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Last Updated Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 3:59 pm, EST

Hershey's Kisses 300

Status: Final Daytona International Speedway

Race Capsule

Daytona International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 1 of 34 on XFINITY circuit

  • Where:

    Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL

  • When:

    February 14, 2004 12:30 pm EST

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    300.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Kevin Harvick A good performance in last year's big race here, finishing fourth after starting 31st; only win and pole came in the same race and it was a prestigious one, at the Brickyard 400; also was runner-up in six of his 11 top-five finishes of the year; earned just under $5 million and was fifth in the final points standings.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Won this race last year, three years after his legendary father lost his life during the 43rd running of this event on February 18, 2001; was the first of a career-high six victories during a 2004 campaign in which he finished fifth in the standings; won twice during the "Chase" but was docked 25 points for the use of profanity after taking the checkered flag in the third of the 10-race playoff; penalty did not come back to haunt him as he finished 138 points behind Busch; he and DEI teammate Michael Waltrip have combined to win three of last four races here, but doubts of their continued dominance has surfaced following poor testing times; qualified 39th Sunday, causing further concern.
Kasey Kahne Reigning Rookie of the Year was fourth with 13 top-fives last year; finished 13th in the standings but had been ninth entering the final race before the "Chase"; in search of his first premier series win; didn't record his first Busch Series victory until the final race of his second season; recorded series-high five runner-up finishes, including back-to-back seconds in the second and third races of the season; made Nextel Cup series debut in this race last year, finishing 41st after encountering engine problems; also struggled in Pepsi 400 here last year, running 25th after qualifying 31st.
Wins in this race in 2001 and 2003 have accounted for half his career checkered flags in 606 career starts; went without a victory in 2004 and has not won since the EA Sports 500 - another restrictor-plate race - at Talladega on September 28, 2003; best finish last year was a second in the Coca-Cola 600, marking the first of just two top-fives; has not finished higher than 12th in the standings in 19 seasons; qualified ninth for this event last year, but an accident led to a 38th-place finish.
Matt Kenseth Finished ninth in the standings last year and was never really a factor down the stretch; despite entering the 10-race playoff fifth and running second in the opening event of the "Chase," finished no higher than 11th in the final nine races; won twice last year - in back-to-back events following a ninth in the Daytona 500; had won only once during his dominant 2003 championship season in which he posted a series-high 25 top-10s; has two top-10s in five starts in this event, beginning with a 10th in 2000.
Mark Martin Daytona Beach resident seeking first career win in this event in what will be the final season of a career that began in 1981; best finish in the Daytona 500 was a third behind Sterling Marlin and Dale Earnhardt in 1995; 2005 also represents his last attempt at a championship; the four-time series runner-up has finished in the top 10 in the standings 14 times in the last 16 years, including a fourth-place finish in 2004; took the checkered flag once last year, giving him 34 career victories; has won just three races over the last five seasons; engine troubles led to a 43rd in this event last year; "This place doesn't love me and I don't love it," he said.