NASCAR Preview

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

Carolina Dodge Dealers 400

Status: Final Darlington Raceway

Race Capsule

Darlington Raceway
  • What:

    Race 5 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Darlington Raceway, Darlington, SC

  • When:

    March 21, 2004 1:30 pm EST

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1.366 miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Kasey Kahne Nextel Cup rookie is off to a good start, sitting fourth in the standings after four races; has two runner-up finishes and a third-place showing in the last three events; won the pole in Las Vegas but finished second to Matt Kenseth for the second consecutive week; has improved his place in the standings each of the last three weeks, going from 21st to eighth to fourth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Enters the race third in the series standings, 90 points behind leader Matt Kenseth; leads in earnings with nearly $1.6 million, thanks to the $1,495,070 million he pocketed for his Daytona 500 victory; also won last week's Golden Corral 500 in Atlanta; son of the late, great Dale Earnhardt has nine Nextel Cup victories; two-time Busch Series champion was third in the standings last season.
Kurt Busch Former Truck Series standout has had a consistent start to the Nextel Cup season, finishing between eighth and 16th in four races while completing all but one lap; started on the front row in Las Vegas and placed ninth; has eight career Nextel Cup victories; Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2001; won four Truck races in 2000.
Tony Stewart Former series champion enters the event second in the standings, thanks in part to a pair of top-three finishes, including a runner-up to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Daytona 500; was seventh in the series last year; has 17 Nextel Cup wins; won the series championship in 2002, five years after doing the same in the Indy Racing League; Rookie of the Year in 2000.
Jeff Gordon Four-time series champion begins the week fifth in the standings, a spot off where he placed last season; has not finished better than eighth in four events this year, coming home eighth at the season-opening Daytona 500; started fourth last week in Atlanta and finished 10th; won the series title in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001.
Matt Kenseth Defending series champion seeks his third victory in four events, having won consecutive races in North Carolina and Las Vegas; leads the Nextel Cup series with 673 points, 82 more than Tony Stewart, who is second; has yet to start better than 12th in four races this season but has not placed worse than ninth; led series with five wins in 2002; was Rookie of Year in 2000.
Claimed the last of his three Nextel Cup victories in 2000; enters the week seventh in the points standings, thanks in part to a runner-up finish last week in Atlanta, where he started 16th; finished 19th in the series last year; two-time winner at Pocono.