Sunday, August 08, 2004


The Brickyard 400 is in the books, and Jeff Gordon is the winner of the 2004 edition. This is the 4th time that Gordon took his Dupont Chevrolet to victory lane at Indy, and this was Gordon's circuit leading 5th win of the season.

This was an action-packed race that featured a race record 12 cautions and the first use of the new green-white-checkered rule. The final caution came out with five laps to go when Brian Vickers got tangled up with Ryan Newman. In the past, the race would probably have finished under caution since it would take more that five laps to clean up the mess from a wreck like this one. But, under the new rules, the race is extended as long as necessary to get a green flag finish. Once the track was safe for racing, NASCAR dropped the green flag. The white flag came out on the next lap, followed by the checkers.

Jeff Gordon led the field when the final green flag was dropped and had no trouble holding off Jarrett and Saddler in the two-lap shootout. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was in 6th place at the final restart, but he cut down a tire in the overtime session and limped across the line for a 27th place finish. That finish keeps Junior in third place in the overall standings. Points leader, Jimmy Johnson also had a bad day, but he held on to the top spot in the standings despite his 36th place finish.