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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Race Capsule

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 19 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, NH

  • When:

    July 25, 2004 2:20 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1.058 miles

  • Race Length:

    317.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Ryan Newman Defending pole and race champion; 10th in standings with 2,348 points; finished third in Siemens 300 after leading the first 170 laps and 186 overall: "To lead the most laps and come home with a top-five is good for the points, it's good for the championship playoff perspective."; recorded a lap of 132.360 mph to win Siemens 300 pole, marking his fourth pole of the year; leads all drivers with 13 top-10 starts and an average start of 7.42.
Jimmie Johnson A second in the Tropicana 400 lengthened his lead to 105 points over Earnhardt (2,720-2,615) in the standings; has nine 10-five finishes in the last 11 races and 14 this year; won both races at New Hampshire last year, becoming the first driver to sweep there; "I'm planning on coming back and having the same success," he said. "Hopefully we have what we had last year and can come back and count on some good finishes here. I like Loudon a lot."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Suffered burns as a result of a fiery accident during a warmup for an American Le Mans Series race in Sonoma on Sunday; is expected to race after being released from a hospital in Sacramento on Monday; second in the standings, 105 points behind Jimmie Johnson; has been in the top 10 in the standings for 51 consecutive races, the second-longest active streak; after managing just one top-10 finish in his first seven starts in New Hampshire, posted a sixth in this race last year; finished fifth in the Sylvania 300 at NHIS last September.
Michael Waltrip Advanced two spots to 16th in the points standings following a sixth in the Siemens 300; has yet to win this year but has posted eight top-10 finishes, including seven in his last nine races; came in a disappointing 33rd at Pocono 500 earlier this year; best finish at Pocono Raceway was a second in June, 1988; "We had a very competitive race car at Pocono last month as last year as well when we finished fourth. I am very optimistic about our chances of getting a victory. We were close in New Hampshire, which is a good feeling."
Kasey Kahne Enters his first Cup series start at NHIS but made one start there in the Busch series in 2003, finishing ninth; leads all rookies with five top-five finishes in 2004; has finished second four times, most recently at the DHL 400; tied Art Watts (1957) on June 13 for the quickest driver to reach four career poles - 14 races; knocked out of the Tropicana 400 following a collision with Tony Stewart, after which crew chief Tommy Baldwin instigated an altercation with Stewart's crew and drew a $10,000 fine.
Tony Stewart Despite his involvement in a controversial collision which knocked Kahne from competition, won the Tropicana 400, his first checkered flag in 2004; maintained his spot in fourth in the standings, 327 behind leader Jimmie Johnson; has nine top-10 finishes, including seconds in the Daytona 500 and the MBNA 400; managed only a 22nd in the New England 300 and a 20th in the Sylvania 300 at NHIS last year.
Jeff Gordon Third in the points race with 2,478 - 137 behind Earnhardt and 242 behind teammate Johnson; fourth in the Tropicana 400 after winning the previous two races; has claimed the last four races beginning with the DHL 400; has seven top-five finishes, including four wins, and has finished in the top 10 in 13 of 18 races this year; in New Hampshire, has led more laps (1,046) than any other driver and won three times; a participant in each of the 18 races in New Hampshire, posting eight top-five finishes.
Seeking his third win at Pennsylvania 500 and fourth at Pocono Raceway; finished 26th at Pocono 500 in June after his engine failed with five laps remaining; has posted only two top-five finishes and is 12th in the standings; will be looking for a late surge: "We've got to have seven more good races. If we can have them all in the top 10, then there's a possibility that we'll get in the top 10 in the points. But we can't have any hiccups from this point on."
Jeff Burton Has won four times at Loudon, more at the one-mile oval than any other Nextel Cup driver; most recent win was in the fall of 2000 when he led every lap (300); made his first Nextel Cup start in the 1993 Slick 50 300 at New Hampshire, finishing 37th; has led 605 of the 5,373 laps raced at NHIS; has three top-10 finishes in 2004 with the most recent being a ninth at the Dodge/Save Mart 350 on June 27.
Matt Kenseth Fifth in the standings, has recorded 10 top-10 finishes this season but only one in the last six races; led the standings until a 16th-place finish in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500; won the Subway 400 on February 22 and followed with a victory in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 7; on probation until August 11 following a bumping incident with Kevin Harvick at the Pocono 400 that cost him $25,000; third in the New England 300 and seventh in the Sylvania 300 at NHIS last year, when he won the series title.
Kurt Busch Rebounded from a 35th-place finish in Tropicana 400 to hold off Jeff Gordon and win Siemens 300 last week; averaged 97.862 miles per hour and earned $222,225; moved up three spots to sixth in the standings with 2,396 points; also won Food City 500 on March 28, posting his third consecutive win at Bristol; finished second in Pennsylvania 500 last year after qualifying 13th.