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

Golden Corral 500

Status: Final Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 4 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

  • When:

    March 14, 2004 1:30 pm EST

  • Laps:

    325

  • Track Length:

    1.54 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,723,873

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Placed 16th at Las Vegas after being hit by Ken Schrader's car; also hit the inside retaining wall at the Subway 400, causing him to finish 41st; that result ended his streak of 70 straight weeks in the top 10 of the standings; moved up six spots to 19th place after his showing at Las Vegas; had engine failure in last March's race at Atlanta, but came back and finished third here in October.
Jeff Gordon Won his first Busch series race at Atlanta on March 14, 1992; later that same year, he made his first Winston Cup start at the speedway in what was Richard Petty's last race; also clinched three of his Winston Cup championships at Atlanta (1995, 1997, 2001); his 64th career victory and most recent one came here last October, when he held off a hard-charging Tony Stewart; finished 15th at Las Vegas after recording top-10 finishes in the first two races of the season; his four career wins at Atlanta are third behind Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte among active drivers.
The headquarters office of Jarrett's primary sponsor, UPS, is in Atlanta, and he will honor golf great Arnold Palmer with a painting on the hood of his No. 88 Ford; "Because of the importance of sponsorship and trying to please sponsors, with UPS and Coke having the opportunity to bring a lot of customers right there, it is a place where we want to do well," Jarrett said; his only career win at Atlanta came in March 1997; was second in the fall race Atlanta in four straight years (1996-99).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dropped from the top spot in the standings to seventh after finishing 35th at Las Vegas due to handling problems; after 106 laps at Las Vegas, he pulled into the garage, where his crew made numerous changes to his Chevrolet; made several more stops at the garage and finished 71 laps down; has been in the top 10 for 36 consecutive weeks, which is the second-longest active streak on the circuit; has five straight top-10 finishes at Atlanta.
Kevin Harvick Dropped three spots to sixth place in the standings after finishing 21st at Las Vegas; has been among the top 10 for 24 consecutive weeks; won this race in just his third Winston Cup start after taking over the seat left vacant by the death of the legendary Dale Earnhardt at Daytona in 2001; held off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon to win by .006 seconds; finished third here in October 2001, but has not been better than 19th in four starts at Atlanta since.
Bobby Labonte His six career wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway are the most among active drivers and are three behind the late Dale Earnhardt for tops on the all-time list; went to the outside to pass Jeff Gordon with 11 laps to go en route to victory here last March; started second here last October and finished fifth; set the qualifying record in this event at 194.597 mph on March 12, 1999; posted his first top-10 finish this season at Las Vegas, where he was eighth.
Tony Stewart Has reeled off four straight top-5 finishes after placing third at Las Vegas; the 2002 Winston Cup series champion enters this race 88 points in back of leader Matt Kenseth; the headquarters of his primary sponsor is in Atlanta; won this event in 2002 and was fourth that October; last October, he finished second to Jeff Gordon after being unable to pass due to a late yellow flag due to a wreck involving Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Kurt Busch The 25-year-old Las Vegas native comes off his second straight top-10 finish as he was ninth at his hometown track in the Uaw-Daimler Chrysler 400; that finish moved him up two spots in the Nextel Cup standings to fifth place, just four points behind Jeff Gordon; has three career top-10 finishes at Atlanta, including a victory in the NAPA 500 in October 2002; did not finish in Atlanta for the first time last March, but rebounded to place eighth in the October race.
Matt Kenseth The 2003 Winston Cup champion eclipsed his victory total from last year as he passed Kevin Harvick for the lead with 37 laps remaining Sunday and drove away to win the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 for his second win in as many weeks; it was his ninth career victory and marked the first time he has won in consecutive weeks; enters this race 88 points in front of Tony Stewart after winning the 2003 standings by 90 points over Jimmie Johnson; has been among the top 10 in the standings for 38 straight weeks, which is the longest current run.