2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series

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2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season
Previous: 2003 Next: 2005
Champions | Seasons

The 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season began on Saturday, February 7 and ended on Sunday, November 21. Kurt Busch with Roush Racing driving a Ford was the Nextel Cup champion.

This was the first season that NASCAR utilized the Chase for the Nextel Cup format that began with the Sylvania 300 on Sunday, September 19. Under the format rules, the top 10 drivers (and any additional drivers within 400 points of the leader) by the end of the 26th race would be eligible to compete in a final 10-race playoff to determine the NASCAR Nextel Cup champion. Following the 26th race, the eligible drivers would have their points reset to bring the drivers closer together in the standings, with only five points separating each driver. The season would then continue as normal, with the driver with the most points at the end of the season becoming the champion.

The NASCAR Manufacturers' Championship was won by Chevrolet when they captured 26 wins and 266 points. Ford finished in second place with 10 wins, and 224 points, while Dodge followed in third with 4 wins and 194 points.[1]

This was the first year for the new series sponsorship. Mobile phone provider Nextel assumed sponsorship of the NASCAR championship series from cigarette brand Winston.

The season was also marked by tragedy. On October 24, a charter airplane owned by Hendrick Motorsports crashed at Bull Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, near Martinsville Speedway. Ten people aboard the plane died, including four relatives of team owner Rick Hendrick, as well as Randy Dorton, Hendrick's chief engine builder. Jimmie Johnson, a Hendrick driver, had won the race, but the post-race victory ceremony was cancelled as word spread of the incident.

Teams and drivers[edit]

Kurt Busch, the 2004 Cup Champion
Jimmie Johnson came in second behind Busch by 8 points
Jeff Gordon finished third in the championship

Complete schedule[edit]

Make Team No. Driver Crew Chief
Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Incorporated 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Tony Eury
15 Michael Waltrip Slugger Labbe
Haas CNC Racing 0 Ward Burton Bootie Barker
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Terry Labonte Jim Long
24 Jeff Gordon Robbie Loomis
25 Brian Vickers (R) Peter Sospenzo
48 Jimmie Johnson Chad Knaus
Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Bobby Labonte Brandon Thomas
20 Tony Stewart Greg Zipadelli
MBV Motorsports 01 Joe Nemechek Ryan Pemberton
10 Scott Riggs (R) Doug Randolph
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Mike Wallace Chris Carrier
PPI Motorsports 32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Harold Holly
Richard Childress Racing 29 Kevin Harvick Todd Berrier
30 Johnny Sauter 13 Kevin Hamlin
Dave Blaney8
Jim Inglebright1
Jeff Burton 14
31 Robby Gordon Chris Andrews
Dodge
Charger
Penske Racing 2 Rusty Wallace Larry Carter
12 Ryan Newman Matt Borland
77 Brendan Gaughan (R) Shane Wilson
Dodge
Intrepid
Arnold Motorsports 50 Todd Bodine Mike Hillman
BAM Racing 49 Ken Schrader David Hyder
Bill Davis Racing 22 Scott Wimmer (R) Frank Stoddard
93 Casey Atwood Lee McCall
Chip Ganassi Racing 40 Sterling Marlin Tony Glover
41 Casey Mears Jimmy Elledge
42 Jamie McMurray Donnie Wingo
Evernham Motorsports 9 Kasey Kahne (R) Tommy Baldwin Jr.
19 Jeremy Mayfield Kenny Francis
Petty Enterprises 43 Jeff Green Greg Steadman
45 Kyle Petty Bill Henderson
Phoenix Racing 09 Joe Ruttman Jerry Pitts
Ford Robert Yates Racing 38 Elliott Sadler Todd Parrott
88 Dale Jarrett Mike Ford
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Pat Tryson
16 Greg Biffle Doug Richert
17 Matt Kenseth Robbie Reiser
97 Kurt Busch Jimmy Fennig
99 Jeff Burton22 Bob Osbourne
Carl Edwards (R)14
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Ricky Rudd Michael McSwain

Limited schedule[edit]

