Saturday, October 16, 2004


This week, the boys of NASCAR returned to their roots for some Saturday night racing under the lights in Charlotte. Fans didn't have to wait long for excitement. Sparks flew on the first lap. Scott Riggs started in the second row, but his Valvoline Chevrolet failed to respond properly to the accelerator. This caused a multi-car wreck behind him that collected Chase leader Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon. However, both drivers would recover for top five finishes.

At the end of the 500 miles, Jimmie Johnson took his Lowe's Chevrolet to victory lane at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. This completed a Charlotte sweep for Johnson. The win moved him up one spot in the standings and into 8th. Jeff Gordon finished in 2nd. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished in 3rd. Kurt Busch finished in 4th. Aside from the leap-frog of Johnson past Ryan Newman, the championship standings remained unchanged this week. Kurt Busch still leads the Chase by a slim 24-point margin over Dale, Jr. Gordon is only 74 points back in 3rd.