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 February 20, 2005

Fans Sign their names and wishes on the Starting Line of the
47th Daytona 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Race.

© Oak Park Journal photo by Dan Peters

 

The Start of the 47th Daytona 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Race.
© Oak Park Journal photo by Dan Peters

Gordon Wins 47th Daytona 500…
Longest 500 in History.

by Dan Peters


Jeff Gordon Needed 203 Laps to win this year's Daytona 500..Making
it actually the Daytona 507.5, The longest 500-mile race in the history
of the Great American Race.


Gordon held off a late race charge from Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who
seemed to come out of nowhere in the late stages of the race. The
defending race champion was not a factor for nearly 500 miles. Some
say he was sandbagging & not showing all of his cards.. a strategy
many drivers use often in restrictor plate races at Talladega &
Daytona… It almost worked.

Jeff Gordon said he was “Shocked” he was able to shoot pass
Earnhardt, who has had one of the strongest cars in past races
here at Daytona.

“Any time Junior's a part of a victory – having his fan base,
knowing his track record here – Its rewarding” Gordon said.

Gordon & his Hendrick Motorsports Teamate Jimmie Johnson
seemed to have found some of DEI’s “Magic” and have become
a dominant force at the last several restrictor plate races.

Gordon's victory today was his third in the “Great American
Race” scoring previous victories in 1997 & 1999.

The race this year started nearly 2 hours later than previous 500’s
and by the time the checkered flag fell.. the speedway was
basking under the massive lights that were installed back in 1998.
Maybe this is a glimpse of what we might expect in future
Daytona 500 mile races….a primetime night race.

Today's race was fairly mild compared to the past few 500’s
here as Tony Stewart and his Home Depot Monte Carlo
seemed to have the car to beat this Sunday, leading more than
half race. The last 40 laps of the race kept most fans on their
feet, turning into the typical white knuckle races fans expect
at Daytona & Tallagdega. Cars were beating and banging
each other in those last few laps.

The feared “Big One” happened with 18 laps to go as
Greg Biffle, last year's Pole Sitter slowed slightly to avoid
ramming into Jimmie Johnson's Car. As he slowed, he made
contact with another car, setting off a 10 car chain reaction
that flipped Scott Wimmer’s Caterpillar Charger into the air
and tumbling end over end… he was not injured in the
spectacular accident.

On the ensuing restart with 13 laps to go, another 8-carwreck
prompted NASCAR to extend the race to what is considered
“Overtime” in NASCAR.. A Green, white  checkered flag.
Essentially a 3 lap shoot-out to the checkered flag.


During the final three laps, Stewart slipped back in the field,
beating & banging Jimmie Johnson's Lowes Chevy. This
enabled Kurt Busch, The defending Nextel Cup Champion to
put himself in position to win. But the veteran Gordon would
have none of that.. Winning the “Super Bowl” of Stock car
racing.

Johnson's Crew chief Chad Knaus confronted Stewart in
the garage after the race.. The two had to be separated by
NASCAR officials. Officials ordered both drivers to the
NASCAR trailer after the incident. Stewart remarked the
two drivers were “trading cookie secrets” in the officials
trailer. “Jimmie & I are really, really good friends, and
this isn’t something that will linger tonight” .. Its over with.

11 caution flags, several of them brought out as the swirling
winds caused “debri” to find its way onto the racing surface..
Slowed the race… It seemed more like a way to bunch up
the field & make it more of a competitive race.

“ I know I can’t win them all, which I’d like to do, But I like
to keep my average high. And I think I should get some credit
for that ”Earnhardt said after the race.

Time of race: 3 Hours 45 minutes 16 Seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.158 seconds
Average Speed: 135.173 MPH

Caution Flags: 11 for 45 laps

Lead Changes 22 among 12 drivers


Start of Good Year for NASCAR


The New Speedway Club House at Daytona.
© Oak Park Journal photo by Dan Peters

Official Race Results

Daytona 500 | Daytona International Speedway

February 20, 2005 | Race 1 of 36
Average Speed: 135.173 mph
Margin of Victory: .158 second
Time of Race: 03:45:16
Lead Changes: 22
Cautions: 15-18, 27-30, 86-89, 105-108, 144-147, 155-158, 162-165, 169-172, 184-187, 189-194, 199-201