Make Team No. Driver Crew Chief Rounds
Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Incorporated 1 John Andretti Pete Rondeau 6
Ron Fellows 1
Martin Truex, Jr. 3
Kenny Wallace 1
Richard Childress Racing 33 Johnny Sauter Gil Martin 2
Kerry Earnhardt 7
Hendrick Motorsports 84 Kyle Busch Gary DeHart 9
Joe Gibbs Racing 11 J.J. Yeley Doug Hewitt 4

Budweiser Shootout[edit]

The exhibition Budweiser Shootout was held on February 7 at Daytona International Speedway.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88- Dale Jarrett
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 29- Kevin Harvick
  4. 6- Mark Martin
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 2- Rusty Wallace
  7. 20- Tony Stewart
  8. 5- Terry Labonte
  9. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  10. 01- Boris Said

Gatorade Twin 125s[edit]

The Gatorade 125s qualifying for the Daytona 500 were held on February 12 at Daytona International Speedway.

Race One: Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 42- Jamie McMurray
  4. 15- Michael Waltrip
  5. 99- Jeff Burton
  6. 18- Bobby Labonte
  7. 97- Kurt Busch
  8. 77- Brendan Gaughan
  9. 0- Ward Burton
  10. 30- Johnny Sauter

Race Two: Top Ten Results

  1. 38- Elliott Sadler
  2. 40- Sterling Marlin
  3. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  4. 6- Mark Martin
  5. 48- Kevin Harvick
  6. 17- Matt Kenseth
  7. 01- Joe Nemechek
  8. 21- Ricky Rudd
  9. 2- Rusty Wallace
  10. 12- Ryan Newman

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 2004 Daytona 500

Greg Biffle won pole.

Top Ten Results
  1. 8 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  2. 20 Tony Stewart
  3. 22 Scott Wimmer
  4. 29 Kevin Harvick
  5. 48 Jimmie Johnson
  6. 01 Joe Nemechek
  7. 38 Elliott Sadler
  8. 24 Jeff Gordon
  9. 17 Matt Kenseth
  10. 88 Dale Jarrett

Subway 400[edit]

Main article: 2004 Subway 400

The Subway 400 was held on February 22 at North Carolina Speedway. This was the final NASCAR race held at Rockingham, which was dropped from the 2005 NASCAR schedule. Ryan Newman won the pole. During the race Carl Long went for a wild tumble down the back straight and Robby Gordon was turned into the wall and got on his side. The finish saw Kasey Kahne, in only his second NASCAR Nextel Cup start, finish second to Matt Kenseth by a mere .01 of a second. The race also became the beginning of the focus of the season-long field-filler controversy. A number of drivers were well off the pace and Joe Ruttman arrived at the track without a pit crew for a start and park. NASCAR added a mandate of a full pit crew in an attempt to stop the start and park.

NASCAR also announced, in light of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, at the drivers' meeting that a points penalty would also be assessed to anyone involved on a race team who uses inappropriate language. Previously, a fine had been assessed.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 9- Kasey Kahne
  3. 42- Jamie McMurray
  4. 40- Sterling Marlin
  5. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. 12- Ryan Newman
  7. 2- Rusty Wallace
  8. 97- Kurt Busch
  9. 0- Ward Burton
  10. 24- Jeff Gordon

Failed to qualify: none

UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400[edit]

The UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 was held on March 7 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne won the pole. The finish saw Matt Kenseth score his second win in a row, as Kasey Kahne once again finished second.

Top Ten Results

  1. 17- Matt Kenseth
  2. 9- Kasey Kahne
  3. 20- Tony Stewart
  4. 42- Jamie McMurray
  5. 6- Mark Martin
  6. 38- Elliott Sadler
  7. 41- Casey Mears
  8. 18- Bobby Labonte
  9. 97- Kurt Busch
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Kyle Busch made his NASCAR debut, finishing 41st

Failed to qualify: Larry Gunselman (#98)

Golden Corral 500[edit]

The Golden Corral 500 was held on March 14 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  3. 9- Kasey Kahne
  4. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 17- Matt Kenseth
  7. 20- Tony Stewart
  8. 16- Greg Biffle
  9. 88- Dale Jarrett
  10. 24- Jeff Gordon

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd (#89)

Carolina Dodge Dealers 400[edit]

The Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 was held on March 21 at Darlington Raceway. Kasey Kahne won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 18- Bobby Labonte
  3. 12- Ryan Newman
  4. 31- Robby Gordon
  5. 38- Elliott Sadler
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 6- Mark Martin
  8. 29- Kevin Harvick
  9. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Failed to qualify: Stanton Barrett (#94)

  • This was the last 400-mile race held at Darlington.

