Welcome to Random Recaps, our new weekly feature at From The Marbles. In this space, we’ll recap a race from the past at the track the where Sprint Cup Series is racing next.
This week’s race is the 2004 Food City 500. Need to know how Random Recap works? Click here. And yes, we realize this is the second straight week of a 2004 recap. Blame the number generator that popped up 87.
Kurt Busch sprinted away from Rusty Wallace on a green-white-checker restart to win the Food City 500.
The race was red flagged with seven laps to go after Dale Jarrett got into the wall. Jarrett had an apparent flat tire after contact with Ward Burton. Since NASCAR had said it’d red flag any caution in the late laps before lap 295 to ensure an attempt at a green-flag finish, the race was halted so the mess could be cleaned up.
If you watch the video above and fast-forward to just after 2.5 hours, the time between Jarrett’s car hitting the wall and the throwing of the caution is interesting.
Wallace’s best opportunity to make a pass came as soon as the green flag flew on the restart. He got to Busch’s bumper entering turn one, but as soon as Busch powered off turn two and created some space between the two cars, Wallace’s chances were toast.
Kevin Harvick finished third and Sterling Marlin was fourth. Points leader Matt Kenseth finished fifth and has a 21-point lead over Busch in the points standings.
It’s Busch’s ninth career win and his first of 2004. After staring 13th, he didn’t take the lead until lap 382. However, once he did, he was unbeatable. Busch wasn’t passed for the lead over the final 119 laps and maintained the lead through five restarts.
Ken Schrader finished sixth, his highest finish in a Sprint Cup Series race since he finished sixth at Talladega in 1999 while driving for Andy Petree.