishes.
7) Mike Garvey – In 1993 and 2000, Mike Garvey won 400-lap All American 400 races at Nashville. Outside of those two magical days, Garvey didn’t fare so well. He was running after five of his 10 starts, and three of those were on the lead lap, showing how tough this race really is.
6) Eddie Hoffman – Hoffman ran in an era where the race was two parts, one with Super Late Models and the other Pro Late Models. The 2006 and 2007 winner also started on the pole for two Super Late Model All American 400’s. In all, he had five top 10 finishes.
5) Wayne Anderson – Bookending the Freddie Query wins of the 90s was Wayne Anderson, who led over 200 laps and had five top 10 runs. The 1996 and 1999 winner finished on the lead lap four times.
4) Freddie Query – He didn’t run the 400 much, but Query made his mark with back-to-back wins in 1997 and 1998. He came back in 1999 and almost completed the threepeat. He was second in his first running in 1993 and led 553 laps at the All American 400.
3) Gary Balough – Balough is the race’s all-time lap leader with 817 laps led. Balough took wins in 1984 and 1986, but the most compelling stat is that he completed all but three laps in five All American 400s. Between his two wins, he was second in 1985 when he was beat out by Rusty Wallace.
2) Butch Miller – Miller ran the show 10 times, with eight top-five finishes. The 1988 and 1989 winner of the race was on the podium four times in his career, and he led 457 laps in the race. He completed 97% of the laps he’s run at the All American 400 and was the king of the late 80s there.
1) Jeff Purvis – Purvis is the only driver to win the All American 400 three times. When Jeff Purvis was on in the 1990s, everyone else was racing for second. in 1991 and 1992 Purvis had the best car and won the race. in 1993, he sat on the pole and crashed eight laps in. A year later, it was 22 laps and an engine failure. That set the stage for 1995 and a return to get revenge, as he led 138 laps on his way to a fourth win. in 1996, Purvis led 253 laps before finishing fifth after running out of fuel in what could have been a fourth win.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 “Stat Boy”