Food City 500[edit]

The Food City 500 was held on March 28 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 2- Rusty Wallace
  3. 29- Kevin Harvick
  4. 40- Sterling Marlin
  5. 17- Matt Kenseth
  6. 49- Ken Schrader
  7. 12- Ryan Newman
  8. 42- Jamie McMurray
  9. 24- Jeff Gordon
  10. 15- Michael Waltrip

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd (#89)

Samsung/Radio Shack 500[edit]

The Samsung/Radio Shack 500 was held on April 4 at Texas Motor Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. Elliott Sadler edged out Kasey Kahne by a .028 of a second.

This was the last race for Pontiac in the series. Andy Belmont drove the #02 Score Motorsports car, sponsored by Continental Fire & Safety, but DNQ'd.

Top Ten Results

  1. 38- Elliott Sadler
  2. 9- Kasey Kahne
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. 2- Rusty Wallace
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 41- Casey Mears
  8. 20- Tony Stewart
  9. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  10. 42- Jamie McMurray

Failed to qualify: Kyle Busch (#84), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Andy Hillenburg (#80), Andy Belmont (#02)

Advance Auto Parts 500[edit]

The Advance Auto Parts 500 was held on April 18 at Martinsville Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. It was the final win for 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace.

Top Ten Results

  1. 2- Rusty Wallace
  2. 18- Bobby Labonte
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 24- Jeff Gordon
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 40 Sterling Marlin
  10. 88- Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

Aaron's 499[edit]

The Aaron's 499 was held on April 25 at Talladega Superspeedway. Ricky Rudd won the pole.

The race ended under controversy when Brian Vickers crashed with four laps to go. At the same time, Jeff Gordon was about to be passed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. As Gordon's car was still ahead of Earnhardt's, he kept the lead for the following caution. However, the race never was restarted, and Gordon won the race under the caution, prompting angered fans to throw beverage cups at his car while he celebrated his victory by doing doughnuts on the track.

The issue was very similar to the 2002 Indianapolis 500 controversial finish when Hélio Castroneves and Paul Tracy raced when the caution signal was given during Tracy's attempted pass of Castroneves.

This led to the implementation of the green-white-checker finish rule in order to avoid such situations in the future.


Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 29- Kevin Harvick
  4. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  5. 31- Robby Gordon
  6. 6- Mark Martin
  7. 99- Jeff Burton
  8. 41- Casey Mears
  9. 42- Jamie McMurray
  10. 18- Bobby Labonte

Failed to qualify: Larry Foyt (#14), Todd Bodine (#98), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

Auto Club 500[edit]

The Auto Club 500 was held on May 2 at California Speedway. Kasey Kahne won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  3. 12- Ryan Newman
  4. 17- Matt Kenseth
  5. 18- Bobby Labonte
  6. 77- Brendan Gaughan
  7. 5- Terry Labonte
  8. 41- Casey Mears
  9. 29- Kevin Harvick
  10. 0- Ward Burton

Failed to qualify: none

Chevy American Revolution 400[edit]

The Chevy American Revolution 400 was held on May 15 at Richmond International Raceway. Brian Vickers won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  3. 18- Bobby Labonte
  4. 20- Tony Stewart
  5. 17- Matt Kenseth
  6. 24- Jeff Gordon
  7. 6- Mark Martin
  8. 25- Brian Vickers
  9. 12- Ryan Newman
  10. 15- Michael Waltrip

Failed to qualify: Stanton Barrett (#94), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

Coca-Cola 600[edit]

