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

Race Capsule

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 21 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN

  • When:

    August 8, 2004 2:50 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    160

  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $8,865,458

Drivers to Watch

Elliott Sadler Jumped up two spots to sixth in the standings following a 10th-place finish in the Pennsylvania 500; has been in the top 10 all season; posted four top-five finishes, including a win in Samsung/Radio Shack 500; determined to continue the success that Robert Yates Racing Crew enjoyed with Dale Jarrett here in the 1990s: "Racing at Indianapolis is the second-most prestigious race next to the Daytona 500. It's really important for Robert Yates that his teams run well at the Brickyard, and both he and Doug (Yates) are going that extra mile in the motor department to make sure we have a good shot at winning this race."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fell out of second and into third following a 25th-place finish at Pennsylvania 500; still hurting after suffering second-degree burns in an American Le Mans Series race in Sonoma on July 18; started Sunday but turned his Chevrolet over to John Andretti on lap 53; made it through 60 laps before yielding to Busch Series leader Martin Truex Jr. in Siemens 300 on July 25; won Daytona 500, Golden Corral 500 and Chevy American Revolution 400 among his nine top-five finishes this year; finished 14th here last year.
Ryan Newman 2002 Rookie of the Year moved up two spots to eighth in the standings following a 13th-place finish in the Pennsylvania 500; posted six top-five finishes this year, including a win at the DHL 400 and a third after qualifying third for the Siemens 300; won four poles and qualified second three times; finished 11th after qualifying second at this race last year; was fourth here in 2002 after qualifying fifth.
Jimmie Johnson Standings leader won Pennsylvania 500 to post 10th career victory and extend lead to 232 points over second place - the largest margin of the season; all 10 of his victories have come at superspeedways; has won four times this year, including both races at Pocono Raceway; has 11 top-five finishes in last 13 races and finished out of the top 10 only five times in the first 20 races; claimed $90,000 with most recent win but had $10,000 taken away when NASCAR fined him for blocking a PowerAde display with a sign prior to being interviewed after the race.
Jeff Gordon A victory Sunday would put him in the elite company of Al Unser, Rick Mears and A.J. Foyt as the only drivers to win four times at the 2 1/2-mile speedway; his three wins, including the inaugural 1994 race, have come in stock cars; also visited victory lane in 1998 and in 2001; moved into second in the standings, 232 behind teammate Jimmie Johnson, with a second in the Pennsylvania 500; nine top-five finishes - including four wins - and 15 top-10 finishes in 20 races this year; celebrates 33rd birthday August 4: "I always enjoy this time of year. Another birthday for me can only mean the Brickyard 400 is right around the corner, and I look forward to this event every year."
Kasey Kahne Rookie picked up his third top-three finish of the season - tops among all rookies - in the Pennsylvania 500 and moved up two slots into 12th in the standings, 69 points out of 10th; recorded a top-10 finish in each of last two races after posting one, a second in the DHL 400, in previous 11; Subway 400 was first of his four second-place finishes; tied Art Watts (1957) on June 13 for the quickest driver to reach four career poles, doing so in 14 races.
Kurt Busch Finished a disappointing 26th following transmission problems in the Pennsylvania 500 after posting his second win of the year in the Siemens 300 the previous week; also took checkered flag at Ford City 500 on March 28; fell from sixth to seventh in the standings with 2,481 points; recorded eight top-10 finishes this year but only three in last 13 races; started sixth and finished seventh in this race last year.
Mark Martin Four-time runner-up for NASCAR championship; finished second in Pennsylvania 500, his best since winning the MBNA 400; moved up to spots to 13th in the standings - 89 points out of 10th - with his eighth top-10 finish of the year; "All that matters to me and my team is winning the Brickyard. That would make up for all the heartbreak that we've experienced this year. It's very difficult to single out one race and go get it, but you know, my guys after a heartbreak at Charlotte said, 'We've got to go win Dover.' I thought under my breath, 'Yeah, right.' And we did."
Has two victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning in 1996 and 1999; posted a 39th-place finish in this event last year; has recorded only two top-five finishes this year and fell from 12th to 14th in the standings following a 24th in the Pennsylvania 500; has gone 54 series races without a victory with the last being the Subway 400 on February 23, 2003; qualified higher than fifth just once, earning a spot on the second row for the start of the Pepsi 400 on July 3.
Matt Kenseth 2003 Series champion moved up to fourth in this year's standings with an eighth-place finish at the Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday; was the points leader for four weeks this year beginning with a victory at the UAW DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 7. He had taken over the lead at the same point in the season last year and led the rest of the way; recorded top-10 finishes in each of the last two races after managing just one over his previous six, a seventh at the DHL 400; finished second in this race last year; on probation until August 11 following a bumping incident with Kevin Harvick at the Pocono 400 that cost him $25,000.
Tony Stewart Grew up in Columbus, Indiana, 45 minutes from the historic track; took a 35th-place finish 35th, his worst of the season, in the Pennsylvania 500 after crashing into the wall on lap 109; fell one spot in the standings to fifth with 2,606 points, 434 behind Johnson; posted two top-10 finishes in five Brickyard 400 races; has 10 top-10 finishes, including a victory in the Tropicana 400 and seconds in the Daytona 500 and the MBNA 400.
Kevin Harvick Defending champion is 10th in points race with 2,420, 40 ahead of Jeremy Mayfield for the final spot in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup"; set the track qualifying record here last year with a speed of 184.343 mph; has finished no higher than 10th in last 10 races; posted three top-five finishes in first nine races, including thirds in the Ford City 500 and Aaron's 499.
Bobby Labonte Holds the race record at Indianapolis of 155.912 miles per hour set in 2000, when he also won the Winston Cup championship; steady performances at the Brickyard with other finishes of second in 1997 and 1999, third in 1998 and ninth in 1995; was involved in an accident on lap 177 at Pennsylvania 500 and finished 29th; dropped two slots in the standings to ninth.