Rewatch closest finish in Cup history between Kurt Busch, Ricky Craven at Darlington

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Jonathan Merryman
·1 min read
Rewatch closest finish in Cup history between Kurt Busch, Ricky Craven at Darlington
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“Have you ever?” Well, yes, I have. It happened on March 16, 2003 in Darlington, South Carolina.

The 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway could have ended up being just another ordinary race. Fans who flocked to the track that day hoped for that once-in-a-lifetime ending, the kind you brag to your kids and grandkids about. And on that day in March, fans got more than they bargained for.

RELATED: Full race results | Too Tough to Forget: Oral history of 2003 finish

In the closing laps, Ricky Craven, driving the No. 32 Tide Pontiac, was in a dog fight with a young, fiery and talented Kurt Busch, steering Jack Roush‘s No. 97 Ford. With five to go, Craven locked in on Busch and spent the next few go-arounds reeling him in. With two to go, Craven ran Busch into the wall; Busch recovered and regained the lead. In the final turn of the final lap, however, Busch wiggled ever so slightly and Craven pounced. The two bounced off each other down the front straightaway, and Craven was ahead by inches at the line.

Fans came for a show that day, but what they got was history. Relive the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history in this NASCAR Classic Full Race Replay.

MRN: Listen to the radio broadcast | RELATED: Where is Craven’s winning car?