The Coca-Cola 600 was held on May 30 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Jimmie Johnson won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 15- Michael Waltrip
  3. 17- Matt Kenseth
  4. 42- Jamie McMurray
  5. 38- Elliott Sadler
  6. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. 41- Casey Mears
  8. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  9. 20- Tony Stewart
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Steve Park (#7), Todd Bodine (#37), Carl Long (#46), Stanton Barrett (#94), Geoffrey Bodine (#98), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Jeff Fultz (#78), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Andy Hillenburg (#80)

MBNA America 400 "A Salute to Heroes"[edit]

The MBNA America 400 "A Salute to Heroes" was held on June 6 at Dover International Speedway. Jeremy Mayfield won the pole. The race was decimated by a 20-car crash on lap 347 on a restart; one of the largest crashes ever outside of Daytona and Talladega. It started when Dave Blaney was hit by Michael Waltrip.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6- Mark Martin
  2. 20- Tony Stewart
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 99- Jeff Burton
  5. 10- Scott Riggs
  6. 15- Michael Waltrip
  7. 5- Terry Labonte
  8. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  9. 22- Scott Wimmer
  10. 29- Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Hermie Sadler (#02), Todd Bodine (#37), Larry Gunselman (#98)

Pocono 500[edit]

The Pocono 500 was held on June 13 at Pocono Raceway. Kasey Kahne won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  3. 18- Bobby Labonte
  4. 24- Jeff Gordon
  5. 97- Kurt Busch
  6. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  7. 5- Terry Labonte
  8. 31- Robby Gordon
  9. 42- Jamie McMurray
  10. 41- Casey Mears

Failed to qualify: Stanton Barrett (#94), Andy Hillenburg (#80)

DHL 400[edit]

The DHL 400 was held on June 20 at Michigan International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. Kasey Kahne got his fourth second place finish of the season.

Top Ten Results

  1. 12- Ryan Newman
  2. 9- Kasey Kahne
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  5. 38- Elliott Sadler
  6. 40- Sterling Marlin
  7. 17- Matt Kenseth
  8. 18- Bobby Labonte
  9. 25- Brian Vickers
  10. 15- Michael Waltrip

Failed to qualify: Kerry Earnhardt (#33), Carl Long (#00)

Dodge/Save Mart 350[edit]

The Dodge/Save Mart 350 was held on June 27 at Infineon Raceway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 42- Jamie McMurray
  3. 39- Scott Pruett
  4. 15- Michael Waltrip
  5. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  6. 36- Boris Said
  7. 41- Casey Mears
  8. 6- Mark Martin
  9. 99- Jeff Burton
  10. 38- Elliott Sadler

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd (#89)

Pepsi 400[edit]

Main article: 2004 Pepsi 400

The Pepsi 400 was held on July 3 at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. 8 cars sported Coca-Cola C2 liveries, which were driven by John Andretti, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, Ricky Rudd, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Bill Elliott and Jeff Burton, even though the race was sponsored by Pepsi.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 97- Kurt Busch
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 6- Mark Martin
  7. 18- Bobby Labonte
  8. 5- Terry Labonte
  9. 25- Brian Vickers
  10. 01- Joe Nemechek

Failed to qualify: Chad Blount (#37), Tony Raines (#23), Derrike Cope (#94), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Eric McClure (#04), Kenny Wallace (#00)

  • The start of the race was delayed more than 30 minutes due to rain and the race started under yellow to help the track dried from the rain.

Tropicana 400[edit]

The Tropicana 400 was held on July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. This race is known for a pit road fight that occurred between crew members of Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart after Stewart spun Kahne, causing a crash that also collected Dale Earnhardt, Jr., John Andretti, Dave Blaney, Jeff Burton, and Scott Riggs.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 24- Jeff Gordon
  5. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 5- Terry Labonte
  7. 40- Sterling Marlin
  8. 01- Joe Nemechek
  9. 15- Michael Waltrip
  10. 29- Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Todd Bodine (#98), Greg Sacks (#13), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

Siemens 300[edit]

The Siemens 300 was held on July 25 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 24- Jeff Gordon
  3. 12- Ryan Newman
  4. 17- Matt Kenseth
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 15- Michael Waltrip
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 9- Kasey Kahne
  9. 88- Dale Jarrett
  10. 19- Jeremy Mayfield