Fin St Car Driver Make Sponsor Pts/Bonus Laps Status Winnings
1 15 #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 185/5 203 Running $1,497,150
2 13 #97 Kurt Busch Ford Sharpie/IRWIN Industrial Tools 170/0 203 Running $1,106,130
3 5 #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Budweiser 170/5 203 Running $828,796
4 12 #10 Scott Riggs Chevrolet Valvoline 160/0 203 Running $643,896
5 2 #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 160/5 203 Running $533,579
6 32 #6 Mark Martin Ford Viagra 150/0 203 Running $395,313
7 4 #20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet The Home Depot 156/10 203 Running $442,610
8 18 #40 Sterling Marlin Dodge Coors Light 142/0 203 Running $341,341
9 8 #37 Kevin Lepage Dodge Patron Tequila 138/0 203 Running $307,138
10 36 #2 Rusty Wallace Dodge Miller Lite 134/0 203 Running $317,646
11 39 #38 Elliott Sadler Ford M&M's 130/0 203 Running $318,604
12 27 #99 Carl Edwards Ford Office Depot 127/0 203 Running $278,963
13 34 #01 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet U.S. Army 129/5 203 Running $290,671
14 38 #07 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Jack Daniel's 121/0 203 Running $270,363
15 1 #88 Dale Jarrett Ford UPS 118/0 203 Running $307,596
16 26 #43 Jeff Green Dodge Cheerios 115/0 203 Running $289,499
17 33 #45 Kyle Petty Dodge Georgia-Pacific/Brawny 117/5 203 Running $273,321
18 35 #0 Mike Bliss Chevrolet NetZero Best Buy 109/0 203 Running $258,538
19 25 #77 Travis Kvapil * Dodge Kodak/Jasper Engines 106/0 203 Running $267,788
20 9 #12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 108/5 203 Running $306,479
21 28 #25 Brian Vickers Chevrolet GMAC/ditech.com 100/0 203 Running $266,738
22 37 #9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW 97/0 203 Running $288,388
23 24 #19 Jeremy Mayfield Dodge Dodge Dealers/UAW 99/5 203 Running $283,158
24 11 #21 Ricky Rudd Ford Motorcraft Quality Parts 91/0 202 Running $287,002
25 23 #16 Greg Biffle Ford National Guard 88/0 201 Running $269,613
26 29 #41 Casey Mears Dodge Target 85/0 199 Running $273,321
27 41 #136 Boris Said Chevrolet CENTRIX Financial 82/0 198 Running $249,838
28 30 #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet GM Goodwrench 84/5 198 Running $288,799
29 6 #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Cingular Wireless 81/5 194 Running $294,608
30 7 #23 Mike Skinner Dodge Argent Mortgage 73/0 187 Accident $260,113
31 42 #14 John Andretti Ford VB/APlus at Sunoco 70/0 187 Accident $247,538
32 17 #42 Jamie McMurray Dodge Texaco/Havoline 67/0 184 Accident $257,613
33 16 #22 Scott Wimmer Dodge Caterpillar 69/5 182 Accident $265,110
34 10 #1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops 61/0 178 Engine $252,593
35 22 #32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. Chevrolet Tide Coldwater 58/0 173 Running $245,468
36 40 #11 Jason Leffler Chevrolet FedEx Express 55/0 168 Accident $244,988
37 3 #15 Michael Waltrip Chevrolet NAPA Auto Parts 57/5 161 Engine $304,563
38 19 #5 Kyle Busch * Chevrolet Kellogg's 49/0 148 Running $252,063
39 31 #49 Ken Schrader Dodge Schwan's Home Service 46/0 120 Engine $243,288
40 21 #100 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet Aaron's 43/0 39 Engine $243,038
41 43 #4 Mike Wallace Chevrolet Lucas Oil Products 40/0 35 Overheating $242,388
42 14 #17 Matt Kenseth Ford DeWalt Power Tools 37/0 34 Engine $292,124
43 20 #18 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet Interstate Batteries 34/0 14 Engine $276,444
* Denotes Rookie
 
Bud Pole:
Dale Jarrett,#88, UPS, Ford
Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge:
Tony Stewart,#20, The Home Depot, Chevrolet
Commit Lozenges "Commit to Win":
Jimmie Johnson,#48, Lowe's, Chevrolet
EA Sports Move of the Race:
Jeff Gordon,#24, DuPont, Chevrolet
Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap:
Tony Stewart,#20, The Home Depot, Chevrolet
MBNA Mid-race Leader:
Tony Stewart,#20, The Home Depot, Chevrolet
Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.,#8, Budweiser, Chevrolet
Raybestos Rookie of the Race:
Travis Kvapil,#77, Kodak/Jasper Engines, Dodge
Sunoco Diamond Performance:
Jeff Gordon,#24, DuPont, Chevrolet
USG Driver of the Race:
Elliott Sadler,#38, M&M's, Ford
USG Improving the Finish Award:
Elliott Sadler,#38, M&M's, Ford
WIX Filters Lap Leader:
Tony Stewart,#20, The Home Depot, Chevrolet