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

Race Capsule

Bristol Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 24 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN

  • When:

    August 28, 2004 7:50 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    500

  • Track Length:

    0.533 miles

  • Race Length:

    267.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,820,438

Drivers to Watch

Jeff Gordon Took over series lead from teammate Jimmie Johnson following seventh-place fininsh in GFS Marketplace 400 last week; is his first time atop the standings since the final race of 2001; leads the circuit with five victories this year with most recent coming at Brickyard 400 three weeks ago; won back-to-back races from the pole at Dodge/Save Mart 350 and Pepsi 400; has led in 17 races this year, more than any other driver; became first driver since 1985 to win four straight poles, beginning with DHL 400 on June 20; won the pole at this race last year with a track qualifying record lap of 127.597 miles per hour.
Kasey Kahne Finished fifth in GFS Marketplace 400 and climbed into 10th place in the standings, six points ahead of teammate Jeremy Mayfield and nine points behind Bobby Labonte; has run in the top 10 four times in the last five races and leads all rookies with eight top-five finishes; ran 40th here in Food City 500 in March following an accident; won four poles with most recent coming at Pocono 500 on June 13; looking to come on strong down the stretch: "I think we've got to finish all three of these races and finish them up toward the front. ... I think it's going to come down to Richmond (in two weeks) to see who those top 10 are and just what will happen I don't know. It's going to be pretty exciting."
Ryan Newman Climbed three spots into 10th in the standings following a second in the Sharpie 500 last weekend; is just one point behind Bobby Labonte for ninth; has seven top-five finishes this season, including a third here in the Auto Club 500 in May; set track qualifying record here with a lap of 187.432 mile per hour in April 2002; has won four poles and leads all drivers with an average start of 8.5 this year; not burdened by stress of clinging to final spot for "Chase to the Nextel Cup": "The points battle is really tight, but we as a team don't put any pressure on ourselves. We do all we can every weekend. That's all I can ask of these guys. If we put in a sincere effort, the points will work themselves out."
Jamie McMurray Ran seventh in Sharpie 500 last week, marking his fourth top-10 finish in the last six races; tied with Dale Jarrett for 14th in the standings, 45 points behind Ryan Newman for the 10th and final spot in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup"; tied for fifth on the circuit with 13 top-10 finishes this season; top finish was a second in Dodge/Save Mart 350 on June 27; struggled to a 15th-place finish here in May but hoping to rebound: "We ran in the top five in both Michigan races, and usually that's a good sign for Fontana since the tracks are similar. We're taking the same car we finished fourth with in Michigan two weeks ago."
Tony Stewart Entering 200th career circuit start and 12th at Bristol; ran ninth in GFS Marketplace 400 last week, posting his sixth top-10 finish in the last 10 races, including victories in Tropicana 400 and Sirius at the Glen; fourth in the standings, 165 points behind Gordon and 26 behind third-place Earnhardt; has scored 374 more points this year than he had heading into the 24th race of last season; finished 24th in Food City 500 here and 23rd in this race in 2003; looking to reverse recent fortunes here: "It's one of my favorites, but Bristol is a track of feast of famine. If you have a really good day, it's a lot of fun. But if you have one little problem, it normally makes for a very long day. Lately, we've had a couple of long days there. Obviously we're looking to change that."
Greg Biffle Took lead with 17 laps remaining and won GFS Marketplace 400 last week; was his first Nextel Cup win since July 2003 in Daytona; previous best finish this year was a fourth in Pennsylvania 500 August 1, one day after winning a Busch Series race in Colorado; posted three top-10 finishes in last four races after managing just one through his first 19 this year; finished 12th here in Food City 500 in March and ran 22nd in this race last year.
Jimmie Johnson Despite pole position, finished 40th in GFS Marketplace 400 last week due to engine trouble on lap 82; marked the first time in his career he has endured three consecutive DNFs; fell out of first place in the standings for the first time since mid-June; trails teammate Gordon by 68 points; was riding a stretch of 11 top-five finishes, including three victories, in 13 races prior to his string of DNFs; finished 16th here in March following a lug nut violation late in the race; has 10 career victories and has finished in the top 10 at every track on the circuit.
Amidst rumors that he will announce his retirement next week effective at the end of the season, is 19th in the standings this year; culminating with checkered flag in Auto Parts 500 on April 18, posted five top-10 finishes in the first eight races this year; has finished no higher than 10th in 15 races since; leads all active drivers with nine wins here, including this race three times; won both races here in 2000; tied with Mark Martin among all active drivers with seven poles here.
Finished third at Michigan last week, marking his second top-three in the last three races; best finish to date this year was a second in the Brickyard 400 three weeks ago; 14th in the standings, 58 points out of 10th place with three races left before the "Chase for the Nextel Cup"; finished seventh in this race last year and won here in 1997 Goody's 500; hoping to continue success in Bristol: "We've run well there in the past and we're having a good run there in the spring until we were taken out by someone else late in the race. ... I don't think the points deal is going to have any effect. I think it's just going to be wild night anyway."
Matt Kenseth Defending champion is fifth in the standings this year, 236 points behind Gordon; finished eighth in GFS Marketplace 400 last week, marking his fourth top-10 in the last five races; had consecutive wins in Subway 400 on February 22 and UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 7 but has finished in the top three just once in 20 races since - a third in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 30; third on the circuit with 14 top-10 finishes; ran fourth in this race last year and fifth in Food City 500 here in March.
Kurt Busch Four-time winner here, including this race last year and the Food City 500 on March 28; also won Siemens 300 on July 25; finished sixth in GFS Marketplace 400 last week, marking his third straight top-10 and moving him up a spot into sixth in the standings with 2,909 points; 11 top-10 finishes in 23 starts this year after posting 14 in 36 starts last year; half of his four victories last year came on this track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ran 21st in GFS Marketplace 400 last week, marking his fifth finish outside of the top 20 in the last six races; was fifth in Sirius at the Glen two weeks ago, giving him 10 top-five finishes this season; has taken the checkered flag in the Daytona 500, the Golden Corral 500 and the Chevy American Revolution 400 this year; third in the standings, 139 points behind front-running Jeff Gordon; has not won a pole since September 2002.