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#51), Kyle Busch (#84), Ryan McGlynn (#00)

Pennsylvania 500[edit]

The Pennsylvania 500 was held on August 1 at Pocono Raceway. Casey Mears won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 9- Kasey Kahne
  4. 16- Greg Biffle
  5. 24- Jeff Gordon
  6. 5- Terry Labonte
  7. 31- Robby Gordon
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 38- Elliott Sadler

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#51), Andy Hillenburg (#37), A.J. Henriksen (#90)

Brickyard 400[edit]

The Brickyard 400 was held on August 8 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Casey Mears won the pole. This race marked the first time that the green-white-checker finish rule came into play. The race was extended after Brian Vickers and Ryan Newman crashed on lap 158. However, when Ricky Rudd crashed on lap 160, the race still ended under caution. Bill Elliott got his last top ten with Evernham Motorsports, driving the #91 Visteon car.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24- Jeff Gordon
  2. 88- Dale Jarrett
  3. 38- Elliott Sadler
  4. 9- Kasey Kahne
  5. 20- Tony Stewart
  6. 16- Greg Biffle
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 29- Kevin Harvick
  9. 91- Bill Elliott
  10. 97- Kurt Busch

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#51), Hermie Sadler (#02), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Greg Sacks (#13), Andy Hillenburg (#37), Geoffrey Bodine (#34), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

  • Jeff Gordon had become the first 4 time NASCAR winner at the Brickyard, and the only driver to do so until Jimmie Johnson in 2012.

Sirius at The Glen[edit]

The Sirius at The Glen was held on August 15 at Watkins Glen International. Jimmie Johnson started on the pole after qualifying was rained out.

Top Ten Results

  1. 20- Tony Stewart
  2. 1- Ron Fellows
  3. 6- Mark Martin
  4. 41- Casey Mears
  5. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  6. 29- Kevin Harvick
  7. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  8. 21- Ricky Rudd
  9. 17- Matt Kenseth
  10. 97- Kurt Busch

Failed to qualify: Scott Pruett (#39), Boris Said (#36), Klaus Graf (#59), Stanton Barrett (#52)

GFS Marketplace 400[edit]

The GFS Marketplace 400 was held on August 22 at Michigan International Speedway. Jimmie Johnson started on the pole after qualifying was rained out.

Top Ten Results

  1. 16- Greg Biffle
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 42- Jamie McMurray
  5. 9- Kasey Kahne
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 24- Jeff Gordon
  8. 17- Matt Kenseth
  9. 20- Tony Stewart
  10. 99- Carl Edwards

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#51), Kerry Earnhardt (#33), Kyle Busch (#84), Kenny Wallace (#00), J. J. Yeley (#11), Mike Wallace (#35), Stan Boyd (#79), Stanton Barrett (#37)

Sharpie 500[edit]

The Sharpie 500 was held on August 28 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  4. 30- Jeff Burton
  5. 38- Elliott Sadler
  6. 40- Sterling Marlin
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 97- Kurt Busch
  9. 17- Matt Kenseth
  10. 88- Dale Jarrett

Failed to qualify: Hermie Sadler (#02), Stanton Barrett (#52), Brad Teague (#72), Tony Ave (#80), Ryan McGlynn (#00)

Pop Secret 500[edit]

The inaugural Pop Secret 500 was held on September 5 at California Speedway. Brian Vickers won the pole. Portions of this race were filmed for the movie Herbie Fully Loaded. Kasey Kahne got his fifth second-place finish of the season.

