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

Banquet 400

Status: Final Kansas Speedway

Race Capsule

Kansas Speedway
  • What:

    Race 30 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS

  • When:

    October 10, 2004 2:05 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    267

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    401.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,696,382

Drivers to Watch

Involved in a crash with Bobby Hamilton Jr. on lap 144 and finished 38th in EA Sports 500 last week; fell to 267 points behind Busch in the standings; was also caught up in a crash initiated by Robby Gordon on lap 64 in first "Chase" race and finished 35th; recorded fourth career Cup victory - his first in 142 races - in Chevy Rock and Roll 400 on September 11 to earn his berth into the "Chase"; last win previously was in Pocono 500 on June 19, 2000; has 11 top-10 finishes this year; ran third in this race last year - his second top-10 in three events in Kansas.
Jimmie Johnson Gordon's teammate encountered problems with his engine overheating and was saddled with a 37th-place finish in Talladega last week; fell five spots to ninth in the standings, 159 points behind Busch; has managed only two top-10 finishes in last nine races; had 12 top-10s in previous 14 races, culminating in a victory in Pennsylvania 500 on August 1 to sweep both races at Pocono; leads circuit with 15 top-five finishes; set the qualifying record of 180.373 mph here last year before finishing seventh; hoping to get back on track in championship chase: "Hopefully we can get the momentum on the upside of things. We definitely need that at this point in the championship."
Ryan Newman On the heels of dominating victory in Dover two weeks ago, finished 16th in Talladega last week; still moved up one spot to seventh in the standings, 146 points behind front-running Busch; has won twice among his nine top-five finishes this year; set race record here with an average speed of 121.630 mph en route to his circuit-leading eighth checkered flag of the 2003 season; was runner-up to Gordon in two previous races here; has won five poles and leads all drivers with an average starting position of 8.62; looking to continue success here: "I've had a great race car every time we've raced at Kansas. I hope this weekend is the same way."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Took over first place with his fifth victory in the last seven races at Talladega, but a 25-point penalty for use of profanity in post-race interview cost him the lead; has appealed the ruling but will be 12 points behind Kurt Busch if it is upheld; entered the "Chase" third in the standings but moved into the lead following a third in New Hampshire three weeks ago; has taken the checkered flag five times this year - tied with Jeff Gordon for most on the circuit; second with 14 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s; will celebrate 30th birthday on Sunday; ran 18th here last year after qualifying third.
Matt Kenseth Defending series champion climbed back to fifth in the standings - his positioning entering the "Chase" - following a 14th in Talladega last week; had fallen from fourth to seventh after crashing into a tire barrier filled with water entering pit lane on lap 120 in Dover two weeks ago, finishing 32nd; ran second in first race of the "Chase" in New Hampshire; has finished outside the top 10 four times in last five races after posting five top-10s in the previous six; fifth on the circuit with 16 top-10s, including back-to-back victories in Subway 400 and UAW DaimlerChrysler 400.
Mark Martin Moved up a spot to fourth in standings despite a 15th in EA Sports 500 last week; was his worst finish since a 25th in Brickyard 400 on August 8; ran second to Ryan Newman in MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway two weeks ago; has six top-five finishes in the last 10 races after managing just two through the first 19; lone checkered flag this year came in MBNA 400 "A Salute to Heroes" on June 6; ran 20th here in the midst of 22 consecutive finishes of no better than ninth to close out the 2003 campaign.
Kurt Busch A fifth in Talladega coupled with a 25-point penalty assessed to Dale Earnhardt Jr. by NASCAR on Tuesday resulted in his 12-point lead in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup" standings; opened the "Chase" with a victory in New Hampshire three weeks ago to sweep both races at NHIS; ran fifth in Dover two weeks ago and is only driver to finish in the top five in each of the first three championship races; has three wins this year among his 11 career checkered flags; has six top-five finishes and 15 top-10s, including seven in the last nine races; would rather be leading on own merit: "This is just a quick point difference that was 13 in his favor and now it's 12 in our favor, but we've got seven races to go. Hopefully, these 25 points won't come into the final factor because we want to beat (Earnhardt) on the track."
Tony Stewart Challenged Earnhardt late but finished sixth in Talladega last weekend; was second straight top-10 after suffering a 39th in New Hampshire - the result of a crash induced by Robby Gordon - in the first race of the "Chase"; climbed from ninth to sixth in the standings, 139 points behind Busch; tied for fifth on the circuit with nine top-five finishes this year; finished fourth in this race last year; one of his two victories this year came at Chicagoland Speedway, which has dimensions strikingly similar to those here.
Jeff Gordon Fell from first to third in the standings, 48 points behind Busch, following a 19th in EA Sports 500 last week; tied for circuit lead with five victories in his quest for a fifth NASCAR championship; had entered the "Chase" as the leader and has alternated between first and third since; beginning with back-to-back wins in Dodge/Save Mart 350 and Pepsi 400, has recorded 10 top-10 finishes in last 14 races; has a circuit-leading six poles; has won two of the three races here, posting an average finish of 2.3; the paint job on his Chevrolet Monte Carlo will sport a "Wizard of Oz" theme at Kansas Speedway: "With 43 cars racing side-by-side at over 180 miles per hour, the lion should find his courage pretty quick. As for a brain, I hope the scarecrow locates one before the race begins."