Sunday, October 24, 2004


It was a caution-filled day in Martinsville, Virginia. In fact, this race set a record for most laps run under caution on the half-mile oval. Jimmie Johnson managed to avoid all the wreckage and finished in first place for the second week in a row. This moved Johnson up four spots and into fourth in the championship standings. Kurt Busch had a solid fifth place finish. Busch remains in control of the Chase for the Championship. Jeff Gordon also had an uneventful day and moved himself into second place in the standings. The biggest news of the day was Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s poor performance. Mechanical troubles sent Junior to the garage early, and his thirty-third place finish dropped him back to third in the standings and one hundred, twenty-five points out of the top spot.

The Martinsville race marks the halfway point in the 10-race Chase for the Championship. Next week the Chase for the Championship will move to NASCAR's fastest track -- the Atlanta Motor Speedway.