Top Ten Results

  1. 38- Elliott Sadler
  2. 9- Kasey Kahne
  3. 6- Mark Martin
  4. 48- Jamie McMurray
  5. 12- Ryan Newman
  6. 99- Carl Edwards
  7. 10- Scott Riggs
  8. 88- Dale Jarrett
  9. 31- Robby Gordon
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Morgan Shepherd (#89), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Hermie Sadler (#02), Kevin Lepage (#37), Mike Wallace (#35)

Chevy Rock and Roll 400[edit]

The Chevy Rock and Roll 400 was held on September 11 at Richmond International Raceway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  2. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 80- Mike Bliss
  5. 6- Mark Martin
  6. 99- Carl Edwards
  7. 09- Mike Wallace
  8. 16- Greg Biffle
  9. 42- Jamie McMurray
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Johnny Sauter (#33), Tony Raines (#51), Kevin Lepage (#37), Greg Sacks (#13), Hermie Sadler (#02), Brad Teague (#92), Ryan McGlynn (#00), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Carl Long (#80)

  • This race was a notable when Jeremy Mayfield gained five positions from 14th to 9th and clinched the spot in the Chase.

Sylvania 300[edit]

The Sylvania 300 was held on September 19 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Despite the rain washing out the qualifying, the starting lineup was set by owner's points, and Jeff Gordon started in the front row. This was the first race of the new 10-race playoff format.

Top Ten Results

  1. 97- Kurt Busch
  2. 17- Matt Kenseth
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 9- Kasey Kahne
  5. 42- Jamie McMurray
  6. 01- Joe Nemechek
  7. 24- Jeff Gordon
  8. 38- Elliott Sadler
  9. 15- Michael Waltrip
  10. 29- Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#37), Martin Truex, Jr. (#1), Johnny Sauter (#33), Greg Sacks (#13), Ryan McGlynn (#00), Carl Long (#46), Tony Raines (#92), Stan Boyd (#79)

MBNA America 400[edit]

The MBNA America 400 was held on September 26 at Dover International Speedway. Jeremy Mayfield won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 12- Ryan Newman
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 88- Dale Jarrett
  5. 97- Kurt Busch
  6. 20- Tony Stewart
  7. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  8. 42- Jamie McMurray
  9. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. 48- Jimmie Johnson

Failed to qualify: Hermie Sadler (#02), Derrike Cope (#80), Greg Sacks (#13), Carl Long (#00), Kenny Hendrick (#35), Stanton Barrett (#92), Mike Garvey (#75)

EA Sports 500[edit]

The EA Sports 500 was held on October 3 at Talladega Superspeedway. Joe Nemechek won the pole. At the finish line, on the last lap Elliott Sadler flipped over just as he had done in the same race in 2003. He was uninjured, though.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 29- Kevin Harvick
  3. 88- Dale Jarrett
  4. 77- Brendan Gaughan
  5. 97- Kurt Busch
  6. 20- Tony Stewart
  7. 01- Joe Nemechek
  8. 41- Casey Mears
  9. 31- Robby Gordon
  10. 0- Ward Burton

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#37), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Carl Long (#80)

  • Although he won the race, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was later penalized 25 points for uttering an obscenity during his post-race interview on NBC.
  • This was the first play-by-play gig led by Bill Weber due to Allen Bestwick's injury during a hockey match.

Banquet 400 Presented by ConAgra Foods[edit]

Main article: 2004 Banquet 400

The Banquet 400 Presented by ConAgra Foods was held on October 10 at Kansas Speedway. Joe Nemechek won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 01- Joe Nemechek
  2. 21- Ricky Rudd
  3. 16- Greg Biffle
  4. 38- Elliott Sadler
  5. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 88- Dale Jarrett
  9. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. 77- Brendan Gaughan

Failed to qualify: Mike Garvey (#75), Mike Wallace (#35), Carl Long (#00), Morgan Shepherd (#89)

UAW-GM Quality 500[edit]

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held on October 16 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 24- Jeff Gordon
  3. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. 97- Kurt Busch
  5. 01- Joe Nemechek
  6. 88- Dale Jarrett
  7. 38- Elliott Sadler
  8. 42- Jamie McMurray
  9. 30- Jeff Burton
  10. 20- Tony Stewart

Failed to qualify: Kenny Wallace (#00), Derrike Cope (#94), Mike Wallace (#35), Carl Long (#00), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Larry Foyt (#59), Hermie Sadler (#02), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Geoffrey Bodine (#98)

Subway 500[edit]

