2004 Banquet 400
|Race 30 of 36 in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season
|Date||October 10, 2004|
|Location||Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kansas|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
1.5 mi (2.4 km)
|Distance||267 laps, 400.5 mi (644.5 km)|
|Weather||Temperatures reaching a high of 70 °F (21 °C); wind speeds approaching 13 miles per hour (21 km/h)|
|Average speed||128.085 miles per hour (206.133 km/h)|
|Driver||Joe Nemechek||MB2 Motorsports|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Jeremy Mayfield||Evernham Motorsports|
|Television in the United States|
Wally Dallenbach Jr.
The 2004 Banquet 400 is a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race that took place on October 10, 2004 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. The race was won from the pole by Joe Nemechek, his final trip to victory lane in NASCAR.
This race was noteworthy for the Top 3 finishers all carrying the colors of the United States Armed Forces. Nemechek won in the U.S. Army Chevrolet, Ricky Rudd finished 2nd in the U.S. Air Force Ford, and Greg Biffle was 3rd in the National Guard Ford. Nemechek also became the first "non-Chase" driver to win a race in the Chase.
Joe Nemechek would defeat Ricky Rudd by just one carlength (.081 of a second) in front of 90,000 fans. Nemechek won the pole position for the race at just over 180 miles per hour (290 km/h) during Friday's qualifying session. The race took three hours to complete and nine caution periods slowed the race for 39 laps. The race began at approximately 2:00 PM EDT and concluded at approximately 5:07 PM EDT. At an interview done in 2012, Nemechek praised NASCAR's then-lenient rules on "vehicle innovation" that allowed him to acquire his fourth (and final) NASCAR Cup Series victory.
Sterling Marlin had problems in the pits and came out with a terrible 34th place finish due to a crash. Kirk Shelmerdine received the last-place finish on the third lap of this 267-lap race due to a problem with his clutch. Shane Hmiel would make the best finish in his NASCAR career to date with a respectable 24th place finish. Veteran driver Larry Gunselman would make his final Nextel Cup Series start. He would attempt the next 2 Daytona 500s and make several starts in the Busch and Craftsman Truck Series before becoming the owner of Max Q Motorsports; a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that is currently inactive.
Purse monies for each driver ranged from $279,725 ($349,261.99 in today's money) to $63,212 ($78,925.91 in today's money). Kansas Speedway awarded a grand total of $3,553,992 to all the drivers who qualified for this event ($4,437,480.85 in today's money).
Top ten finishers
- Joe Nemechek
- Ricky Rudd
- Greg Biffle
- Elliott Sadler
- Jeremy Mayfield
- Kurt Busch
- Jamie McMurray
- Dale Jarrett
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
- Brendan Gaughan
- Weather information for the 2004 Banquet 400 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
- 2004 Banquet 400 racing information at Racing Reference
- 2004 Banquet 400 racing information at Race Database
- 2004 Banquet 400 at Crash.net
- A conversation with NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek posted by Chad Bonham at Jam The Hype
- Racing winnings information at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
2004 EA Sports 500
|NASCAR Nextel Cup Series
2004 UAW-GM Quality 500