The Subway 500 was held on October 24 at Martinsville Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 42- Jamie McMurray
  3. 12- Ryan Newman
  4. 40- Sterling Marlin
  5. 97- Kurt Busch
  6. 19- Jeremy Mayfield
  7. 43- Jeff Green
  8. 29- Kevin Harvick
  9. 24- Jeff Gordon
  10. 2- Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: Carl Long (#46), Brad Teague (#94), Greg Sacks (#13), Ryan McGlynn (#00), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Mike Garvey (#75), Klaus Graf (#59)

  • Victory lane celebration was cancelled after a tragic plane crash that took the lives of key personnel in the Hendrick Motorsports stable.

Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500[edit]

The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 was held on October 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ryan Newman won the pole.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 99- Carl Edwards
  4. 01- Joe Nemechek
  5. 9- Kasey Kahne
  6. 30- Jeff Burton
  7. 25- Brian Vickers
  8. 42- Jamie McMurray
  9. 20- Tony Stewart
  10. 16- Greg Biffle

Failed to qualify: Scott Riggs (#10), Scott Wimmer (#22), Kerry Earnhardt (#33), Johnny Sauter (#09), Hermie Sadler (#02), Mike Wallace (#4), Derrike Cope (#94), Randy LaJoie (#98), Greg Sacks (#13), Larry Foyt (#59), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Andy Belmont (#80), Larry Hollenbeck (#62), Kenny Wallace (#00)

Checker Auto Parts 500[edit]

The Checker Auto Parts 500 was held on November 7 at Phoenix International Raceway. Ryan Newman won the pole. Race extended to 315 laps / 315 miles due to green-white-checker finish. The race at Phoenix was very cloudy and a short chance of rain in a cold weather.

Top Ten Results

  1. 8- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. 12- Ryan Newman
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 29- Kevin Harvick
  5. 9- Kasey Kahne
  6. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  7. 2- Rusty Wallace
  8. 20- Tony Stewart
  9. 18- Bobby Labonte
  10. 97- Kurt Busch

Failed to qualify: Mike Garvey (#75), Tony Raines (#51), Stanton Barrett (#94), Mario Gosselin (#80), Ryan McGlynn (#00), Geoffrey Bodine (#93), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72)

  • After two straight 33rd place finishes at Martinsville due to blown engine and Atlanta due to accident on lap 310, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race for the sixth time in this season that puts Earnhardt Jr. from fifth to third in the points standings with two races left in this season.

Mountain Dew Southern 500[edit]

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held on November 14 at Darlington Raceway. Qualifying was cancelled due to rain and the starting lineup was set by owner's points. Kurt Busch was the points leader and sat on the front row. Jimmie Johnson completed a sweep at Darlington while Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman were eliminated from Chase contention by being greater than 156 points behind the points leader.

Top Ten Results

  1. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  2. 6- Mark Martin
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 42- Jamie McMurray
  5. 9- Kasey Kahne
  6. 97- Kurt Busch
  7. 99- Carl Edwards
  8. 01- Joe Nemechek
  9. 18- Bobby Labonte
  10. 0- Mike Bliss

Failed to qualify: Kevin Lepage (#37), John Andretti (#14), Derrike Cope (#94), Carl Long (#00), Travis Kvapil (#06)

Ford 400[edit]

The Ford 400 was held on November 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kurt Busch won the pole. This race was known as the deciding race of the 2004 Nextel Cup champion, in which five drivers are still mathematically alive for the championship including the points leader, Kurt Busch with 18 points margin ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who earned the most wins in 2004, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and veteran Mark Martin. Those five chasers are 82 points margin for the final race. At the start of the lap 1, Hermie Sadler got turned sideways while Mike Bliss gets spun around but Johnson survived the wreck in the following caution. On Lap 93, championship leader Kurt Busch lost a tire when he enters the pit road, he lost the championship lead to Jeff Gordon, though Busch took back the points lead. With 3 laps to go, race leader Ryan Newman made some contact and lost the right side of the tire, the caution was out and set a Green-white-checker finish at Homestead. It was the 2nd most cautions in any NASCAR races (The 2005 Coca-Cola 600 had 22 cautions, which set the most cautions). At the restart, Greg Biffle holds off Tony Stewart for the race lead and took the checkered flag to win the Ford 400, while Johnson and Gordon finished 2nd and 3rd. Kurt Busch won the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship with 8 points ahead of Johnson, the closest margin in the NASCAR history (until the 2011 season, won by Tony Stewart. Stewart and Carl Edwards were tied following the season's last race, the Cup going to Stewart by virtue of more wins on the season, 5 to 1 respectively.)

Top Ten Results

  1. 16- Greg Biffle
  2. 48- Jimmie Johnson
  3. 24- Jeff Gordon
  4. 20- Tony Stewart
  5. 97- Kurt Busch
  6. 77- Brendan Gaughan
  7. 42- Jamie McMurray
  8. 2- Rusty Wallace
  9. 21- Ricky Rudd
  10. 29- Kevin Harvick

Failed to qualify: Kyle Petty (#45), Johnny Sauter (#09), Mike Garvey (#75), Tony Raines (#51), Kevin Lepage (#37), Todd Bodine (#50), Larry Foyt (#70), J. J. Yeley (#11), Randy LaJoie (#98), Morgan Shepherd (#89), Kirk Shelmerdine (#72), Carl Long (#80), Geoffrey Bodine (#93)

In victory lane Busch honored his championship win to the Hendrick family because of the plane crash three weeks prior, at the Martinsville race.

Final Points Standings[edit]

  1. Kurt Busch – 6506
  2. Jimmie Johnson – 6498
  3. Jeff Gordon – 6490
  4. Mark Martin – 6399
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 6368
  6. Tony Stewart – 6326
  7. Ryan Newman – 6180
  8. Matt Kenseth – 6069
  9. Elliott Sadler – 6024
  10. Jeremy Mayfield – 6000

    Cutoff for the Chase for the Nextel Cup
  11. Jamie McMurray – 4597
  12. Bobby Labonte – 4277
  13. Kasey Kahne – 4274
  14. Kevin Harvick – 4228
  15. Dale Jarrett – 4214
  16. Rusty Wallace – 3960
  17. Greg Biffle – 3902
  18. Jeff Burton – 3902
  19. Joe Nemechek – 3878
  20. Michael Waltrip – 3878
  21. Sterling Marlin – 3857
  22. Casey Mears – 3690
  23. Robby Gordon – 3646
  24. Ricky Rudd – 3615
  25. Brian Vickers – 3521
  26. Terry Labonte – 2987
  27. Scott Wimmer – 3308
  28. Brendan Gaughan – 3341
  29. Scott Riggs – 3416
  30. Jeff Green – 3452
  31. Ken Schrader – 3474
  32. Ward Burton – 3577
  33. Kyle Petty – 3695
  34. Ricky Craven – 4420
  35. Jimmy Spencer – 4537
  36. Johnny Sauter – 5076
  37. Carl Edwards – 5082
  38. Dave Blaney – 5159
  39. Bobby Hamilton Jr. – 5235
  40. Derrike Cope – 5448
  41. Todd Bodine – 5520
  42. Morgan Shepherd – 5581
  43. Kevin Lepage – 5591

Rookie of the Year[edit]

The Rookie of the year battle in 2004 marked the first time since 1998 that a rookie driver did not visit victory lane. The winner of the battle was dark horse candidate Kasey Kahne, who went from a 41st place finish at the season opening Daytona 500, to being narrowly defeated by Matt Kenseth the next week at Rockingham, and he never looked back, grabbing fourteen top ten finishes and thirteen top-five finishes, as well as a couple of pole positions. Pre-season favorites Scott Wimmer and Brian Vickers struggled, although Wimmer placed third in the Daytona 500, but neither made competitive strides during the season. Brendan Gaughan was a pleasant surprise, posting four top tens and finishing runner-up to Kahne for the award, while Scott Riggs only had two-top ten finishes. The only other rookie, Johnny Sauter, was released from his ride mid-season and never made a challenge for the top honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Standings: 2004 Manufacturer Standings". NASCAR; Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 

External links[edit]